- "Freedon Nadd was seduced by the dark side. He apprenticed himself to a Dark Lord of the Sith. After his death, his tomb became a focus of dark side energy, and so his power passed from generation to generation."
- ―Arca Jeth
Freedon Nadd was an Old Republic Jedi prodigy whose conscious decision to embrace the dark side of the Force had a significant impact on galactic events for many generations after his death. Nadd's career began as a student in training on the planet Ossus, but a lust for greater power caused him to slay his Master, Matta Tremayne, and renounce his affiliation with the Jedi Order. He fled Ossus and made his way to the heart of the old Sith Empire, where he gained an enormous wealth of dark side knowledge. He eventually followed the Force to the jungle moon of Yavin 4, where he found and apprenticed himself to the ancient Dark Lord Naga Sadow. Sadow trained Nadd in the Sith arts, and led the young Jedi even further down the dark path. When he determined that he had learned all his Sith Master had to offer, Nadd used his newfound powers to destroy Sadow and left Yavin 4 behind in search of a world to conquer as his own. He proclaimed himself Dark Lord of the Sith, and used his sorcerous powers to subjugate the world of Onderon, where he ruled as king from the capital of Iziz for more than a hundred years until his physical demise. His body was entombed below the royal palace of Iziz, which became a focal point of Sith power. Nadd's spirit lingered in the tomb, from whence it taught the descendants of his bloodline and further steeped Onderon in the miasma that was the dark side of the Force.
By 4000 BBY, the exaltation of Freedon Nadd's memory was the catalyst for the final battle of the centuries-spanning Beast Wars of Onderon, a conflict that arose between the citizens of Iziz who worshiped the deceased Dark Lord and those who had been cast out for their refusal to pledge allegiance to the Sith. A team of Jedi Knights led by Arkanian Master Arca Jeth came to Onderon, ended the battle, and brought a temporary halt to Nadd's influence over the planet with the defeat of Queen Amanoa. However, Amanoa's husband, King Ommin, reasserted Sith influence over the planet when he summoned Freedon Nadd's spirit from Chaos. The restored Naddist cult then rose up in arms and stole the Dark Lord's sarcophagus in a surprise attack during Amanoa's funeral. Nadd revealed himself to the Jedi and participated in the capture of Arca Jeth, who was ultimately rescued by the Jedi after the defeat of King Ommin during the final stages of the Naddist insurrection. Conceding failure, Nadd abandoned Ommin to the mercy of the Jedi, and his spirit was forever banished from Onderon by the power of Arca Jeth. Prior to his departure, however, Nadd happened upon Tetan socialites Aleema and Satal Keto—who had come to Onderon in search of dark side knowledge—and chose to pass the Sith teachings on to them. While Nadd's tomb was relocated to Onderon's jungle moon by the Jedi, his spirit appeared to one of them, Ulic Qel-Droma, and foretold the young Knight's destiny as a Lord of the Sith.
For months Freedon Nadd trained the Ketos in Sith magic, but his interests shifted when Exar Kun, a powerful fallen Jedi with dark side curiosities, stirred the Dark Lord's spirit from within his lunar grave. Nadd guided Kun to the ancient Sith homeworld of Korriban where, through a series of trials designed to test his resolve, he decided that Exar Kun was worthy of Sith apprenticeship. Nadd then led Kun to the ancient dwellings of his own Sith Master on Yavin 4 and was pleased when Kun wholeheartedly embraced the Sith after he defeated an enormous Sith wyrm and subjugated the native Massassi warriors. Finally convinced that his apprentice had become one with the dark side, Nadd revealed his need for Exar Kun to create a physical body for him through alchemical means, that he might once again command the power of the Force. Kun, however, refused to entertain Nadd any longer, and in that moment betrayed him. His apprentice's strength tremendously amplified by a Sith amulet, Nadd was attacked by Kun with a potent blast of Force energy that mortally wounded the Sith spirit. Consigned to oblivion for a second time, Nadd contacted the Ketos in his final act and warned them of the threat that Exar Kun posed. He then declared that, along with Ulic Qel-Droma, the future of the Sith rested with Satal and Aleema, before fading into Chaos and dying a second death.
- "Freedon, some things cannot be taught directly. Some things you must find in yourself. If we were to show it to you, to point to it and say 'look, here it is,' you would not understand it. Jedi must be willing to look into their own hearts and spirits. If you do not…well, let us just say that you will never become a true Jedi."
- ―Jedi Master Matta Tremayne
Four hundred years before the outbreak of the Great Sith War, Freedon Nadd appeared on the Jedi Library world of Ossus to begin his Jedi training. Upon his initial arrival, the Jedi Masters on Ossus were astounded by the level of knowledge and proficiency that Nadd demonstrated through his use of the Force. Likewise, the Masters were also impressed with his openness and efforts to attain universal harmony. Under the guidance of his teachers, Nadd learned to willingly trust in the Force and to immerse himself in its fabrics. Many of the Masters on Ossus actively took part in Nadd's training, including the progenitor of the Great Jedi Library, Odan-Urr himself. Nadd's teachers all agreed that he would become a Jedi Master far sooner than any other student who had come before him—if not in technique, then in understanding of the Force.
Nadd's first test, however, came in an unexpected form when the time arose to grant several apprentices the rank of Jedi Knight. He fully believed that his own promotion to Knight was imminent, but was shocked when the Masters passed over him entirely. With their final decision made, Nadd's universe seemed to collapse around him. As he dwelt on the situation, feelings of hurt and despair began to cloud his mind. He could not understand why the Masters had not graduated him as a reward for all of the progress and hard work he had demonstrated during his time on Ossus. The fact that he had been denied the rank of Jedi Knight caused an enormous internal conflict to take place within Nadd's mind.
The test of Matta Tremayne
- "I will become the greatest Jedi who ever lived, with or without your help."
"Prove it to me."
"What? I don't—"
"I say that you are no Jedi. Prove to me that you are."
"You think you can scare me away, is that it? But I won't run away like the others. No, I know I am the stronger. You can't defeat me with your malignant will."
- ―Freedon Nadd and Matta Tremayne
Confused about what the Jedi Masters now expected of him, Nadd sought out his own Master, Matta Tremayne, for advice. As the lightsaber combat instructor of the Jedi Order, Tremayne spent a large majority of her time in a garden on the outskirts of Ossus City practicing lightsaber cadences with perfect execution. What attracted Nadd was her sense of calm and serenity with the universe, something he could feel through the Force. Believing that she could help guide him toward what the other Masters expected of him, Nadd positioned himself just outside of the garden where Tremayne was performing a flawless rhythm of lightsaber moves. Growing frustrated that the elderly woman had not acknowledged his presence, Nadd was determined to wait for her attention—however, after thirty minutes of watching her practice without addressing him, Nadd exploded with the frustration that he had been feeling since the Knighting ceremony. In a flurry of movement, Master Tremayne brought her lightsaber to bear mere centimeters away from Nadd's chest. With Nadd stunned by her sudden acknowledgment of him, Tremayne then resumed her practice motions. This action, however, caused Nadd to grow even more perturbed and he proceeded to storm away from the garden.
While Nadd hurriedly walked away, Tremayne called to him and proceeded to tell him that the Masters could not show him what needed to be done—he needed to figure out what was required for himself and learn from that experience. Tremayne further explained that until then, he would not be promoted to the rank of Jedi Knight. Nadd's frustration gave way to pure anger, and he accused Tremayne and the other Masters of being afraid to share their knowledge, and thus any power they had in the Force. Nadd then declared himself a Jedi, one who did not require the permission of the Masters. He vowed to become the greatest Jedi that ever lived, but Tremayne interrupted him with the ignition of her lightsaber, and issued a challenge for Nadd to prove to her that he deserved all the power he claimed. He responded in kind, and a fierce duel ensued, one that saw Nadd struggling to match the pace with which his Master fought. After several passes, Nadd noticed and took advantage of an opening in Tremayne's defenses and swung his lightsaber down in a killing blow. At that moment, Tremayne looked into Nadd's eyes and he was filled with a sudden sense of calm. The entire confrontation had been a test manufactured by Tremayne, and Nadd realized at the last moment before his lightsaber cut into the wizened Master. He tried to halt the blade of his falling lightsaber, to no avail; Tremayne, who had deactivated her own weapon, was struck and killed instantly, leaving only her Jedi robes behind as she disappeared into the Force.
At first, Nadd was overcome with grief over his actions as he stared at the empty robe that had just moments before contained the person of Matta Tremayne. As Nadd continued to dwell on what had transpired, however, his anger rose to new heights. He believed that the Masters had incorrectly chosen the way with which to test him, and that Tremayne had brought her own death upon herself by playing games with him. Believing that she was responsible for all the pain and rage he was feeling, Nadd continued to allow his anger to draw him further toward to the dark side of the Force. He left Ossus in a fit of rage, believing that the Masters had engineered the tests to drive him from the Order. With thoughts of revenge clouding his judgment and fueling his anger, Nadd set his starship's coordinates for the heart of the old Sith Empire, believing that he could find the revenge he craved by becoming a thrall of the dark side. Freedon Nadd no longer had ambitions of becoming the greatest Jedi ever known; he instead aspired to become the most powerful Sith sorcerer to ever have lived.
Quest for the Sith
- "The Jedi who fall are the most dangerous of all."
- ―A line from a children's rhyme
Nadd traveled to the area of space where the Sith Empire had once ruled. His search for the Sith led him first to the planet Ashas Ree, where he rediscovered the original Sith holocron: that of King Adas, which had been lost several hundred years earlier by a Sith Lord named Garu. Rumors then led Nadd to continue his search across the expanse of the old empire, but when he failed to find any of the members of the original Sith species, disillusionment threatened to end his journey prematurely. His fortune finally made a turn for the better when he learned of the legendary Dark Lord Naga Sadow, and his forced exile on Yavin 4. Nadd set a course for the jungle moon, hoping to find the Lord of the Ancient Sith.
When he landed on Yavin 4, Nadd encountered the Massassi, a Sith subspecies that had been alchemically bred generations ago by Sadow himself. They immediately set upon him, but the power Nadd had gained during his expedition served him well, and the Massassi deemed him worthy of Naga Sadow's consideration. Nadd was led to Yavin's Great Temple, where he roused Sadow's spirit from his centuries-long slumber. The Dark Lord realized that Nadd was indeed a prime candidate for his dark legacy and took the fallen Jedi as his Sith apprentice. Nadd learned all he could from Sadow and even mastered his teachings in the magic of the Sith. However, Nadd's training eventually came to a halt because, according to tradition, only one being could hold the position of Dark Lord of the Sith—which Sadow, albeit in spirit-form, still occupied. When he believed that he had learned all that Sadow had to offer, Nadd compiled the sum of his knowledge into a holocron of his own creation. He then destroyed Sadow's spirit and declared himself the new Dark Lord of the Sith.
King of Onderon
- "Other fallen Jedi, not content to serve their comrades, struck out on their own, spreading the darkness. One such was Freedon Nadd. Nadd roamed the uncharted systems until he found a world he could dominate through the dark side. The planet was called…Onderon."
- ―From the holocron of Vodo-Siosk Baas
After collecting many artifacts from old Sith ruins, Nadd began searching for his own world to conquer. He made his way to Onderon where, using the knowledge he gained from studying Adas's holocron, he deposed the planet's existing monarchs and assumed the throne as king. Nadd transformed Onderonian culture into one steeped in Sith lore and magic. Although his dynasty was cruel and oppressive, his teachings were widely accepted by the Onderonian people. He ruled from the planet's only establishment, the city of Iziz, a walled fortress that protected Onderon's citizens from the vicious predators that had migrated to the planet from its fourth moon, Dxun. Nadd assisted the Onderonians in the development of modern technology with which to repel the beasts, and later, those who refused to accept his Sith teachings. The punishment for anyone who denied Nadd and his decrees was exile from Iziz, where they were left to face the monstrous creatures from which the walled city offered protection. However, those same outcasts were able to tame the creatures of Onderon's wilderness, and became the Beast Riders, with whom Nadd engaged in a protracted civil war. After many years of war with them, the Beast Riders continued to pose a threat to Iziz, and not even Freedon Nadd's power was enough to stop them.
Onderon was subject to the unyielding power of Freedon Nadd for more than a century. Rumor of his tyranny eventually became the concern of the Jedi Order, who sought to free Onderon from his rule. A team of Knights was sent to deal with the Sith Lord, and after a pitched battle, Freedon Nadd and his forces were defeated.
- "Come to the dark side now, when it calls, or you will have failed. The dark side will forever shun you, the weak-minded fool who believed he had the right to wield its power!"
- ―Freedon Nadd seduces Ommin to the dark side
Darkness permeated Onderon for centuries after Freedon Nadd's death, as his spirit lurked in the physical world and continued to influence the planet's citizens. His tomb, buried deep underneath the palace of Iziz, became a focal point of dark side energy, and adherence to the way of the Sith grew on Onderon as Nadd's lineage was extended. The rulers of Iziz constantly refreshed their skills in the presence of Nadd's spirit, and the Dark Lord readily obliged those who summoned him from Chaos with the desire to study Sith sorcery. One such was Ommin, a direct descendant of Nadd's who, after rising to power as king of Onderon, appealed to the Dark Lord for completion of his Sith indoctrination. For many years Nadd trained Ommin in the arts of Sith sorcery, a secret that was kept from the King's wife, Queen Amanoa. When she finally discovered the relationship between Nadd and her husband, Amanoa fell into despair. Nadd, however, patiently waited as the Queen's depression turned into a loathing that gave way to anger and eventually a deep-seated hatred for Ommin's dark side devotion. It was then that the Dark Lord began to transform Amanoa into an agent of the Sith as he had done with her husband.
Nadd's ultimate goal was to physically resurrect himself. By teaching his descendants well, he hoped to find a powerful candidate to learn the alchemical practices of his late Master Naga Sadow, and use them to create a body to hold his spirit. To ensure that Ommin or Amanoa would achieve the necessary strength, Nadd made them compete with one another. Years passed before Ommin's progression in Sith power caused him to eventually lose control of his body completely, and he was forced to retire from the forefront of Onderonian events in order to receive medical attention. Amanoa took full control of Iziz, and her relentless persecution of the Beast Riders pushed the conflict to the fringes of all-out war. Nadd realized then that the couple had failed him: Ommin would never be strong enough to fulfill his dream, and Amanoa would not continue her studies once her husband failed to compete with her anymore.
The Freedon Nadd Uprising
Influence from beyond the grave
- Galia: "Wha…what's that figure? Like a ghost, rising behind my father's form…"
- Nadd: "I am Freedon Nadd."
- Qel-Droma: "It…it's some dark side trick!"
- Jeth: "No. It is him. It is Freedon Nadd!"
- Qel-Droma: "But he's been dead for over four hundred years!"
- Nadd: "Yes, my mummified flesh sleeps in stone. But this old man called my spirit back from Chaos. I have given him…my knowledge."
- Jeth: "Now I understand why the dark side has continued to fill this city. King Ommin has been practicing Sith magic—that he learned from you!"
- ―Freedon Nadd reveals himself to Princess Galia, Ulic Qel-Droma, and Arca Jeth[src]
Hoping to con the queen back to her studies, Freedon Nadd approached Amanoa during a Sith ritual with a warning that she would be destroyed if she allowed the Beast Wars to fully erupt. Amanoa completely misunderstood Nadd; in a desperate attempt to end the civil war, the queen requested help from the defenders of the Galactic Republic, the Jedi Knights. A team arrived led by Ulic Qel-Droma, and when negotiations failed, Amanoa called upon the power of Freedon Nadd to support her during the ensuing battle against the combined forces of Jedi and Beast Riders. Amanoa fled to Nadd's tomb in the midst of the chaos and summoned the Dark Lord's power to aid the Naddists against her enemies. Nadd assisted his worshipers for a time, but the arrival and subsequent intervention of Jedi Master Arca Jeth turned the tide of battle in the Beast Riders' favor. Nadd's influence was then cast out of Iziz after the Jedi located his tomb in the bowels of the palace. In doing so, the darkness was also driven from Amanoa, who died as a result.
It was during this time that Freedon Nadd's spirit was aroused from Chaos by King Ommin, who had learned of his wife's defeat and subsequent death at the hands of the Jedi and Beast Riders. Together they conspired to reclaim Iziz and take revenge against their foremost enemy, Arca Jeth. Under Nadd's instruction, Ommin assembled a new army whose ranks consisted of the Dark Lord's worshipers and were led by Nadd's personal guardian and pupil, a Dark Jedi named Warb Null. They plotted to ambush the Jedi while preparations were being made to move both Nadd's sarcophagus and Amanoa's remains to Onderon's fourth moon of Dxun, and as the funeral procession commenced, the Naddist army attacked. They were able to recover the sarcophagi of Nadd and Amanoa before they retreated, and the Jedi pursued the Naddists to their underground lair, only to be confronted by the spirit of Freedon Nadd himself. King Ommin was also present, and while Warb Null distracted Ulic Qel-Droma, the Dark Lord and the king captured Arca Jeth. Together they planned to torture Jeth to the brink of sanity, that he might forsake the Jedi way and embrace the dark side of the Force.
- "The Jedi have not won today. As you will one day learn, the Jedi have lost!"
- ―Freedon Nadd, to Arca Jeth
While Freedon Nadd and King Ommin attempted to corrupt Arca Jeth, the remaining Jedi Knights contacted their Order on Ossus and requested assistance from the Galactic Senate in dealing with the Naddist insurgency on Onderon. The Republic Navy, joined by a team of Jedi Knights, arrived to defeat the dark side army and in the process laid siege to Iziz. During the battle, two aristocrats from the Empress Teta system named Satal and Aleema Keto also came to Onderon with a stolen Sith spellbook in search of King Ommin, hoping that by giving it to him they would be able to discover its secrets. Their meeting was short-lived, as the reinforced team of Jedi Knights stormed the King's stronghold just after he took possession of the book and freed Arca Jeth. Realizing that his pawn was no match for the Jedi, Nadd withdrew his support from Ommin and left him to the mercy of his enemies. The Dark Lord took notice of the Ketos, however, and saw in them the potential to preserve the legacy of the Sith; he returned their spellbook to them and also gave them a trove of other Sith artifacts, including several amulets and a pair of Sith swords. After guiding the young Tetans to safety, Nadd's spirit returned to the Jedi and the dying Ommin. He personally terminated the King and declared the defeat of the Jedi, but Master Jeth called upon the light and drove Nadd's spirit away, finally cleansing Onderon of the dark side.
- "I am here to warn you Jedi, you must not interfere with the work of the dark side. The Dark Lords of the Sith are destined to rise again. Nothing can prevent that."
"You can't frighten us with useless prophecies. I thought Master Arca drove you away when he buried your bones on that barren moon."
"Arca cannot interfere with the dead…nor can he help you, poor Jedi, to avoid your destiny."
"What are you talking about?"
"You…will be one of the great ones."
- ―Freedon Nadd tells Ulic Qel-Droma of his destiny as a Sith Lord
Following the battle on Onderon, Freedon Nadd's remains, along with those of King Ommin and Queen Amanoa, were relocated to a new tomb on the far side of Dxun, one that was made of nearly-indestructible Mandalorian iron. The Jedi hoped that a combination of the moon's natural predators and the tomb's remote location would deter potential grave robbers and treasure seekers from attempting to access Nadd's power. The mausoleum was also filled with many of the Sith artifacts that had once belonged to Nadd, and had since been in the late King Ommin's possession. Several of the relics were collected and cataloged by the Jedi for shipment to the Great Jedi Library on Ossus. During that time, Nadd's ghost appeared to one of the Jedi, Ulic Qel-Droma, and warned the Jedi not to interfere with the machinations of the dark side. When Qel-Droma attempted to dismiss the Sith spirit, Nadd denounced him, and also issued an ominous proclamation that told of the return of the Sith and Qel-Droma's destiny as one of them. He then departed from Onderon and took up residence in his new tomb on Dxun.
Although Nadd's spirit resided primarily in its tomb, he regularly appeared to his new charges, Aleema and Satal Keto, to whom he gave extensive training in Sith magic. They became powerful sorcerers in their own right and, under the guise of their recently established Krath cult, used their newfound abilities to execute a political upheaval of their home system's government. The Krath then launched a jihad against the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order itself. Lord Satal Keto masterminded the successful ambush of a Jedi mass-gathering on the planet Deneba, which resulted in the death of Freedon Nadd's old enemy, Arca Jeth. Jeth's passing sparked a need for revenge in Ulic Qel-Droma, who embarked on a mission that involved infiltrating the Krath in an attempt to destroy them from within. In doing so, he slew Lord Keto and fell to the dark side of the Force—just as Freedon Nadd had predicted.
Corrupting Exar Kun
- "Your fascination with dark-side things will get you in grave trouble—"
"More threats? Will you kill me with the ghost of a lightsaber?"
"No, I shall give you a gift. Something that will set you on your true path. Open the sarcophagus."
"There. Phew…darkness and death lie on these old bones."
"Beneath the husk of my former self…there lies a secret. Take the corpse out of the sarcophagus! NOW!"
- ―Freedon Nadd and Exar Kun
While the teachings of Freedon Nadd gave Aleema and Satal Keto powers that allowed them to wreak havoc throughout the galaxy, another ambitious Jedi was stricken with a curiosity for knowledge concerning the ancient Sith. After learning the legend of Freedon Nadd from a Jedi holocron, Exar Kun abandoned his Master, Vodo-Siosk Baas, and embarked on a quest to Onderon for Sith secrets. Kun's initial attempts to acquire Nadd's artifacts from the Jedi on Onderon were rebuffed, and he was forced to seek help elsewhere, namely from two Naddist sympathizers he encountered while walking the streets of Iziz. The two men, Rask and Nebo, escorted Kun to Freedon Nadd's tomb on Dxun, where he succeeded in penetrating the structure's nearly-impregnable walls with his lightsaber to gain entry. He explored the crypt and, while doing so, disturbed the spirit of Freedon Nadd. The Dark Lord recognized Kun's insatiable lust for greater power and realized that in this man laid an opportunity to bring his ultimate goal of physical resurrection to fruition. Nadd instructed Exar Kun to reach into his sarcophagus and remove the Sith scroll that was hidden beneath his corpse, and with it he told the Jedi to travel to Korriban, the ancestral homeworld of the Sith.
Nadd's spirit next encountered Exar Kun just as he was being attacked by the guardian spirits of Korriban's Valley of the Dark Lords. When the beleaguered Jedi implored Nadd for help, the spirit guided Kun to take refuge in a dilapidated Sith temple. This, however, was a ruse; Nadd trapped Kun inside by sealing off the entrance behind him and forcing him to go further into the temple. As they walked, the Dark Lord explained that the temple was steeped in the power of many long-dead Sith. Nadd brought him before a crystal obelisk, which he explained was the final resting place for the tormented souls of Jedi Masters who had once stood in opposition of the Dark Lords and lost. When Kun inquired as to whether or not Nadd planned to release the trapped spirits from their imprisonment, the Dark Lord reminded him that he was not a savior of Jedi, but rather their destroyer; he lent credence to his proclamation when he brought the roof down on Kun, crushing every bone in the Jedi's body. Kun then attempted to call his former Master, Vodo-Siosk Baas, through the Force for assistance, but Nadd intervened when he realized that the Krevaaki was trying to save his student. He lashed out with the power of the dark side at Baas and interrupted the link between him and Kun. Nadd now had the broken man exactly where he wanted him; he claimed that if Kun wanted to live, the only power able to save him was that of the dark side. Nadd rebuked Kun each time he refused to fully submit. Left with no other options, the fallen Jedi finally surrendered himself to the dark side and, through its power, was healed. Nadd then took Kun as his Sith apprentice.
The end of Freedon Nadd
- "Beware of Exar Kun! He has acquired great Sith powers. He has betrayed me! Ahhhhh! I now declare it: Exar Kun is a pretender to the Sith legacy. The real power of the Sith rests with you three—AAHHHHHH!"
- ―Freedon Nadd, to Satal and Aleema Keto
After Kun's recovery, Nadd led him further through the temple and had the Jedi read the inscriptions on the walls, hieroglyphic symbols that were in the language of the ancient Sith species. One in particular gave a detailed account of Nadd's own Sith Master, Naga Sadow, and his final residence on Yavin 4. Nadd revealed to Kun that the next phase of his enlightenment would take place there. Prior to their departure, Nadd stated that the lingering spirits of the deceased Dark Lords, with whom he had all the while been in communion, required an evaluation of Kun's newly-declared commitment to the dark side. He stood by as Tuk'ata hounds—Force-sensitive abominations who prowled the halls of the temple and preyed upon intruders—attacked his apprentice. Nadd confiscated the Dark Jedi's lightsaber and demanded that Kun exercise his newfound power. Initially hesitant, Kun finally gave in to his anger and slew all of the beasts. Freedon Nadd, as well as his fellow Sith spirits, was finally satisfied that his new student had embraced the Sith way, and declared that Exar Kun had become one with the dark side of the Force.
Nadd next met his new student on Yavin 4, after Kun had been captured by the moon's resident Massassi warriors. Nadd followed them as they brought the Dark Jedi into Naga Sadow's temple, where Kun was prepared as a sacrifice to its guardian Sith wyrm. The specter demanded that his reluctant apprentice use the power that was now his to command, and Kun finally acquiesced; he used the Force to seize a Sith amulet from the possession of a Massassi priest that increased his power exponentially. Nadd stood by while Kun freed himself and obliterated the monstrosity and several Massassi, causing the remaining Sith to bow before him in supplication. Nadd was thoroughly pleased, as he had finally found a being who had the necessary power to perform the alchemical processes required to create a physical body for him. Upon revealing his true intentions to Exar Kun, however, he was betrayed; the Dark Jedi had grown tired of Nadd's ever-looming presence and rejected to help him outright. He then tested the amulet's power by attacking the Sith spirit with a blast of Force energy. When Nadd recoiled in pain from the assault, Kun unleashed a full-strength blast that fatally wounded the Dark Lord. In the throes of a second death, Nadd appeared one last time before Aleema and Satal Keto and warned them of the threat now posed by Exar Kun's tremendous power. He named them, along with Ulic Qel-Droma, as the inheritors to his Sith legacy, before fading into Chaos for a second and final time.
Each of those with whom Freedon Nadd had become involved following his final defeat on Onderon went on to become influential galactic figures as they progressed further down the dark path and sought to perpetuate the ways of the Sith. The foremost among them was Exar Kun, who ascended to Dark Lord of the Sith along with Ulic Qel-Droma. Kun then pooled his resources with those of Qel-Droma's and Aleema Keto's Krath cult and formed the infamous Sith Brotherhood, which went on to initiate the galaxy-spanning conflagration known as the Great Sith War.
- "Freedon Nadd was a Dark Jedi. The stories say he was far worse than Revan and Malak ever were."
Approximately fifty years after Freedon Nadd's spiritual death, his tomb on Dxun was occupied by the forces of the Sith Triumvirate under the Dark Lord Darth Nihilus. The Onderon Civil War broke out that same year, and Nihilus's Sith allied themselves with a general named Vaklu, the rival and cousin of Onderon's Queen Talia—a direct descendant of Freedon Nadd. This union posed a threat to the united Neo-Crusaders of Mandalore the Preserver, whose base was near Nadd's tomb on Dxun. The Sith camp near the tomb was eventually discovered by the Mandalorians, who sent three companions of the Jedi Exile to investigate. They broke through the Sith defenses and killed a group of Dark Jedi and Sith Lords who were performing a ritual to control the beasts in Iziz, specifically one large drexl they had planned to use to break into Queen Talia's throne room. Freedon Nadd's sarcophagus was rifled through by the Jedi Exile's allies, who took several of his belongings, including his shoto.
Order of the Sith Lords
- "Hidden deep inside the Holocron, I discovered a list of powerful spells. I transcribed them into this tome. They will help you focus and channel your power for maximum effect…but only if you study them carefully."
- ―Darth Bane introduces Zannah to Freedon Nadd's sorcery
The sorcery that Freedon Nadd practiced later served as the means through which another Sith Lord learned to manipulate the dark side of the Force. Following the end of the New Sith Wars in 1000 BBY, Nadd's tomb was visited by Darth Bane, the last living Dark Lord of the Sith in the galaxy. Bane unearthed Nadd's holocron on Dxun, which he studied in its entirety, only to discover that he himself was unable to comprehend the intricacies of Sith magic. Instead, Nadd's teachings were learned by Bane's apprentice, Zannah, who mastered all of the spells contained within the device. Zannah later used Nadd's magic in a duel to defeat her Master, which allowed her to continue his fledgling Order of Sith Lords in the manner that Bane had decreed. Thus, millennia after his death, Freedon Nadd's influence contributed to the advancement of the reformed Sith Order, one that eventually annihilated the Jedi and brought the dark side to prominence in the form of a Sith-ruled Galactic Empire.
Personality and traits
- "YES! When I am once again of the body, I will also command once more the dark side's limitless power!"
- ―Freedon Nadd
In his youth, Freedon Nadd was a radiant, joyful young man, who had a love of and for life. He was also, however, a man thoroughly convinced of his own ability to understand and manipulate the Force and, with such confidence, aspired to become the greatest Jedi of all time. He was certain that he would be granted the rank of Jedi Knight, but when the Masters on Ossus refused to promote him, Nadd was shaken to the core of his being. His failure to understand the reasons behind the Masters' decision gave way to an anger that grew rapidly. When he sought answers from his own teacher, Matta Tremayne, he refused to accept her answer to his question: that the path to self-discovery was one that he had to travel alone.
Nadd's descent to the dark side began with the slaying of Matta Tremayne, whom Nadd faulted for the emotional pain he felt due to not being chosen for Jedi Knighthood. In his own arrogance, Nadd refused to accept responsibility for his Master's death, instead believing that she had been the cause of her own demise. Nadd was consumed with anger and festering hatred following his fall to the dark side, and he soon afterward was interested only in exacting revenge on the entire Jedi Order. Nadd pursued his goal in earnest and amassed a wealth of dark side knowledge in his desire to become the most powerful Sith sorcerer who had ever lived.
As he grew in power and understanding, Freedon Nadd came to believe that the Force existed only to serve him. He felt that once an individual had embraced the dark side, the two were inseparable. Once he himself made the transition from a follower of the light to a Master of the Sith, he subscribed to the theory that he and his servants would eventually triumph over the Jedi through the dark side. He even claimed that the Jedi harbored a deep-seated fear of its power. He developed a craving for conquest after he assumed the position of Dark Lord, and chose the planet of Onderon as his to rule. The planet's citizens were forced to worship him, and there was no tolerance for malcontents; those who refused to accept his authority were banished from Iziz and left to the mercy of the beasts of Onderon's wilderness. He also sired a bloodline through which he ensured the continued dominion over Onderon even after his death.
As Dark Lord of the Sith, Freedon Nadd wore heavy battle armor and a helmet that also served as the crown with which he signified his kingship. The dark side's poisonous nature affected Nadd outwardly, leaving him with blanched and withered flesh under his protective coverings. When he finally passed into Chaos, Nadd refused to relinquish his ties with the physical realm. Although he was, by his own admission, powerless while in spirit form, Nadd was still able to influence the world of the living through his Sith devotees. His spirit continued to direct the actions of the Onderonian people for his own purposes, and they submitted to the Dark Lord's demands for fealty without equivocation. He readily obliged those who appealed to him for wisdom and continued to strengthen them in dark side magic. He was particularly careful, however, not to bestow enough Sith wisdom upon his disciples so as to allow them to surpass him in power. The primary reason for Nadd sharing his knowledge was to find an individual whose skill would eventually reach the necessary level to create for Nadd a physical body through Sith alchemy, into which the Dark Lord could be resurrected and once again command the full scope of the dark side's power. He actively pushed King Ommin and Queen Amanoa to achieve their full potential through competition with one another, hoping that one of them would become powerful enough to bring his plan to reality. When he realized that neither Ommin nor Amanoa would ever achieve the level of ability that he required, Nadd abandoned them both to the mercy of the Jedi. Nadd was also given to frequent moments of sinister laughter when his schemes seemed to go according to his plans.
- "Let me show you these wonderful amulets. They were given to me by my ancient forefather, Freedon Nadd himself."
- ―King Ommin
Freedon Nadd amassed a considerable collection of antiquities as he steeped himself further in the ways of the Sith. The first in his possession were the holocrons of King Adas and Darth Andeddu. By the time of King Ommin's reign over Onderon, Nadd had gifted his descendant with a plethora of amulets, tomes, and other artifacts, all brimming with the power of Sith magic. Upon Ommin's death, the majority of Nadd's relics were confiscated by the Jedi and stored within Nadd's tomb on Dxun. However, several escaped the Jedi's attempt to catalogue them, including two Sith swords that Nadd's spirit bequeathed unto Satal and Aleema Keto as they fled capture in Iziz. Another item, a priceless Sith scroll that detailed the fall of Nadd's Sith Master, was hidden beneath the remains of Nadd's former self, and was given by the Dark Lord to his final apprentice, Exar Kun.
Powers and abilities
- "The real power here is the dark spirit of Freedon Nadd himself!"
"Freedon Na—his power still resides here?!"
- ―Ulic Qel-Droma and Nomi Sunrider speak of Freedon Nadd's lingering power over Onderon
Freedon Nadd was a scholar of the Force and impressed the Jedi Masters on Ossus with his ability to effortlessly handle it. Even prior to beginning his Jedi training, Nadd displayed the capability to wield many of the powers the Jedi Masters themselves commanded, and more. His teachers believed such intuitiveness would surely see Nadd sit among them, far sooner than any student that preceded him. His skill with a lightsaber was just barely on par with that of his Master, Matta Tremayne, whom Nadd was still able to kill, though only after Tremayne refused to defend herself any longer. The murder of Master Tremayne combined with a lust for power led Freedon Nadd to the dark side, where he gained access to more violent and corrupting uses of the Force. The holocrons of King Adas and Darth Andeddu comprised his initial knowledge base, and further study under Naga Sadow saw Nadd become a master of Sith sorcery. Sith magic was the means by which Nadd eliminated Sadow when the Dark Lord was no longer of any use to him, and was also the power Nadd called upon to assist him in the conquest of Onderon. The Dark Lord recorded the totality of his knowledge within his own holocron, a device which would contribute to the tutelage of the Sith apprentice Darth Zannah some three thousand years later. Also within Nadd's holocron was his extensive knowledge regarding the orbalisk parasites of Dxun, crustaceans that fed on the power of the dark side of the Force.
Despite his sickly appearance, Nadd was still a force to be reckoned with. Countless Jedi fell in battle to his short bronze-bladed lightsaber, and many more were destroyed with his personal blaster. Nadd's very occupation of Onderon infected its atmosphere with the dark side so completely that the planet remained under its pall even after Nadd's physical death. Both his sarcophagus and tomb became focal points of dark side energy, and radiated so potently that Force-sensitives within close proximity were immediately affected; darksiders became empowered, while followers of the light felt stifled in the Force, as if being smothered by the dark side. When confronted by the power of Arca Jeth, Nadd's influence was unable to endure in the Jedi Master's presence, and was driven from Iziz—temporarily.
Unlike his future apprentice, when Nadd was confronted by the Massassi, he was powerful enough to fight and hold them off until he was deemed worthy of Naga Sadow's consideration. Nadd's spirit retained a measure of the power he had commanded in life and continued to exert influence over his descendants, who maintained dominion over Onderon in Nadd's name. The Dark Lord's spirit came and went as it pleased, even being able to move across the galaxy from from one celestial body to another. Nadd was gifted with foresight, evidenced by his predictions about the men that both Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma would become. He was able to reach through the Force to attack adversaries with the dark side, an ability he used to prevent Vodo-Siosk Baas from interfering in the corruption of Exar Kun. Nadd was gifted with Force healing, an act in which he engaged to further convince Exar Kun of the dark side's superiority. It was Exar Kun who put an end to Freedon Nadd's spirit once and for all, however, after he assaulted the Dark Lord with a blast of Force energy that Nadd was unable to withstand.
Behind the scenes
Freedon Nadd was created by author Tom Veitch for the second issue of the first Tales of the Jedi story arc, 1993's Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon. The process of creating the Tales of the Jedi series was discussed in Making Star Wars Comics Come Alive, an interview with Veitch, Tales of the Jedi artist Christian Gossett, and editor Dan Thorsland. Thorsland explained the significance of Freedon Nadd and the events on Onderon to Tales of the Jedi, and the climactic end to the situation that was planned to be released in an upcoming Tales of the Jedi special release. The Freedon Nadd Uprising story arc was released several months later which, as Thorsland detailed in Making Star Wars Comics Come Alive, saw an end to Freedon Nadd's involvement with Onderon. Nadd is not shown alive in The Freedon Nadd Uprising, but rather as a mummified corpse, and continued to appear as such, as well as a ghost, in the subsequent Dark Lords of the Sith story arc. Nadd also appeared in both Tales of the Jedi audio adaptations, the first of which encompassed Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon, as well as The Freedon Nadd Uprising. Nadd was mentioned in passing in two issues of The Sith War story arc, as well as in the last of the Legacy of the Force novels, Legacy of the Force: Invincible. His corpse, sarcophagus, and tomb were all featured in the sequel to the Knights of the Old Republic video game, The Sith Lords.
Freedon Nadd's character was reintroduced through mentions in Bane of the Sith, a short story by Kevin J. Anderson, also of Tales of the Jedi fame, for Star Wars Gamer #3. Nadd later appeared as the gatekeeper of his holocron in Darth Bane: Rule of Two, wherein details of what his physical description in life had been were given. Freedon Nadd's backstory was explained in great detail with the release of West End Games' Tales of the Jedi Companion sourcebook. Further details for Nadd's backstory were given in several issues of The Official Star Wars Fact File as well as The Dark Side Sourcebook. While he is only mentioned in connection with other people, places, and things, in numerous other sources, a more detailed account of Nadd's history was given in Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force.
Several sources were unclear as to the nature of Freedon Nadd's relationship with Matta Tremayne, as well as the events surrounding his separation from Naga Sadow. The latest of these sources, 2008's Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, identifies Matta Tremayne as Nadd's Jedi Master, and also states definitively that Nadd destroyed Sadow's spirit prior to leaving Yavin 4.