A number of years succeeding the events of the Cleansing of the Nine Houses, a group of Tapani nobles from House Calipsa discovered a small cache of lightfoils that dated back to the Old Sith Wars. Lightfoils were more lightweight and balanced energy swords originally constructed by the Sith of the Mecrosa Order to rival the lightsabers of the Jedi in battle.
The noblemen began sporting these elegant weapons of the past and made an incredible impression amongst the young sector nobles. Though it wasn't long before the Republic came along to confiscate them, the trend had already spread to other houses. Some of the more delinquent young nobles began wearing replica lightfoils that were not as powerful or energy-efficient as the original antiques, but just as deadly in the end. Several well-developed rivalries and feuds ended in lethal lightfoil duels, and before long, a new subclass of noble youth emerged – the saber rakes.
With significant pressure, all of the noble houses agreed to ban functioning lightfoils in the sector. However, this did not stop saber rakes from wearing non-functioning ornamental lightfoils on their belts, some of which activated if a hidden button was pressed. Despite regulations, the duels continued in isolated locations agreed by both parties. Among saber rakes, it was considered in bad taste to actually kill an opponent unless the rivalry was particularly serious. Most duels were finished after the first loss of a limb, and therefore, prosthetic limbs were in great demand amid certain cliques of noble youngsters. Very few saber rakes had more than a basic knowledge of the Jedi Knights, their beliefs and practices.
Despite having been banned regularly in the past by all major governments, lightfoil duels became so anchored in the noble history of the Tapani sector that the tradition, along with the saber rakes, carried on into the Imperial era of the Galactic Empire. The ISB and Ubiqtorate were naturally nervous about the sight of young influential nobles walking around with variants of the Jedi's iconic weapon and many were convinced that, by brandishing their lightfoils, the saber rakes were showing subversive support for the Jedi, while others were concerned that the craze might be used as a cover for pro-Rebel activities. Most Imperial officials, however, saw the fad for what it was; a benign infatuation with an elegant antique weapon that had a rich and regal history.