- "We do not need Ludo Kressh or his factions."
- ―Naga Sadow to his remaining supporters in the Sith Council
Ludo Kressh's faction was a collection of several Sith council members, Sith Lords, and their respective systems that broke off from the Sith Empire to oppose its newest Dark Lord, Naga Sadow, around the time of the Great Hyperspace War. These factions opposed Sadow and his forces, both philosophically and militarily, under the lead of the former Sith Council member Ludo Kressh. Originally forced to engage in sudden, concentrated acts against Sadow and his supporters, the group eventually seized total control of the Sith Empire. It eventually crumbled after the loss of Kressh, and a devastating invasion by the Galactic Republic.
- "There can only be one Dark Lord of the Sith."
- ―Ludo Kressh
After the natural death of the Dark Lord of the Sith Marka Ragnos, with no immediate successor to follow, the Sith Empire was in desperate need of leadership. The Sith Lord Ludo Kressh, a presiding member of the Sith Council, and a popular candidate for the next seat of Dark Lord, was intent on taking the Empire by the reins and ensuring Ragnos' advances during the last century would be preserved. As Kressh led the procession of Marka Ragnos' funeral in the Valley of the Dark Lords, his arch-rival Naga Sadow challenged his candidacy, claiming that by all rights he should be the next Dark Lord. The two exchanged fierce words until drawing swords and entering into a duel to resolve the dispute. Midway through their battle the two were visited by the spirit of Marka Ragnos. For the moment the two halted their squabbling and Ragnos foretold of tumultuous events that were soon to unfold. While Kressh was willing to work past their differences, Sadow would not capitulate to his sworn rival. Soon thereafter, a stray Republic vessel piloted by the Hyperspace explorers Gav and Jori Daragon landed in the basin of the Valley of the Dark Lords. The siblings were then immediately captured by the local Sith forces and shipped off to the Sith capital of Ziost, where their fates would ultimately be decided by the Sith Council. Kressh wished the two executed from the start, fearing that they were the precursors to a Republic invasion. Sadow, on the other hand, wished to interrogate them and use whatever information he could pry out of them to his advantage.
Once the ten Council members had gathered on Ziost Kressh pleaded his case: that the Daragons were too dangerous to be left alive, and that allowing them to live would lead to an inevitable attack by the Republic. Initially his motion saw support, but both Lord Simus and Sadow argued that Kressh was acting out of fear--that the prisoners presented a golden opportunity to lead the Sith Empire back to the Republic and to conquest. Despite Sadow and Simus' protests, Kressh's popularity within the Council was enough to convince the other Lords that executing the prisoners was the only way to ensure the Empire's safety. A date for the public execution of the two individuals was set, and Simus was sent down to the lower levels to deliver the news to them personally. Sadow cared little for the Council's decree, so he set in motion a series of covert strikes on the Council Citadel to force the Council's hand. Sadow had his warriors wield Republic-issue blasters found in the prisoners' ship, the Starbreaker 12, to make it appear as if the strike originated from Republic agents. During his staged assault on the Citadel all witnesses were killed, save the prisoners Gav and Jori, whom Sadow broke from their cell. Meanwhile, Simus was carried in by his Massassi bodyguard, bewildered to see the carnage surrounding Sadow. Upon seeing his old ally, Sadow shot and killed Simus using the Republic blaster, further cementing the ruse of a ruthless Republic attack.
- "I'll take my supporters—we will never join in your folly! I will be the true Dark Lord!"
- ―Ludo Kressh and his followers break from the Sith Council
Once word of the attack reached the Council chambers the Sith Lords were convinced that it had indeed been a Republic raid. Naga Sadow soon rejoined them, feigning no knowledge of what had transpired. Kressh scolded Sadow for his perceived lack of foresight, then directed the rest of the Council that the only hope was to raise the Empire's defenses and prepare for an imminent invasion from the Republic. It was at this point that Simus' withered skull was brought in by Council member Dor Gal-ram, stunning many of the other Lords. Sadow took hold of what remained of his former mentor and delivered an impromptu eulogy that eventually evolved into a rallying speech, simultaneously taking the opportunity to make a stab at Kressh's character. He ended his monologue by reasserting his candidacy for Dark Lord. Much of the Council immediately voiced their support for Sadow as the new Dark Lord, while Kressh pleaded for them to listen to reason. Sadow then demanded that his rival stand down, that he had lost, but Kressh would not give in. As a display of strength, Kressh slammed his alchemically strengthened Sith sword on the floor, shattering it as the room was illuminated by the release of its stored energies. The rebellious Council Lord stormed out in protest along with his supporters, including Council members Horak-mul and Dor Gal-ram.
Kressh and his supporters lingered in the Sith Citadel, deliberating on events while Sadow went through the rituals to anoint himself as Dark Lord. Elsewhere in the Citadel, agents of Sadow eventually infiltrated the lower chambers once more where Starbreaker 12 was being impounded. There they confronted guards loyal to Kressh who had been stationed there earlier. Sadow's Massassi took the guards by surprise and dealt with them quickly, leaving only a small insignia of Sadow's warriors behind. By the time news of an attack on the hangar had reached Kressh it was already too late, the Massassi and Sith engineers loyal to Sadow escaped with the impounded vessel before Kressh and his guard could arrive at the scene. What they saw horrified them, and the first conclusions were of another Republic attack. Upon closer examination of the dead, Kressh stumbled upon the planted insignia of Sadow's, allowing him to piece together that the attack was staged by his treacherous rival.
Out From the ShadowsEdit
- "Gather your forces! With your military might, your fleets of ships, we can make a surprise attack."
- ―Ludo Kressh prepares to retaliate against Naga Sadow
Upon the realization of Sadow's treachery, Ludo Kressh summoned his closest supporters—Dor Gal-ram and Horak-mul—to his Contemplation Chambers on his private world of Rhelg to inform them of the betrayal as well as his intentions. Upon his retelling of the events at the hangar, Kressh became so impassioned in his hatred for Sadow that upon thrice calling out his name he pulverized several massive stone statues in the chamber with dark side energies, reducing them to rubble. Once he composed himself he called for all his allies to immediately gather their fleets and prepare for an invasion of Sadow's fortress world, Khar Delba, to wrest control of the Empire from him before he could do more damage.
Once in orbit around Khar Delba, the coalition's fleet of Derriphan-class battleships quickly descended to Sadow's personal fortress and opened fire, laying waste to the stone bastion. Kressh ordered that no messages were to be transmitted to the surface and that they were not interested in Sadow's surrender, that his transgressions had been too deep. By all appearances the attack was going better than expected, as the forces of Khar Delba seemed to be putting up little resistance to the warships of Kressh. Meanwhile, within the confines of the crumbling fortress, Sadow urged Jori to escape before it was too late. Accepting his advice grudgingly, she fled the fortress aboard the Starbreaker 12, knowing not of the tracking device Sadow had planted on it to lead him directly to the Republic. As the Starbreaker entered orbit Jori managed to narrowly avoid being blasted by the capital ships under Kressh's command, as Kressh cried out in desperation as he witnessed the republic vessel jumping to hyperspace. As the battle waged on, a hidden fleet of Sadow's located on the far side of Khar Delba's moon appeared and ambushed the faction's forces. At the same time, hidden Massassi sleeper cells activated on the ships of both Horak-mul and Dor Gal-ram, brutally murdering both Sith Lords by hand. With the instant loss of two of his battleships, the forces under Kressh were outnumbered and outgunned. Sith starfighters surrounded the few remaining battleships under Kressh's command, and his faction's four largest capital ships were forced to beat a hasty retreat back to their slice of the Stygian Caldera.
- "The traitor is dead at last."
- ―Naga Sadow, believing his rival to be finally defeated
Assuming Kressh would be too cowardly to return, Naga Sadow proceeded with his plan to invade the Republic. Gathering all the Sith Lords with significant military might, Sadow and his followers began to strategize for the upcoming invasion on Khar Delba. The assembly was interrupted, however, when Ludo Kressh's flagship was identified in orbit. Sadow was dumbfounded as to why his rival would be foolish enough to arrive, only to be defeated once more. Eventually, a hologram transmission from Kressh himself appeared in the primary display of the meeting chamber. Kressh attempted to inform the other Sith Lords of Sadow's betrayal, but they were unmoved. Sadow ordered Gav to take care of the issue, resulting in a singular blast from one of the fortress' cannons that caused Kressh's flagship to rupture and explode. Debris from the mid-orbit explosion continued to fall for hours over the fortress, while Sadow ordered the final preparations for the mobilization of the Sith invasion fleet to begin. Unbeknownst to Sadow was that Kressh was not actually present within his flagship, but that it was a decoy used to lull Sadow into a false sense of security, and to cease future persecution of Kressh and his remaining followers. Over Khar Shian, fighters, carriers, and flagships from around the far reaches of Sadow's empire converged in perpetration for the invasion. Although Sadow's military presence in his own empire is almost entirely depleted to swell the numbers of his invasion fleet, he is confidant that his rule is secure, despite protest by Gav Daragon. As Sadow's entire stretch of military might jumps to lightspeed towards the Republic, it was this exact detail that the very alive Kressh would exploit.
An Empire Under a New BannerEdit
- "You are no longer Dark Lord, Naga Sadow! That title has been stripped from you!"
- ―Ludo Kressh confronts the retreating Naga Sadow
As Naga Sadow waged his costly war against the Republic, Ludo Kressh and his followers acted quickly in retaking the Sith Empire. Soon Kressh was crowned Dark Lord of the Sith, ruler over the civilian populations and those warriors still remaining in the Stygian Caldera, while Sadow was fighting a losing battle against he Republic. At this point Kressh's followers ceased to be limited to a coalition of like-minded Sith Lords and Council members, but instead encompassed the whole of the Sith Empire not away fighting the Republic. Upon Sadow's return to Sith space after defeat at the hands of the Republic, he and his few damaged battleships were met by an armada under the command of the newly ordained Dark Lord Kressh. After an impassioned explanation of the new order of things, Kressh officially declared that Sadow be exiled from the Sith Empire forever. Sadow, proud ruler that he was, would not fall in line to Kressh's commands, and initiated the first battle of Korriban by ordering his remaining ships attack his enemy. Outnumbered, Sadow's already damaged vessels began giving out, and with nothing left to lose Sadow ordered his damaged ships to collide into Kressh's new flagship. The impact was sufficient to destroy both ships, and the battlefield fell quiet without a proper ruler. Soon after, the Republic forces tailing Sadow from the Inner Rim arrived and decimating what forces Sadow had remaining. Catastrophic damage forced Sadow to rout in his only remaining battleship to the remote world of Yavin 4.
- "Once the task is complete, the order itself will be wiped from history."
- ―The Obliteration of Kressh codex entry
After learning of his father's demise at the hands of Sadow, and the Sith Empire's further loss against the Republic, Elcho Kressh set in motion an attempt to regain his father's and the Empire's honor. After years of preparation and alliance-forging, the junior Kressh amassed a massive force comprised of dozens of pirate systems and those disloyal to the Republic. However, Elcho Kressh's premature death caused the alliances that held these armies together to disintegrate before a counter-attack could be made on the Republic.
Nearly three centuries later, the Sith Emperor ordered that all information and history regarding the Kressh family and their orders be destroyed. The cause of this was linked to the betrayal of the Emperor's apprentice, Exal Kressh,  a direct descendant of Ludo Kressh. Prior to this edict, the Kressh lineage was considered one of the Empire's noblest, as its predominantly Pure-blooded scions over the generations were considered great champions of the Sith cause. Exal Kressh was one such Scion.
Despite this edict, the Kressh name and lineage endured, and continued to produce rebellious Lords and Scions well into the future of the Empire.
During the Cold War the Spirit of Horak-mul would later meet the Sith Inquisitor Kallig on the planet Hoth. Horak-mul promised aid to the Inquisitor In exchange for desecrating the temple of the Sadow'een that had killed him and doomed the faction's attack on Khar Delba. In introduction to the Inquisitor, Horak-mul declared that Ludo Kressh was the true Dark Lord of the Sith, and he his right hand.
Behind the scenesEdit
Ludo Kressh's faction 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 the organization fell apart. In these appearances, Kressh was illustrated by Dario Carrasco, Jr. During these two story arcs, the faction's clash against Naga Sadow's was a major storyline. In The Fall of the Sith Empire's first issue, Desperate Measures, the head of the faction appeared severed and would soon disband without leadership. In the arc's final issue, End of an Empire, however, it was revealed that leader was not killed, but had staged his death so that the group could gather support while Sadow was off at war. The faction was later defeated within the same issue.
- Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith (First appearance)
- Tales of the Jedi: The Fall of the Sith Empire
- Timeline 12: The Great Hyperspace War (Indirect mention only)
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Paragon (Appears in flashback(s))
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Mentioned only)
- Knight Errant (Mentioned only)
- Darth Plagueis (Indirect mention only)
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- The New Essential Chronology
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- The Essential Atlas
- The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith 3: The Fabric of an Empire
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Knight Errant (novel)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Lost Tribe of the Sith: Paragon
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith 4: Pawns of a Sith Lord
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Tales of the Jedi: The Fall of the Sith Empire 5: End of an Empire
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 The Dark Side Sourcebook
- ↑ Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith 2: Funeral for a Dark 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 1: Desperate Measures
- ↑ Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- ↑ Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith 1: Masters and Students of the Force
- ↑ Timeline 11: Rebirth of the Sith Empire
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 Star Wars: The Old Republic
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic, Blood of the Empire
- ↑ Developer's Blog: Stepping into a Larger World: The Old Republic in Comics and Novels
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia