- "Know that there was once a Darth Traya. And that she cast aside that role, was exiled, and found a new purpose. But there must always be a Darth Traya, one that holds the knowledge of betrayal. Who has been betrayed in their heart, and will betray in turn."
- ―Darth Traya
Darth Traya (pronounced /... ˈtreɪə/), known in her later years as Kreia (/ˈkreɪə/), was a Human female Sith Lord during the Dark Wars and Dark Lord of the Sith Triumvirate, ruling over the remnants of the Sith forces after their defeat in the Jedi Civil War. Prior to the Mandalorian Wars, Kreia was a Jedi Master and Jedi historian, who was exiled by the Jedi High Council because her students followed the Jedi Knight Revan, her former Padawan, into battle against the invading Mandalorians. After Kreia withdrew from the Jedi Order, she retraced Revan's footsteps to the Sith world Malachor V, being drawn to its Force echoes. There, she discovered the Trayus Academy and turned to the dark side, becoming a Sith Lord. In the years following the Jedi Civil War, Traya searched for other Force-wounds, and discovered two men who became her Sith apprentices, Darth Sion and Darth Nihilus. With them she formed and became Dark Lord of a Sith Triumvirate, intent on destroying the Jedi.
Eventually, Traya was overthrown by Sion and Nihilus, who stripped their Master of her connection to the Force. After having been exiled by both the Jedi and Sith, she held an abhorrence of how both Orders were used by the Force to its own ends, and began to consider how she might rid the galaxy of its influence forever. Going under the guise of "Kreia" once more, Traya located a former Jedi General that served in the Mandalorian Wars, Meetra Surik, also known as the Jedi Exile. Traya saw Surik as having the potential to bring her purpose to fruition, and took it upon herself to "rescue" Surik and retrain her in her own views. Even as Traya orchestrated a Jedi purge, she continued in her attempts to mold Surik—and those she traveled with aboard the light freighter Ebon Hawk—into her own image.
Traya aided Surik in locating the Jedi Masters Zez-Kai Ell, Vrook Lamar and Kavar; Surik convinced them to reconvene at the Dantooine Jedi Enclave's ruins. When Surik met with the Masters, Traya betrayed Surik by revealing her true identity as a Sith Lord, and murdered the Masters in the Enclave's remains. Shortly after this, Traya traveled to the secret Jedi Academy on Telos IV and convinced Jedi Master Atris to turn to the dark side. After Surik redeemed Atris and participated in the battle above Telos—in which she vanquished Darth Nihilus—Surik journeyed to Malachor V to confront Darth Traya, dueling and ultimately killing the Sith Lord in the depths of the Trayus Academy.
- "I was a historian once, gathering the relics of the Jedi, learning the ancient mysteries. Always, there were more questions."
The majority of the early life of the Human female Kreia is shrouded in mystery. However, it is known that she was a Jedi historian, and that she had worked her way to the rank of Jedi Master, training many students. Kreia's eyesight went unused as she depended on meditations, attempting to penetrate the galaxy's mysteries. For decades, she challenged her students with difficult questions, such as whether a lightsaber was still a lightsaber if it lost its power, or if a Jedi was still a Jedi if she lost her Force powers. Her fellow Jedi, who called her teachings "Kreia's conundrums", viewed them as quaint, but Kreia's students were mystified.
One of Kreia's Padawans was a highly gifted Jedi who eventually became known as "Revan." Her teachings, however, were looked upon with concern by the Jedi Council. After Revan left Kreia's tutelage, he sought out other Masters to round out his education, apprenticing himself to Masters Zhar Lestin and Dorak. Eventually Revan came back to her to seek her guidance regarding the Jedi Council's stance of inaction against the Mandalorians. Revan then made up his mind to openly defy the Council. By the end of her time with the Jedi Order, Kreia's students were believed to be failures by Jedi Master Atris and the Council, because they followed Revan into the Galactic Republic's war against the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders, and either fell to the dark side or abandoned their training. The Council denounced both Kreia and her teachings.
Fall to the dark side
- "All that talk of hatred, manipulation, and standing on your own two feet—sorry, you don't get any more Sith than that."
- ―Atton Rand
After Kreia was exiled by the Jedi for her role in training Revan, she began to question her beliefs, and silently withdrew from the Order. Some believed that she had followed Revan and his Jedi to war, but she instead traced her former Padawan's footsteps, searching for an answer that she alone could provide. Kreia was eventually drawn to the Force echoes of the Sith world Malachor V, a nexus of dark side energies and part of the ancient Sith Empire. On the surface, Kreia found Darth Revan's former stronghold, the Trayus Academy, an ancient dark side praxeum that contained the deepest and most intimate secrets of the Sith. She encountered Sith assassins left by Revan, but rather than attack the Jedi Master, they presented Kreia with Sith hermetica. The Sith manuscripts that Kreia used the Force to read through intimated that the truths of the cosmos were not intended for the sane. Kreia believed that the manuscripts' authors were pureblooded descendants of the ancient Sith species.
