- "I fight for the Sith Empire, Naga Sadow… you fight for yourself!"
- ―Ludo Kressh, to Naga Sadow
Ludo Kressh was a male Sith Lord in the years leading up to and during the Great Hyperspace War, and was also the father of Kressh the Younger. Descended from a mixed ancestry of Dark Jedi and members of the Sith species, Ludo Kressh rose to be a powerful Sith Lord, all the while clashing with his greatest rival, fellow Sith Lord Naga Sadow. In 5000 BBY, Dark Lord of the Sith Marka Ragnos died, and both Kressh and Sadow angled for the title. Kressh led the deceased Dark Lord's funeral procession but was interrupted by the late arrival of Naga Sadow. Sadow proclaimed that the title of Dark Lord of the Sith was rightfully his, and an angered Kressh attacked him; however, their duel was stopped by Ragnos' ghost. After the fight, two outsiders landed in the middle of the funeral: hyperspace travelers Gav and Jori Daragon. Kressh feared that the siblings were precursors to an invasion by the Galactic Republic, while Sadow believed they were the key to expanding the Sith Empire's territory.
Kressh and his rival disagreed repeatedly over the matter of the Daragons. Sadow, seeking to make his dream of a war with the Republic a reality, staged a false Republic attack on the Empire. Kressh was convinced at first and advocated bolstering the Empire's defenses against an impending Republic invasion. However, the Sith Lord soon discovered Sadow's treachery and along with his allies, attacked his fortress on the planet Khar Delba, but was subsequently outwitted and defeated by Sadow. Kressh then faked his death by sending his empty flagship toward Sadow's citadel, where it was shot down and destroyed. Without a strong opponent, Sadow—now the new Dark Lord—launched the Great Hyperspace War against the Republic. However, the Dark Lord returned to the Sith Empire with a diminished fleet after suffering a defeat at the hands of the Republic. It was then that Kressh revealed himself, telling Sadow that he had indeed faked his death. Battle ensued over Korriban, and Kressh at first seemed to have taken the upper hand against his weakened opponent. However, the ever-cunning Dark Lord ordered one of his doomed ships to make a suicide run on Kressh's flagship, and the collision killed Kressh.
Ludo Kressh was born in the Sith Space area of the Outer Rim Territories and lived in the period of Sith history known as the Golden Age of the Sith. He was descended from a mixed ancestry consisting of the Sith species and dark side–following Jedi Knights. Those Jedi had first come to Sith Space after clashing with the Jedi Order at large in the Hundred-Year Darkness; after they were defeated, the Dark Jedi, as they were known, fled into the Unknown Regions of the galaxy. Some Dark Jedi, such as Kressh's ancestors, intermarried and bred with native Sith. At some point, Kressh was discovered to be Force-sensitive and was trained in the dark side of the Force, eventually rising to be a powerful Sith Lord. He formed a rivalry with fellow Sith Lord Naga Sadow, with whom he clashed many times over the years.
Ludo Kressh had a son, Elcho Kressh, whom the Sith Lord believed shared much of his own likeness. While he spent his days engaged in battle, the Sith Lord's nights were spent in his palace on the planet Rhelg where he labored endlessly on the creation of a magical device in the form of a Gauntlet that would potentially shield his son from all harm. He also employed an entire family of Human slaves to tend to his personal needs. As his slaves embraced the Sith teachings, they also increased in favor with him; one such was a thirteen year-old Human girl named Seelah, whom Kressh allowed the privilege of caring for his feet. Though they had won his approval for all intents and purposes, Ludo Kressh's slaves were not above his wrath; he frequently beat them while in the midst of drunken fits of rage. When Seelah failed to cure an infection which resulted from an injured ankle Kressh received in battle, the Sith Lord began executing her family, causing the Human to flee for her life.
Arrival of the DaragonsEdit
- "They must be precursors to an invasion…we should kill them at once!"
- ―Ludo Kressh to Naga Sadow, after the arrival of the Daragons
In 5000 BBY, Dark Lord of the Sith Marka Ragnos died after more than a century of iron-handed rule. Ragnos' funeral was held shortly after, with Kressh leading the funeral procession as they laid Ragnos to rest in a tomb in the Valley of the Dark Lords. Following the Sith traditions and rituals, Kressh carried Ragnos' victory helmet, which he placed on Ragnos' sarcophagus for him to wear during his battles in the afterlife. Naga Sadow arrived late to take what he felt was his rightful place in the funeral's procession as the tomb was being sealed, and a furious Kressh stated that Sadow's insolence had shamed the memory of Ragnos. Kressh believed that his rival's progressive views were a danger to the Sith's existence, while Sadow held that the title of Dark Lord of the Sith was rightfully his and that the Sith Empire had grown stagnant as a result of centuries of inactivity. The argument escalated into a duel, with Kressh initially driving Sadow back. Sadow eventually gained the upper hand after managing to stall Kressh using telekinesis. However, their battle was interrupted by the spirit of Marka Ragnos, who warned that the fate of the Sith Empire hung in the balance and advised the two to choose their battles wisely. Kressh offered to reconcile with Sadow after this encounter, but their discussion was cut short by the arrival of a foreign starship. The ship identified itself as the Starbreaker 12, and its crew, Humans Gav and Jori Daragon, proclaimed that they had come in peace from the Galactic Republic. The pair was promptly taken into custody by Massassi guards, with Kressh telling Sadow that the two should be executed immediately. Sadow, however, believed that the two should be interrogated, thinking that they may have valuable information.
The Daragons were jailed, and a council of ten Sith Lords was called to the Sith Citadel on Ziost to discuss the prisoners' fate. Kressh contended that the two were spies for the Republic and the precursor to an invasion, and that they should be executed. Naga Sadow and an older Sith Lord, Simus, believed that the two had valuable information and should be kept alive. Although Kressh expressed that his route was safer for the general health of the Sith Empire, Sadow proclaimed that the Daragons provided a window for the Sith to expand their Empire and control the very galaxy itself. The meeting ended without a definite conclusion drawn, but Sadow had his own plans. The Sith Lord, along with Massassi warriors, attacked the prisoners' guards and freed them from their jail cells. When the scene was discovered, Simus was found dead, with his head resting near a Republic blaster. The council of Sith Lords met again on Ziost after Simus' death, and Kressh was irate; he believed his fears of a Republic attack had been confirmed, that Simus had been killed by the Republic, and that the Sith Empire should bolster its defenses. Sadow, however, proclaimed that the time had come to fight back and pronounced himself the new Dark Lord of the Sith. The other Sith Lords agreed that Sadow should be Dark Lord; a furious and shocked Kressh left, proclaiming that he would take his supporters and refuse to join in his enemy's crusade and that he would become the true Dark Lord.
Battle of Khar DelbaEdit
- "We must make this a quick and devastating strike."
- ―Ludo Kressh
Ludo Kressh subsequently sent Massassi guards to the Starbreaker 12's impound dock on Ziost to guard it. However, his guards were attacked and defeated by Massassi loyal to Naga Sadow. In his chambers, Kressh was alerted to the attack on the Starbreaker 12, and believing that it was being attacked by the Republic, gathered his forces and rushed to the hangar. However, by the time Kressh arrived at the dock, the Starbreaker 12 had already been stolen by Sadow's forces. Kressh, observing the carnage in the hangar, found Naga Sadow's emblem amidst the Massassi corpses and realized that Sadow was responsible for the attack. Moreover, Sadow had been the one who had killed Simus, shooting him with the blaster and planting it at the scene to make it appear like a Republic assault. Kressh returned to Rhelg, where he met with two of his supporters, Horak-mul and Dor Gal-ram. He told them about the attack on the hangar and the theft of Starbreaker 12 and revealed to them Sadow's complicity in the attack. He then ordered Horak-mul and Gal-ram to gather their forces so they could make a surprise attack on Sadow, with Kressh vowing to stop his rival before it was too late. With the assault force prepared, Kressh commenced an attack on Sadow's fortress on the planet Khar Delba, taking the firing controls on his own ship so as to land a few personal hits.
Commanding the attack, Kressh ordered his ships to attack and destroy Sadow. Horak-mul and Gal-ram were behind him fully, commenting that they had caught the Sith Lord with his guard down and that victory was inevitable. Sadow responded by ordering Massassi warriors to man the citadel's turrets. Kressh shrugged this off, believing that the turrets were Sadow's only defenses and that victory was assured. However, Sadow had deceived his enemy; he had hidden a secret fleet of warships in orbit around Khar Delba's moon Khar Shian. Meanwhile, amidst the chaos of the battle, Naga Sadow allowed Jori Daragon to take control of the Starbreaker 12 and flee the Sith Empire. Daragon was able to evade Kressh's fleet and disappeared into hyperspace. After Daragon's escape, Kressh was caught off guard when Sadow ordered his secret fleet to attack. A taunting Sadow informed him that he had struck at the wrong fortress; all of Sadow's defenses had been at Khar Shian. Sadow then set the next part of his plan in motion by ordering the Massassi crews of Horak-mul and Gal-ram's respective ships, who had secretly been loyal to him all along, to betray and attack their masters. The two Sith Lords were killed and their ships commandeered by Sadow's minions, who then attacked Kressh. The surprised Sith Lord ordered his intact ships to flee, thus signifying his defeat.
Faking his deathEdit
- "You are the greatest threat the Sith Empire has ever known, Naga Sadow—and you must be stopped! You are exiled from the Empire, forever!"
- ―Ludo Kressh
After Kressh's retreat from Khar Delba, Naga Sadow began a vast militarization of the Sith in preparation for a war against the Galactic Republic. His victory over Kressh garnered him the support of the remaining Sith Lords, who pledged their fleets and armies to his cause. However, Kressh had a plan; while the other Sith Lords met with Sadow on Khar Delba, Kressh sent his empty flagship to the planet. Kressh simultaneously transmitted a message to Sadow and his followers, proclaiming that the Dark Lord was leading them on a path of destruction. A confident Sadow ordered Gav Daragon, whom he had kept with him to become his Sith apprentice, to destroy the ship, seemingly killing Kressh. Little did they know, Kressh had actually faked his death, intending to claim the title of Dark Lord of the Sith, for it would let him regroup, rearm, and attack Sadow when he was fully ready. Sadow soon launched his fleets, following a beacon he had placed on the Starbreaker 12 to find the Republic. His forces, upon reaching their destination, began the Great Hyperspace War. The Dark Lord attacked the Republic on two fronts: Koros Major, and the governmental capital of Coruscant, located in the Core Worlds. Ludo Kressh capitalized on Sadow's absence by gathering a fleet and declared himself Dark Lord of the Sith— he also forbade his son Elcho from participating in the conflict, and made his child wait out the conflict at a hidden location.
The preliminary sorties of Sadow's war effort were initially successful, but the Republic was eventually able to drive back and defeat the Sith. He returned to his region of space defeated, with his fleet a shadow of what it had been before the war. Ludo Kressh revealed himself at that moment, proclaiming to Naga Sadow that he was the true Dark Lord of the Sith. Feeling victorious, a joyous Kressh declared that Sadow was the greatest threat that the Sith Empire had ever known and that he must be stopped. The new Dark Lord therefore banished Sadow from the Sith Empire forever. However, Sadow would not go down without a fight, and battle over Korriban quickly ensued. Sadow's already-diminished fleet found itself reduced even further during the conflagration, and Kressh appeared the victor; however, the always-cunning Sadow knew there were other ways to win a battle. Finding himself with no other options, Sadow ordered one of his already-damaged ships to make a suicide run to collide with Kressh's flagship. The new Dark Lord protested to Sadow to stop the ship, but it was too late. The vessel crashed into Kressh's flagship, killing him.
After Kressh's defeat and death during the First Battle of Korriban, Sadow was attacked again by Republic forces that had followed him to the Sith Empire. Sadow was defeated in the battle, as his forces had already been greatly weakened after Kressh's assault in the first battle. After his death, Ludo Kressh was buried in a tomb cut into a shyrack cave in the Valley of the Dark Lords. In 3951 BBY, over a thousand years after the Sith Lord's death, the tomb was visited by the exiled Jedi Knight Meetra Surik. While in the chamber, Surik had several visions, including some of former Dark Lord of the Sith Revan and his former Sith apprentice, Darth Malak.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "Ludo should be blindfolded so he can't see the changing universe around him."
- ―Naga Sadow
Unlike his rival and counterpart Naga Sadow, Ludo Kressh was a cautious man, one concerned with the safety and well-being of the Sith Empire. Kressh was content with the holdings of the Empire and feared that foraging into the wider galaxy and challenging the Republic would be disastrous for its health. Even when Sadow faked the Republic attack and theft of the Starbreaker 12, Kressh was a staunch advocate for remaining in Sith Space and bolstering their defenses, unlike Sadow, who wanted the Empire to strike at the Republic. Kressh despised Sadow—whom he considered his greatest contender for the crown of Dark Lord of the Sith—with a passion. He saw his rival's more progressive views as potentially harmful for the welfare of the Sith Empire. Kressh believed that the Sith would be polluted by other species if the Empire moved past the Stygian Caldera, but would remain untainted if they kept their own region of space. Kressh had no reservations about clashing with Sadow through both words and in battle, but when the bold Sadow claimed the position of Dark Lord of the Sith, Kressh decided to break off the war of words and retreat to gather his followers.
While Ludo Kressh cared little for his slaves, the safety of his young son was of primary concern. His alcohol abuse gave way to violence, and incompetence on the part of his servants incited murderous rampages. Kressh was also a very cunning man; he tricked Sadow with his empty flagship and faked his death, then reemerged after the Sith defeat at the hands of the Republic in the Great Hyperspace War. Despite his wiles, Kressh was still outwitted by his rival on multiple occasions. During the Battle of Khar Delba, Kressh believed that he had caught his enemy off guard with a surprise attack on his fortress; however, the fortress was a decoy, as Sadow's forces were massed at Khar Shian. After the secret fleet attacked, Kressh was outsmarted by Sadow, who had Horak-mul's and Dor Gal-ram's subordinates mutiny and betray their masters. Later, at the Battle of Korriban, Kressh was overjoyed at seemingly defeating the weakened Sith fleet; however, Sadow turned the tables by targeting him with a doomed ship on a suicide run. Upon noticing the ship headed in the direction of his flagship, Kressh quickly lost his poise and begged Sadow to call off the ship, but to no avail.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
As a powerful Sith Lord, Kressh was trained and proficient in manipulating the dark side of the Force. Kressh possessed some knowledge of Sith alchemy and a working knowledge of Sith magic, the latter of which he used to construct a device that would protect his son from all harm. Kressh was capable of using the exotic Battlemind power, and was also able to augment his speed, strength, and ferocity by amplifying his rage through the Force. In battle, Kressh utilized a Sith war sword that he infused with the power of the Force before a duel. Kressh proved to be an equal in combat with his rival Naga Sadow, with both gaining the upper hand at different points in their duel on Korriban and suffering wounds of equal proportion to their opponent. Kressh was trilingual, as he was able to speak Galactic Basic Standard as well as the Sith and Massassi languages.
Behind the scenesEdit
Ludo Kressh first appeared in Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith, a story arc of the Tales of the Jedi comic series, which was written by Kevin J. Anderson and released in 1996. He later appeared in The Golden Age of the Sith's follow-up arc, Tales of the Jedi: The Fall of the Sith Empire, in which his character was killed. In these appearances, Kressh was illustrated by Dario Carrasco, Jr. During these two story arcs, Kressh played a major role, and his clash with Naga Sadow was a major storyline. He was seemingly killed off in The Fall of the Sith Empire's first issue, Desperate Measures. Although he returned in the arc's final issue, End of an Empire, which revealed that he had faked his death, he was later killed in that same issue. Kressh's tomb appears in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, where the Jedi Exile, the main playable character, has the option to take Kressh's Sith war sword. In 2008, Kressh received an entry in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, and in 2012 his legacy was expanded in both Star Wars: The Old Republic and Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia.
- Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith 2: Funeral for a Dark Lord (First appearance)
- Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith 3: The Fabric of an Empire
- Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith 4: Pawns of a Sith Lord
- Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith 5: The Flight of Starbreaker 12
- Tales of the Jedi: The Fall of the Sith Empire
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Paragon (Appears in flashback(s))
- Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith 6: Jedi Assault (First mentioned) (Indirect mention only)
- Knights of the Old Republic 29: Exalted, Part 1 (Mentioned only)
- The Old Republic: Revan (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (Mummified corpse)
- Timeline 12: The Great Hyperspace War (Appears in hologram)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Mentioned in Codex entry)
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Secrets (Indirect mention only)
- Knight Errant (Mentioned only)
- Darth Plagueis (Indirect mention only)
- The Sith Compendium"—Star Wars Gamer 5 "
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: Prima Official Game Guide
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 90 (NAD2, The Shadow of Freedon Nadd)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 118 (German Edition-KRE1-2, Ludo Kressh)
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- The New Essential Chronology
- "Heritage of the Sith"—Star Wars Insider 88
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Jedi Academy Training Manual
- The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith 4: Pawns of a Sith Lord
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Tales of the Jedi: The Fall of the Sith Empire 5: End of an Empire
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- ↑ The Official Star Wars Fact File 118 (German version only)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith 3: The Fabric of an Empire
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic
- ↑ The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith 2: Funeral for a Dark Lord
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Lost Tribe of the Sith: Paragon
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Knight Errant
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith 5: The Flight of Starbreaker 12
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Tales of the Jedi: The Fall of the Sith Empire 1: Desperate Measures
- ↑ Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 The Dark Side Sourcebook