Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, A Novel of the Old Republic is a novel by Drew Karpyshyn about the life of Darth Bane, set from 1,003 BBY to 1,000 BBY. The hardcover was released on September 26, 2006 by Del Rey. The paperback contains an excerpt from Death Star. A new audiobook was released by Random House Audio on the 30th of October 2012, narrated by Jonathan Davis.
- ISBN 0345477367; September 26, 2006, Del Rey, 320-page hardcover.
- ISBN 0345477375; June 26, 2007, Del Rey, 395-page paperback.
- ISBN 8372456380; August 2007, Amber, 320-page Polish paperback.
- ISBN 0099491966; July 5, 2007, Arrow Books Ltd., 416-page U.K. paperback.
- ISBN 978-80-252-1159-5; March 25, 2009, EGMONT ČR, 271-page Czech paperback (Darth Bane: Cesta zkázy).
- ISBN 9634972006; 2010, Szukits Kiadó, 416-page Hungarian paperback.
Once the Sith Order teemed with followers. But their rivalries divided them in endless battles for supremacy. Until one dark lord at last united the Sith in the quest to enslave the galaxy—and exterminate the Jedi. Yet it would fall to another, far more powerful than the entire Brotherhood of Darkness, to ultimately realize the full potential of the Sith, and wield the awesome power of the dark side as never before.
Since childhood, Dessel has known only the abuse of his hateful father and the dangerous, soul-crushing labor of a cortosis miner. Deep in the tunnels of the desolate planet Apatros, endlessly excavating the rare mineral valued throughout the galaxy, Dessel dreams of the day he can escape — a day he fears may never come. But when a high-stakes card game ends in deadly violence, Dessel suddenly finds himself a wanted man.
On the run from vengeful Republic forces, Dessel vanishes into the ranks of the Sith army, and ships out to join the bloody war against the Republic and its Jedi champions. There, Dessel’s brutality, cunning, and exceptional command of the Force swiftly win him renown as a warrior. But in the eyes of his watchful masters, he is destined for a far greater role in the ultimate Sith plan for the galaxy – if he can prove himself truly worthy.
As an acolyte in the Sith academy, studying the secrets and skills of the dark side at the feet of its greatest masters, Dessel embraces his new Sith identity: Bane. However the true test is yet to come. In order to gain acceptance into the Brotherhood of Darkness one must fully surrender to the dark side through a trial by fire that Bane, for all his unquenchable fury and lust for power, may not be strong enough to endure…especially since deception, treachery, and murder run rampant among the Sith disciples, and utter ruthlessness alone is the key to survival. Only by defying the most sacred traditions, rejecting all he has been taught, and drawing upon the long-forgotten wisdom of the very first Sith can Bane hope to triumph — and forge from the ashes of that which he must destroy a new era of absolute dark power.
"Two there should be; no more, no less. One to embody the power, the other to crave it." — Darth Bane, Dark Lord of the Sith.
On the run from vengeful Republic forces, Dessel, a cortosis miner, vanishes into the ranks of the Sith army and ships out to join the bloody war against the Republic and its Jedi champions. There, Dessel's brutality, cunning, and exceptional command of the Force swiftly win him renown as a warrior. But in the eyes of his watchful masters, a far greater destiny awaits him.
As an acolyte in the Sith academy, studying the secrets and skills of the dark side, Dessel embraces his new identity: Bane. However the true test is yet to come. In order to gain acceptance into the Brotherhood of Darkness, he must defy the most sacred traditions and reject all he has been taught. It is a trial by fire in which he must surrender fully to the dark side — and forge from the ashes a new era of absolute power.
The story begins one thousand years before Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope in the cortosis mines of Apatros where a young Darth Bane was first named Dessel. Bane had a father named Hurst who had the same job as Des and who was regularly drunk, thus giving Des regular beatings. Hurst died from a heart attack from Dessel's Force abilities. Des was forced to leave Apatros after he killed a crew member of a visiting Republic ship in a fight over sabacc. Smuggled off-world by the only real friend he had, a Neimoidian named Groshik, he enlisted in the Sith army to escape the Republic. Joining a unit named the Gloom Walkers he distinguished himself in the Assault on Kashyyyk and the subsequent Battle of Hsskhor on neighboring Trandosha.
During the Battle of Phaseera, Bane performed a mutiny to the commanding officer Ulabore over a disagreement about orders and led the unit to battle and victory over the Republic forces opposing them. Although he was arrested upon his return he was not executed as he believed he will be. Instead, Lord Kopecz had realized his Force potential and transfered him to the Sith academy on Korriban.
Upon his arrival Des chose to change his name to Bane, a term his father would often use to degrade him and went on to learn the ancient ways of the Sith, studying under such masters as Qordis and Kas'im, as well as others like Orilltha, Shenayag, Hezzoran, and Borthis. He also studied the temple archives and quickly began to surpass the other students despite his late entry to the Academy.
After Bane killed a student named Fohargh in the dueling ring his prestige at the Academy rose, but he began to doubt himself and his connection to the Force started to falter. In a desperate bid he challenged Sirak, the most powerful student at the Academy and was beaten within an inch of his life. After this Qordis decreed that he would receive no further training from any of the Masters.
Githany, a Jedi traitor, arrived at the Academy shortly after Kaan's near victory over the Army of Light on Ruusan. Seeing Bane as someone she could use to remove Sirak, her only real rival at the Academy, she began to secretly tutor him in the ways of the Force. At the same time Bane approached Kas'im for secret instruction in lightsaber combat, but neither teacher was aware of the other and Bane hoped to keep it that way for as long as possible.
Slowly, as Bane began to regain much of his lost power and confidence, he once again visited the Temple archives and took up the studies he abandoned before. As his training progressed he began to believe that the Brotherhood of Darkness and the Sith as a whole had turned their back on their ancient ways. Despite his new training, Bane realized that the true potential of the dark side was beyond not only him, but every other Sith Lord. When Bane defeated Sirak in another challenge he once again entered favor with the Masters, but departed angrily when Qordis ordered him to stop visiting the archives. Bane left for the Valley of the Sith Lords hoping to find some remnant of those Sith who had passed beyond.
Bane eventually returned, having found nothing, and feigned acceptance of the Sith and their current teachings, when actually he now knew there was only one place he could go to learn what he needed. Just prior to the departure of the Academy students for Ruusan, Githany led Bane into an ambush with Sirak at the Academy library, but only so Bane could kill Sirak. At first Bane believed she had betrayed him but he quickly realized the true reason and then Githany threw him his lightsaber which she picked up in his room to confirm her intentions. Bane and Githany together killed Llokay and Yevra two of Sirak's followers. Bane killed Sirak, who pleaded for his life, brutally decapitating him because Bane saw that despite his reputation, he was weak because no one who begged for mercy deserved it. Instead of leaving for Ruusan with the other Sith Lords he stole Qordis' Valcyn and headed for a location he had read about in the Sith archives. He took the ship to a world named Lehon, remembered in the history at large as the Unknown World and home to the now-extinct Rakata. Bane had come to believe that the Rakata were the first dark side users present in the galaxy and upon his arrival at the Temple of the Ancients found Darth Revan's holocron.
Taking all he learned from Revan, Bane crafted the Rule of Two to ensure that only the strongest of the Sith order continue to exist. After he defeated and killed Kas'im in a lightsaber duel by causing rubble from inside an ancient temple to fall on top of the Sith, who he had briefly felt may be the apprentice he would need to pass on his knowledge. Bane then left for Ruusan, but not before sending Lord Kaan a message in which he purposefully appeared weak and regretful about killing Kas'im and in hope of calling a truce he sent the incantation for the thought bomb as a gift. In anticipation of his arrival, and fearing that Bane would actually destroy the Brotherhood like he did Kas'im, Kaan agreed to let Githany kill him by kissing him with poisoned lips, after herself taking the antidote. Bane detected the poison straight away and was thrilled that Githany used such cunning and treachery as befited a true Sith Lord, rather than traditional methods like dueling. He was also confident that the methods from Darth Revan's holocron would allow him to counteract the poison, and kissed Githany three times. Eventually, he did feel the effects of synox on his body and realized that she used two poisons against him synergistically, one to cover the other. Fortunately, he came in contact with a healer named Caleb who cared neither for the Jedi or the Sith. He refused to treat Bane and even calmly scalded his own hand in boiling water to show that torture would not change his mind. Bane probed his mind and discovered Caleb was trying to hide something or someone. Bane concluded that he was trying to hide his daughter in his home, so he Force-levitated her over the boiling cauldron that Caleb had dipped his hand into, giving Caleb the choice of either curing him or watching his daughter die. Caleb complied, and Bane spared their lives, figuring he might still use them and that killing without reason or gain was a petty pleasure of the very same sadistic fools from whom he was determined to save the Sith order.
Heading for Ruusan, Darth Bane found a Jedi fleet in the system and Sith ships blocking their reinforcements for Jedi below. On landing, Bane entered a meeting of the Sith Lords during which Kaan had been describing his battle plan to the Brotherhood. They are were surprised he was still alive, especially Githany. Bane used the opportunity to lecture Kaan for thinking like a dirty general and not a Sith Lord. Bane looked at the map in the middle of the room and said they shouldn't just fight in the forest they should destroy the forest. Bane convinced the assembled Sith lords to help him create a massive Force storm, with another of Darth Revan's rituals, which rolled over the forest destroying and burning everything in its path. The Jedi were on the run and Kaan pulled out of the ritual using his force influence on the others to pull them out as well so he could go and attack them. Githany left with the others and Bane realized that she was truly lost and could not be his apprentice. In the empty Sith camp, Bane entered Kaan's tent where he met Qordis, who recognized his power and wanted to join in with Bane's new Sith rule. Bane then Force-choked him while sharing his intention, not to take over the Brotherhood, but to end it forever.
Bane enacted the next phase of his plan to destroy the Brotherhood by contacting the Sith fleet admiral that was protecting Ruusan from the Jedi reinforcements and telling him to break off and attack them. This move allowed Jedi to get through the blockade and turned the tide of the battle to the Jedi's favor. Lord Kaan, who had slowly gone mad during his time on Ruusan, then turned to his last chance of victory, the thought bomb. The Sith went deep into a network of caves knowing the Army of Light would follow. There the Sith prepared the thought bomb that would kill all force sensitive beings. It was unclear whether any of the Sith believed they could survive, but they remained compliant in the presence of Kaan's dark influence. Kopecz however, saw Kaan's madness and decided it was better to die in battle than endure the suffering of the thought bomb, and so he confronted past ally and Jedi Master Farfalla, who struck Kopecz down in a lightsaber duel after hearing Kopecz talk about Kaan's plan with the thought bomb. Bane later oversaw the destruction of the Brotherhood of Darkness as Kaan detonated the thought bomb, wiping out all nearby Sith and Jedi and killing Githany, who had figured out the destructive end the thought bomb would haved and had tried, in vain, to escape. It also killed Lord Hoth and the ninety nine Jedi who volunteered to ensure the end of Kaan and his suicidal forces, and also severely disturbed all other beings on Ruusan. In the end Bane triumphed and found a Force-sensitive girl named Rain, who had just killed two Jedi in anger after seeing them attack her friend Laa, a Bouncer, who they assumed was endangering her. Seeing her potential strength, Bane considered making Zannah (Rain's new Sith name) the first apprentice in his Rule of Two.
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Behind the scenesEdit
The account of the Seventh Battle of Ruusan in this novel differs from the account from the 1998 novel Dark Forces: Jedi Knight. Notably, the earlier book describes the bomb being constructed in advance of the Army of Light's arrival, and its taking place in a valley rather than deep in a cave. The earlier book also implies that it was Lord Kaan's idea and that no attempt at escaping the bomb's effects was made by the Sith. It is difficult to tell which account should be considered canon.
There is a paperback edition of Darth Bane: Path of Destruction in circulation, from the cover of which all white text is missing, including the words "Darth Bane" in the title.
This is a gallery of the different cover variations of Darth Bane: Path of Destruction.