The Sith sorcerers claimed that they had privileged insight into secret realities, arguing that even though the contradictory and aimless nature of existence appeared obvious to all intelligent beings, awareness of the Force exposed this obvious "fact" as a lie, further stating that the Force betrayed Force-sensitives, making them live in a compromised, chaotic universe—to live the lie. As much as she wanted to denounce them and their arguments, she fell under their seductive spell, and became Darth Traya, the Lord of Betrayal. Traya also learned of a forgotten legacy of the Sith that had lurked in the Unknown Regions for thousands of years. From that moment, she firmly believed that Revan had never "fallen" to the dark side, and that a greater cause had come that called for certain actions to be done.
Teaching on Malachor V
- "What do you wish to hear? That I once believed in the code of the Jedi? That I felt the call of the Sith, that perhaps, once, I held the galaxy by its throat? That for every good work that I did, I brought equal harm upon the galaxy? That perhaps what the greatest of the Sith Lords knew of evil, they learned from me?"
Intent on continuing Revan's legacy, Traya re-established the Trayus Academy to train, convert, and create a generation of Sith who would act as a gadfly to the Republic. Because she came to the remnants of Revan's Sith Empire as his former Master, the remaining Sith troopers pledged their fealty to her. She began to hunt for Force-wounds, eventually discovering Darths Sion and Nihilus, who were interested in rebuilding the deteriorating Sith Order. Nihilus, the Lord of Hunger, and Sion, the Lord of Pain, joined her in the creation of the Sith Triumvirate, intending on eliminating Traya's Jedi betrayers. However, as time passed by, the Sith Lords' ideals became divergent. Traya and Revan's legacy fell far from Darth Nihilus' hunger and Sion's crusade against the Jedi. Traya underestimated her pupils' depravity. After she taught Nihilus the ability to devour entire worlds, and after Sion started to grow weary of her teachings, the apprentices plotted against her. Sion and Nihilus confronted her in the Trayus Core, stripped her of the Force, and exiled her. Afterwards, Darth Nihilus became the Dark Lord of the Sith, and once again, Traya had been betrayed.
The Dark Wars
Kreia and the Jedi Exile
- "There is no truth in the Force. But there is truth in you, exile. And that is why I chose you."
After casting Traya out of the Sith Order, Sion and Nihilus began an assassination campaign against the Jedi, unaware that they were aiding their former Sith Master. Because of this the Jedi, who were either killed by the Sith or in hiding, were nearly gone from the galaxy. Traya, who assumed her former identity of Kreia, had left Malachor V and returned to Republic space, seeking Meetra Surik,also known as the Jedi Exile, a former Jedi student of Traya's who served as a general under Revan during the Mandalorian Wars. Surik helped defeat the Mandalorians during the final battle at Malachor V by ordering the activation of the Mass Shadow Generator, a devastating weapon which left a wound in the Force. Beneath numerous rumors and unconfirmed reports, Traya had found a means to deafen the galaxy to the Force. She sought to exploit her former student's talent in Force bonding in order to create another wound, greater than the one before. This wound's echoes would travel forever, never reaching their destination.
The Jedi Master Atris arranged for Surik's return to the Republic, and exposed her presence in the coreward databases in the hopes of using her as bait for the Sith. On the Republic warship Harbinger, Surik was found by an HK-50 Jedi hunter and drugged into unconsciousness. Traya found her and took her to the Ebon Hawk, barely escaping a Sith ambush in which Darth Sion nearly destroyed the freighter. Both unconscious, Kreia and Surik arrived safely on Peragus II thanks to T3-M4, who was able to get the ship working well enough to get to the colony. They subconsciously reached out to each other, both strengthening each other in the knowledge that they had survived the void that had befallen them, and eventually formed a Force bond, which seemingly intertwined their lives. As they attempted to escape the mining facility along with Atton Rand, the Sith arrived aboard the Harbinger and Traya encountered her former apprentice, Sion. The Master and student fought, and Traya lost her left hand to Sion's lightsaber.
Because of her bond with Traya, Surik felt the pain of losing the limb herself. After they escaped, Surik asked Traya why she had felt her pain. Traya used the opportunity to convince Surik that the bond between them could be fatal; if one of them died, the other would too. This forced Surik to keep the old woman at her side. Bound by the hands of death, Traya intruded upon the company of Surik, but remained vague on her ties to her former Padawan, Revan. Surik also had no way of knowing where the ship had come from, since Traya had the only means of accessing the Ebon Hawk's navicomputer.
Finding the Lost Jedi
- "No game of dejarik can be won without pawns, and this may prove to be a very long game."
While Surik was slowly reconnecting to the Force, Traya began to shape the younger woman as her new pupil. She taught Surik to carefully choose between actions, asking the Jedi to view the ethical implications of all quests undertaken. Traya seemed to show that the galaxy and its inhabitants' morals were far more complicated than the basic tenets of the light and dark sides of the Force. As Surik grew in power, Traya watched as the struggling Republic was unknowingly strengthened through the Jedi's search. During these adventures, many people came into the company of Surik, most of them sensitive to the Force. Although many of them were wary of Traya, she was able to manipulate most of them to do her bidding. Because of the ease with which Surik had "called" upon these companions, the old Master had seen Surik's ability to transmit extreme echoes to those the Jedi was bound with. With Surik's power and with the knowledge of Darth Nihilus' damaged condition, Traya intended to bring her plans into finality.
Early in her travels with Surik, when the party was beginning to form in the secret Jedi Academy on the planet Telos IV, Traya probed and invaded Atton Rand's mind, discovering his secrets. She blackmailed Rand, telling him that she would not reveal his secrets to Surik as long as he followed and served the Jedi. After Surik spoke with Jedi Master Atris at the Telosian Academy, she, Rand, Traya, the Zabrak tech specialist Bao-Dur, and T3-M4 departed the Academy aboard the Ebon Hawk. T3-M4 showed Surik's crew information he downloaded from Atris's archives, in which they learned the locations of Masters Zez-Kai Ell, Vrook Lamar, Kavar, and Lonna Vash. Surik set a course for Nar Shaddaa, where Master Ell could be found. While on the moon of Nal Hutta, Traya bound the Wookiee bounty hunter Hanharr to a life debt after his defeat at the hands of Mira, whom Traya called "the huntress." Traya sent Hanharr to Malachor V, where if he survived he would become stronger, and promised to end the debt the Wookiee owed the Sith Lord when he killed Mira. After Surik located Ell and convinced him to return to Dantooine, the Ebon Hawk's crew departed Nar Shaddaa, and set a course for the planet Onderon.
When the Ebon Hawk made it to Onderon, they encountered a blockade of the planet. After fending off a group of Onderonian starfighters sent by Colonel Tobin to intercept the Ebon Hawk, Surik and her crew were forced to crash-land on Onderon's jungle moon Dxun. After they landed, Traya reminded the crew that Dxun was where the Mandalorian Wars truly began. They ventured into the Dxun jungle in search for an alternative route to Onderon. Surik managed to enlist the assistance of Mandalore the Preserver and his Mandalorians. Before they left for Onderon, Traya manipulated Mandalore into protecting Surik. She assisted Surik and Mandalore in defending the Mandalorian camp when a group of Sith assassins attacked the camp. Surik managed to locate Kavar on Iziz, the capital of Onderon. However, she was unable to speak to him long, having been interrupted by Colonel Tobin, one of General Vaklu's commanders. After Surik made it back to Dxun, they departed the moon and went to Dantooine. The Surik successfully helped defend the Khoonda outpost against the mercenary Azkul, and spoke with Lamar. When the group was joined by the former Jedi Mical, known as the Disciple, Traya manipulated his mind, playing tricks on his sight throughout their travels so that he was often unaware of her presence. She finally revealed her true nature to him after he discovered the truth behind her motives and the darkness moving across the galaxy, consuming all life. However, Traya made it so that Mical would not remember her, or what he had discovered, until the time was right.
When the Ebon Hawk's crew made it back to Dxun, Traya sensed a Sith outpost nearby, and Surik, in coordination with Mandalore's forces, dispatched three members of her party to deal with the Sith threat. Traya, Surik, and one other party member traveled to Iziz aboard a Basilisk war droid. Traya, along with Surik, then participated in the Onderon Civil War. After Surik defeated General Vaklu and his forces in the royal palace, Traya tried to convince Surik to have Queen Talia execute her cousin, who was unarmed at the time. Traya claimed that Vaklu was too dangerous to be left alive. Surik, while respecting her council, said that the decision was the queen's to make, not hers. Talia ordered her troops to execute Vaklu, ending the war. After the battle, Traya realized that Surik would be a threat to her and the Sith Triumvirate. She revived the deceased Tobin, who had been killed by a drexl larva when Tobin and his forces tried to breach the queen's throne room. Traya convinced Tobin that the Onderon Civil War was still being fought, and that she served Vaklu. She knew that Vaklu and Tobin served her former Sith apprentice Darth Nihilus, so she fed Tobin false information about many Jedi on Telos, when if fact there was only one Jedi on Telos. Tobin went to the Nihilus' flagship, the Ravager, to inform the Dark Lord of this. After Surik spoke with Jedi Master Kavar, Surik and Traya returned to Dxun. Traya told Surik that they needed to go to Dantooine and meet the Jedi Masters at the Jedi Academy's ruins.
- "Know that much may happen here, but above all, do not forget this—you may trust in me. We cradle each other's lives, and what threatens one of us, threatens us both. And if you find you cannot trust me, trust in your training. Trust in yourself. Never doubt what you have done."
- ―Kreia's final advice to Meetra Surik
When the truth was revealed—that Surik had unconsciously deafened herself to the Force in order to survive, as opposed to being cut off from it by the Jedi Council as Surik previously believed—Traya confronted the reassembled Jedi Council in the ruins of the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine. As Masters Lamar, Kavar and Ell tried to strip the Force from Surik, whom they believed to be a wound in the Force and a danger that could lure the Sith, Traya stormed in and used to Force to drain their connection to it, killing them. She then openly assumed her Sith identity of Darth Traya. While Surik laid unconscious, Traya was led to Jedi Master Atris for judgment by one of the Surik's companions, the Echani Handmaiden Brianna. Journeying to the Telosian Jedi Academy, Traya revealed that Atris had herself been corrupted and turned to the dark side by the Sith holocrons she gathered, but could not admit it even to herself. Atris then embraced the dark side openly, but was soon confronted and defeated by Surik.
Traya then returned to Malachor V, where she intended to sacrifice herself to open up the larger wound in the Force in order to destroy it. However, Traya elected to wait for Surik to come to her for answers and a final confrontation. After Surik vanquished Darth Nihilus during the ensuing battle above Telos, she journeyed to Malachor V, where Traya and Sion were hidden in the depths of the Trayus Academy. Surik confronted Sion first, eroding his will and striking him down, releasing him from all his pain in the process. By giving up the pain, and therefore the Force, Sion was finally able to die—but not before warning Surik that Traya would try to do to her what she had done to Sion himself. Surik found Traya in the core of the Academy. After trying to reason with her, Surik and Traya engaged in a duel, which ended with Surik slicing her remaining hand off. Traya tried to convince Surik to kill her, but she refused. Angered, Traya used the Force to control three lightsabers against Surik, but the Jedi bested the lightsabers.
Despite Traya's betrayals and deceptions, Surik forgave the Sith Lord for everything that had happened. She still tried to save Traya, who told her she already had, and that by killing her, Surik had awarded Traya, more than she could possibly know. She confessed that she truly loved Surik, not only because she felt the Jedi was her greatest student, but because she was not a true Jedi. Before dying from the wounds dealt to her by Surik, Traya chose to honor her with one last gift; drawing upon the Force that radiated from Malachor V and casting a prediction of both the future of the galaxy and that of Surik's friends. Traya told Surik that she hoped that she would follow Revan's path, but said that Surik and Revan were different. Traya said that Surik could follow Revan to the Unknown Regions, or take one of the ships in Malachor's orbit and depart the planet, or remain on Malachor to wait for the "others", those who were touched by the Force, who would come in time. Traya also said that Surik could also return to her exile, where her presence could no longer affect the actions of others, and said that there was no dishonor in any of those choices, asking Surik that she make her choice without any regret. After Surik told her that she would follow Revan as she did a decade before, Traya finally surrendered her life to what she once despised—the Force. Her body was destroyed shortly afterwards along with Malachor V when the Mass Shadow Generator was activated for the last time by Bao-Dur's remote.
Personality and traits
- "If you seek to aid everyone that suffers in the galaxy, you will only weaken yourself… and weaken them. It is the internal struggles, when fought and won on their own, that yield the strongest rewards. You stole that struggle from them, cheapened it. If you care for others, then dispense with pity and sacrifice and recognize the value in letting them fight their own battles. And when they triumph, they will be even stronger for the victory."
- ―Kreia to Meetra Surik
Although her eyes had atrophied from disuse, Kreia's connection to the Force enabled her to "see" without relying on her natural sight. The corruption of the dark side was reflected in her pitch black eyes, which appeared completely white while masking her true identity as Darth Traya. As a Jedi, Kreia wore a simple set of Jedi robes. During her adventures with Meetra Surik, she used a self-built double-bladed lightsaber, which contained a green crystal. After resuming her role as Darth Traya, she discarded her Jedi attire for a set of Sith robes, and used a red-bladed lightsaber. She also kept three lightsabers containing violet crystals, which she utilized against Surik by controlling all three back-up lightsabers through the Force.
As a person, Darth Traya was self-reliant, manipulative, and wary of the intentions of others. She used her skills at manipulation to maneuver herself into a position of power at the Trayus Academy, and later used these skills to control several of Surik's companions in order to further her own agenda. She often remonstrated Surik for taking on the challenges of others, arguing that compassion weakened the benefactors by depriving them of the mental and physical enrichment that life's challenges procure. Not only did Traya find compassion to be pathetic, to her it was also ironic since it weakened the very people it was intended to help, cheapening their experiences and leaving them more ill-prepared for dealing with difficulties on their own. As Surik's circle of companions grew, Traya came to see how their new-found allies could be used for her own ends, and sometimes ensured their loyalty by using methods of questionable morality. After probing Atton Rand's mind against his will and learning of his dark deeds, Traya used the knowledge of Atton's past to blackmail him into Surik's service. She also tempted Mandalore the Preserver with information of Revan's fate in order to ensure that he would not betray Surik.
Aside from her exceptional skills in manipulation, deception and betrayal were also notable talents that Traya possessed. She lied to Surik at the beginning of their quest, claiming that the Jedi Council had stripped her of the Force. She knew that the lie would lead Surik to seek out the surviving members of the Jedi Council, in hopes that she, or Surik, would prove them wrong on their teachings. On Onderon, Traya lied to Tobin about the existence of many Jedi in the Jedi Academy on Telos. She knew that Tobin secretly served Darth Nihilus, and thus she lied to him so that Nihlius would be tricked into assaulting Telos to replenish his power, successfully maneuvering her former apprentice into a vulnerable position against an assault from Surik and the Mandalorians. Although Surik's ability to draw others into serving her was not intentional, Traya was impressed by the former Jedi's natural gifts for manipulation and control.
Despite her cold and callous persona as Darth Traya, Kreia possessed a softer side to her personality that was more apparent when she was mentoring Surik. Traya favored Surik as a student to the point where she would have been willing to sacrifice the entire galaxy if it meant preserving Surik's life. During their time together as Master and Apprentice, Surik was the only person that Traya truly cared for; everyone else in their group was an expendable asset in her eyes. Though Traya was intelligent and powerful in her own right, she realized that her philosophies would be regarded as fanatical by both the Jedi and the Sith. Hence, she preferred to operate from within the shadows, often using her own power to shield her identity from other Force-sensitives who might have known her, and could have otherwise detected her. She was not outspoken about her convictions, but simply stated her opinions as the correct way of thinking while everything else was wrong and misguided.
Due to her disdain of others who were either weak in the Force or utterly blind to it, she often belittled Surik's allies by using derogatory names whenever addressing or referring to them. She would refer to Atton Rand as "the fool", Mical as a "tiny Jedi", Brianna the Handmaiden as the "servant of Atris", Visas Marr as "the blinded one" or "the seer", Mira as "the huntress", and Bao-Dur as "the alien". Traya also referred to the droids who traveled with Surik—T3-M4, HK-47, and G0-T0—as "machines". Before Atton Rand's Force-sensitivity was discovered by Surik, Traya possessed a small amount of respect for him. Although she regarded Atton as an idiotic fool, she was amused by the irony of how he could survive without the Force, whereas Jedi would be rendered almost helpless without their connection to the Force.
Aside from her contempt for Surik's friends, Traya felt nothing but hatred and disgust towards the Mandalorians. As she despised the Jedi Council for its hubris, she detested the Mandalorians for possessing the arrogance to believe that they could defeat those who command the Force. During Surik's alliance with Mandalore the Preserver, Traya took every opportunity to remind the Mandalorians of their inferiority against both Jedi and Sith. She saw them as simple-minded fools for constantly underestimating the Force. Ultimately, Traya perceived the Mandalorians as nothing more than common soldiers who could never triumph over the Jedi, for their military "tactics" were nothing in comparison to the power of the Force.
Traya also seemed to hold droids in low regard. Although she regarded Revan as "power itself" and one of her finest pupils, Traya could not understand Revan's fascination with "things dead to the Force" such as machines and technology. She believed that her former Padawan's interest in droids stemmed from his preference for followers who obeyed his orders without question. Hence, she felt that Revan would have loved nothing more than to have "human droids" like Surik in service to him - one who was dead to the Force, an empty shell that would carry out his orders without question. Due to her lack of trust in droids, Traya regarded T3-M4 with disdain and begrudging tolerance. Almost 4,000 years later, Darth Sidious succeeded in creating soldiers that possessed the mindless obedience of droids.
Aside from droids, Traya seemed to possess mild intolerance towards non-Human species. Aside from Bao-Dur, she referred to the Exchange criminal syndicate boss Visquis as "the alien". She also regarded Zhar Lestin, a Twi'lek Jedi Master, as a fool. She also strongly believed that a person that committed so much evil was irredeemable after falling so far into the dark side. Thus, Traya disapproved of Revan's redemption of Ajunta Pall, believing it to be cowardly by turning away from one's own nature - a betrayal of the self. Rather than believe that redemption could belong to anyone who truly wanted it, Traya felt that redemption was a form of spiritual collapse, a fall that few recovered from.
At some point between Revan's fall to the dark side and encountering Surik, the one thing that fueled Traya's hatred and connection to the dark side the most was ironically the Force itself. She strongly believed in the will of the Force, viewing it as a conscious entity that controlled the destiny of all living beings. Thus, she came to believe that the Force was a cruel deity and actually sought to destroy it. The fact that Surik was virtually the exact opposite of Revan is what drew Traya to Surik in the first place. Whereas Revan was "the heart of the Force" in Traya's eyes, she viewed Surik as "the death of the Force." At the end of her life, however, Traya seemed to be somewhat reconciled with the Force as she became one with it.
- "If a lightsaber loses its power, is it still a lightsaber? And if a Jedi loses her powers, is she still a Jedi?"
Among Traya's allies were her Sith apprentices Darths Sion and Nihilus, and her final apprentice, Meetra Surik. Traya believed that neither the light or dark sides of the Force were truly superior to the other. When Sion and Nihilus grew weary of Traya's teachings, they betrayed her, stripped her of powers, and exiled her. Even during her years as a Jedi, Traya's views were perceived as unorthodox, and she often put forth questions that challenged and deconstructed the traditional interpretations of both the Jedi and the Force itself. While wandering the galaxy, Darth Traya would refine her beliefs, eventually coming to view the Force as being a sort of uncaring, insidious god that used the lives of sentients as pawns in a pernicious game of balance. This, she thought, was evidenced by the widespread occurrences of destruction and death that had persistently transpired throughout the galaxy to that point, many of which could be traced to a conflict between Force-sensitives. Yet, Traya blamed neither the Jedi nor the Sith, but rather, the very thing they had both come to draw and rely upon: the Force itself.
After being exiled from the Jedi Order when she was forced to shoulder the blame for Revan's corruption and again after she was exiled from Malachor V by Sion and Nihilus, Darth Traya had experienced betrayals from, and saw the flaws of, both the light and dark sides of the Force. These unique experiences disillusioned her, forcing her to refine her ways of thinking. When she heard about Meetra Surik, she saw proof that life could exist without the Force, which she saw as disproof of the traditional dogma of both the Sith and Jedi that the Force and life itself were inseparable by nature. This renewed Traya's confidence in her personal beliefs, and fueled her desire to learn more of the Exile's personal motivations. By the end of her adventures with Surik, during which time she went by the name of Kreia, Traya had discovered that certain tragedies could leave wounds in the Force, which sometimes made it difficult to hear and be used. These "echoes," as Traya called them, provided an avenue through which it was possible to attack the Force and even destroy it. Her discovery was due in no small part to Surik, as her experience at Malachor V, where she cut herself off from the Force, created an echo large enough that Traya was able to connect the tragedy to the wound created in the Force. In Surik's disconnection, she saw an opportunity to liberate the galaxy from the Force's control over the fates of all living things, and thus an opportunity to permit the existence of true free will. According to Traya, those who had chosen death, or the Jedi who chose the dark side, over a life devoid of the Force were not strong enough to deserve life. Her desire to prevent death in the future was the motivation that cultivated her hatred for the Force.
Despite her loathing of the Force, she still used it; she explained it by comparing herself to one who uses poison. Just as such a person would strive to understand the lethality behind poison, so she strived to understand the particularities of the Force, thereby enabling her to destroy it; however, she admitted it was possible that that may have really been just an excuse for her having to come to depend on something she hated. Traya envisioned a galaxy that would choose not to acquiesce to the will of the Force. She thought she could achieve this by showing how one could willingly abnegate the Force and eventually become stronger for it, and it was Meetra Surik who was a living testament to this. In her teachings with Surik, she emphasized how dependent the Jedi and Sith were on the Force, and how they had become flawed for it. By making Surik her protégé, she hoped her message would resonate with future Force-sensitives so they would choose to use the Force without necessarily bending to either extreme, and certainly not to the point where they would choose death over life without the Force. Ultimately, though, she dreamed of a galaxy lacking of the Force altogether, as it was her belief that the galaxy would be better off that way.
Powers and abilities
- "I use it as I would use a poison, and in the hopes of understanding it, I will learn the way to kill it. But perhaps these are the excuses of an old woman who has grown to rely on a thing she despises."
- ―Darth Traya on the Force
A Jedi Consular and Sith Lord of prodigious skill and power, Kreia used a wide variety of Force abilities, including Force horror, Force speed, Force Crush, Force cloak, energy resistance, Force scream, Force lightning, Force Choke and the mind trick. She also was capable of using the Force to control beasts, a power that she would teach Meetra Surik during her travels on Dxun. She was known to have used an advanced Force technique known as Force Channel. Traya was also a master of Dark Healing, which she used to kill dozens of Sith Assassins instantaneously and simultaneously on Malachor V. She obliterated the last three members of the reconvened Jedi Council, by showing them the Force "through the eyes of the Exile", consuming their connection to the Force in a way similar to that of Darth Nihilus, denying them the means to become one with the Force. Surik would later behold them as "worse than lifeless, like an absence in the Force".
Kreia also possessed the rare ability to perceive shatterpoints which she described as "fractures". Traya was also incredibly skilled at predicting the future and was able to foresee the death of Mandalorian bounty hunter Jango Fett at the hands of Jedi Master Mace Windu approximately 4,000 years later, in a prophecy relating to the fate of the Mandalorians. She was also skilled in telepathy, being able to communicate with others over immensely large distances. She demonstrated this when she telepathically spoke to Meetra Surik on Korriban even though she was in the Ebon Hawk. She telepathically informed Atris of Brianna's betrayal despite her being several light years away from Telos, while she was on the Ebon Hawk.
Traya knew the ability of breath control, which made her immune to most poisons. She taught it to the Exile when she was in danger of dying from the toxic fumes of the Jekk'Jekk Tarr cantina during a meeting with local Exchange boss Visquis on Nar Shaddaa. Traya would also use her healing powers to revive the Wookiee Hanharr, after he was left for dead by Mira. On Onderon, she revived Colonel Tobin after he was killed by a drexl larva. Traya was rather proficient at using the Force to hide her presence from whomever she chose. Her skill with this ability was demonstrated on the Ebon Hawk as she whispered to Mical, making him believe he was hearing things. Traya also used a variation of this ability that enabled her to be seen but remain entirely unnoticed, to cloud the memory of others so they would forget her presence or even her existence. She was capable of modifying the memories of even Jedi; for instance, selectively modifying the memories of the Jedi Mical. When he discovered the true scale of Traya's plans, she altered his memory to make him forget her completely. She then modified his memory of what he had discovered; burying it so that he could remember what he had discovered about her plans at a time that suited her better. Her skill with this technique was such that she could render herself completely invisible to Jedi, even ones that were in close proximity to her. When Surik asked Traya why none of the Jedi Masters they encountered mentioned her, she lied to Surik, claiming that they perhaps did not remember or care. She described her ability as making herself "very small", a talent she claimed not to use on Surik, and that was even more effective on the worlds where they traveled, where sensing Force-users was difficult. On Dantooine, Jedi Master Vrook Lamar told Surik about the Sith threat, and told her of their ability to mask their presence, but he did not believe that mere Force-cloaking techniques alone would be sufficient to hide the one responsible for what had befallen the Jedi. Eventually, Surik would learn more about this; when Traya was revealed as one of the Lords of the Sith, Atris explained that much of the reason she succeeded in hiding her dark persona lay actually in the fact that the Force had been stripped from her. She had extreme power over the workings of the mind and while she was a naturally talented manipulator, she could use the Force to confuse others, or reach into their minds and find their darkest secrets.
Traya was skilled at telekinetic lightsaber combat, which allowed her to wield at least three lightsabers in combat, holding each of them aloft with the Force and having them fight with a will of their own. She was also skilled at physically wielding a lightsaber, using the combat forms Shii-Cho, Makashi, and Soresu. She was also known to have used a rare lightsaber technique known as Tràkata. When the Exile would ask Traya about each different form of lightsaber combat, the Dark Lord knew enough about each form to give Surik an accurate description.
Traya had once been a Jedi historian, and on her way through the path of knowledge the Jedi Code became unfit for her idea of teaching and learning the ways of the Force. She came to realize that the Force defied the tenets of the Order, that one who was to truly understand would need the contrast, not adherence to a single idea. During this time she would search and gather relics of the Force. On Korriban, Traya indulged Surik in a tour of the tombs and excavation sites in the Valley of the Dark Lords while showing her a profound knowledge of their history, a contempt for ignorance, and a care for truth that survived to her last days. In her journey with Surik, Traya spoke of healing during a lesson related to skills as something about which she was knowledgeable. When asked about her eyes, she claimed to be able to heal her own damaged eyes—which were atrophied from disuse—yet she refused to do so, as she had the ability to see through the Force, and regarded her natural sight as a distraction. She could use the Force to enter a hibernation trance that would slow down her biological functions and make her appear dead. She used this ability on the Ebon Hawk when the Harbinger tractor beamed the freighter, and again when the Republic warship fired on it.
Behind the scenes
Kreia was created by Obsidian Entertainment for the 2005 Xbox and PC video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. She was voiced by the actress Sara Kestelman. GameSpy declared Kreia to be the best video-game character of 2005. Kreia's Sith name, Traya, was derived from the word "betrayer". A miniature of Kreia was featured in the Knights of the Old Republic set of Star Wars Miniatures, released on August 19, 2008. She received entries as both Kreia and Darth Traya in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.
In both The New Essential Chronology and Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force, Darth Traya was mistakenly referred to as being a separate person from one "Darth Kreia". In the section on Jedi Temples and Academies in the guide Jedi Academy Training Manual, it incorrectly states that the Dantooine Jedi Enclave was in use a few decades after the end of the Jedi Civil War. The resource book also states that it was abandoned by the Jedi after Traya obliterated the entire Jedi Council. While Traya did kill the last three Council members, the Jedi did not rebuild the Enclave until after 3,951 BBY, five years after the Jedi Civil War's end. After Kreia lost her left hand on Peragus, there are a few errors in her actions and movements while lacking it throughout the rest of the game, such as putting her left fist on her waist, holding her lightsaber in a two-handed grip, and using her Force powers in battle. Also, in the cutscene depicting Kreia's betrayal at the hands of Darths Sion and Nihilus, she is shown without her hand, though she did not lose it until years later.
Although the Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia states that Kreia uses a double-bladed lightsaber, in game, this is not possible as she cannot use dual weapons. This is similar to other retcons such has the Handmaiden traveling with the female Exile, which is also impossible in the game.
Traya is speculated by fans to have been born c.4001 BBY because developer Chris Avellone stated on the Obsidian Entertainment forum that a casting doc was sent to LucasArts that said Kreia looks 50, but like Yoda, who knows. However, due to ambiguity of the statement and the fact that it was from a casting doc that should not be taken as canon it cannot be used to establish her age.
Traya was not always intended to be the only Traya and final boss in the game. Before the content was cut out, the choices Surik made could have her or Atris become Traya at the end. Screenshots of Atris as Darth Traya in the official strategy guide seem to support this notion. In that scenario, Traya sacrifices her life to protect Surik from her. However, those plot twists were cut out of the final release. The New Essential Chronology introduced more confusion, as it mistakenly referred to "Darth Kreia" and "Darth Traya" as two separate characters. This error was later addressed by author Daniel Wallace, but it was too late, as the book was already released. The error was repeated once more in the book Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force.
Kreia and Arren Kae
There was an ongoing dispute concerning the true identity of Kreia. One theory held that the Jedi Arren Kae and Kreia were the same person. While available material, cut or not, indicates that it may indeed have been Obsidian Entertainment's original intent, there is no conclusive evidence that could either prove or disprove this theory within Star Wars canon. The main source cited is that at one point in the game Mical the Disciple said that Arren Kae was the first and also the last of Revan's many trainers, and at another point Kreia said she was the first and last trainer of Revan. When asked about the relationship between Kreia and Kae, Chris Avellone ambiguously responded "Can’t comment, but good catch. Sorry."
According to the game, Arren Kae is the mother of the Echani Handmaiden Brianna. Traya only mentions her to the male Exile who chooses to romance Brianna. While Brianna herself never knew Kae, Traya seemed to know much about her, but disapproved of speaking of this to Brianna, for the same reason Jedi separate children from their parents: because "family exerts a powerful influence on one's development." Brianna and Traya share the same views on conflict and its effects, and while Brianna fought long to prove that she, unlike her parents, would not betray her oath, she eventually did when she asked Surik to train her in the Jedi ways.
- The Old Republic: Revan (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Codex entry)
- Chronicles of the Old Republic
- Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: Prima Official Game Guide
- The New Essential Chronology
- "Heritage of the Sith"—Star Wars Insider 88
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- Knights of the Old Republic (Star Wars Miniatures)
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II ("Jedi Civil War"; "Kreia"; "HK-50")
- Jedi Academy Training Manual
- The Essential Atlas
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia