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|Head of State||
Sith Lords (3)
|Head of Government||
Sith Lords (3)
|State religious body|
- "To be united by hatred is a… fragile alliance at best."
- ―Darth Traya
The Sith Triumvirate was a loose alliance of what remained of Darth Revan's Sith Empire that almost destroyed the Jedi Order during the era of strife that took place after the Jedi Civil War. It was solidified sometime after the Battle of Rakata Prime. This organization was made up of several, if not hundreds of Sith apprentices, Sith Masters, and, most importantly, Sith Assassins. It was responsible for the near complete destruction of the Jedi Order during the First Jedi Purge and the attack on Katarr.
Leadership and originsEdit
- "But above these legions there are three who must be stopped. As long as any one of them lives then we, and all life are doomed."
The Triumvirate was led by three joint Dark Lords of the Sith: Darth Traya, and her two apprentices, Darth Nihilus, and Darth Sion. These three were all under tutelage at the Trayus Academy on Malachor V. During their time studying the dark side, they learned of specific traits and skills that they had, styling themselves as unique titles for Lords of the Sith.
Darth Traya, Lord of BetrayalEdit
- "…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, before her fall to the dark side, was a Jedi Master named Kreia. Kreia was very contemplative and philosophical, to the degree that she could be called a Gray Jedi. She was one of the many teachers who trained Revan, who later became an infamous Sith Lord and important figure in galactic history. Revan, along with his friend, Malak, led the crusade against the Mandalorians. Many of her other students succumbed to Revan's beliefs and joined him. Kreia was blamed for Revan's actions, and was cast out of the Jedi Order. She questioned her beliefs in the gray philosophy. She began searching for answers, meeting those she had affected through her teachings. Eventually, she came to Malachor V, a dead world, powerful in the dark side. She was curious, the Sith ruins drawing her in. She became overpowered with the allure of the dark side, and became Darth Traya, Lord of Betrayal, having been betrayed by the Jedi, and ready to betray in turn. She attained the title of headmistress of the Trayus Academy, able to hold any students willing to fight for the cause of the Sith: to destroy the Jedi.
Darth Nihilus, Lord of HungerEdit
Little was known of Darth Nihilus's history. He was most likely a Jedi during the Mandalorian Wars, who became a prisoner. Nonetheless, he ended up fighting at Malachor V. One of the battle's few survivors, he was stranded in orbit around the planet. His high Force potential and power were demonstrated when he tore his new flagship, Ravager from the gravity well. The ship was barely space-worthy, severely damaged by Mandalorian artillery. It also contained a crew, drained of all life and emotion by its captain. Nihilus came upon the Trayus Academy at some time, seeking training from Traya. He received it, sharing equal prestige with another student, Darth Sion. During his time at the academy, he learned how to drain the Force, create wounds in it, and use Kreia's echoes to his advantage. Eventually, his training and abilities made him into a shell of his former self, a wound in the Force, corrupting those around him. Nihilus was different from other Sith in that he never sought to rule the galaxy or to create a new order; his purpose was to destroy all life everywhere in order to satisfy his hunger.
Darth Sion, Lord of PainEdit
- "Yes… of pain he has learned much. Of knowledge, of teaching, he knows nothing."
In the wake of the power vacuum that divided the Sith on Korriban, one that emerged was Darth Sion. A twisted and broken shell, Sion was a patchwork of thousands of fragments of his original body. His cracked and decaying body was held together by sheer force of will and the dark side of the Force; he used the constant intense pain and agony of his condition to fuel his power, his hatred, and his body. Sion fled Korriban, coming to Malachor V, where he found the Trayus Academy, Traya, and training. His brutality and strength were something noted by Traya, but the two soon disliked each other because he did not yearn for knowledge or studies, but for hatred and power.
Betrayal, Hunger, and PainEdit
- "Treachery is the way of the Sith."
- ―Darth Tyranus's final thought
At the completion of their training, these three were now co-rulers of an Empire. The remnants of Revan and Malak's forces soon joined them on Malachor V, where they subtly intervened with galactic affairs, using Traya's idea of echoes in the Force, and corrupting Jedi to the dark side. Sion quickly grew impatient of waiting to fight the Jedi and the Republic, while Nihilus grew hungry and needed Force sustenance. The two conspired against Traya for a time, and then, when she was vulnerable, they struck. She was cornered from two sides in the Trayus Core while meditating, and violently subdued. Nihilus used the Force to slam her against a pillar. She reached for her lightsaber, but in vain. Sion then proceeded to beat her and throw her on the floor. During this time, the two Lords used Sever Force to cut her connection to the Force, also making her lose the evil that had corrupted her in the first place. Traya, Lord of Betrayal, was betrayed again.
Cast out by both Jedi and Sith, Kreia directed her anger towards the Force itself, treating it like an insidious power. She left the Sith Triumvirate she started, and began to direct her attention toward the Jedi Exile, who would later be the death of all three Lords and the Triumvirate. Sion and Nihilus now had dual control. However, due to their conflicting philosophies and their similar beliefs that the Jedi should be exterminated, they also went their separate ways, each taking a nearly equal section of the Empire.
Destroying the JediEdit
This allowed Nihilus and Sion to continue their respective "shadow wars" in peace. Nihilus carried out large-scale exterminations to satisfy his Force hunger, like that of Katarr, while Sion worked silently and brutally, deploying Sith assassins to bait and kill stray Jedi. They came very close to their goal; only a few known Jedi survived. The duumvirate, specifically Nihilus, directed its attention towards Onderon and other struggling Republic worlds in an effort to destroy the Republic backbone.
Devastation of KatarrEdit
- "My people never saw his face when he struck—but they heard his voice. When my lord spoke, every living thing on Katarr died. The destruction of Katarr echoed through the Force, the screaming of countless lives."
- ―Visas Marr
With the new Sith tactics killing off the few remaining Jedi at an alarming rate, the Masters called a meeting on the Miraluka colony of Katarr. As the Miraluka were all Force-sensitive, the planet was a powerful nexus of the Force. The Jedi hoped to use this power to discern the nature of the threat they faced. Their plan worked, too well. Nihilus was attracted to the massive amount of Force energy. Unfortunately this turned against them. He devastated the entire planet with his hunger, killing all the Jedi, natives, and other life on the planet, feasting on the bloodlust and death he felt. Jedi Council member Atris, was not actually present, fled to Telos IV, a world that would be important later. The sole survivor of the massacre was Visas Marr, whom Nihilus spared for an unknown reason, perhaps pity, perhaps a need of an aide. Whatever the case, the blind female became his servant, somewhat devoid of the decay that plagued his ship. Her part in the government, if any, is unknown. The aftermath of the Katarr attack left the entire surrounding region blind to the Force which allowed the Sith to move undetected. The last few Jedi fled to different worlds, worlds that were either wounded by war or swarming with life in order to make sensing their presence there nearly impossible.
Darth Sion, however, had been busy killing the Jedi with subtler, more brutal methods. Torture, coercion, and traps were some of his favorite tools. Sith Assassins were sent all over the Galaxy, also slaying numerous Jedi, but one at a time. The killers eventually found their way to the Jedi Exile, now in the company of Kreia on the Peragus Mining Facility. Sion came to this area, after deceptively hijacking Harbinger from the Republic Navy. However, his prey escaped, but not without Kreia losing her left hand in a bout of words and swords with Sion as a diversion. After the initial purge of the Jedi, he had a more famous kill: Jedi Master Lonna Vash, a member of the Jedi Council, who had been in exile at the Sith Academy on Korriban. This attracted the Jedi Exile and some of her newfound companions, who had been searching for the remaining Jedi. Sion had not forgotten Traya's exodus, and recognized the Exile's quest as her doing. After a brief conflict, the Exile had to flee, as beckoned by Kreia. Sion wanted to have more revenge, but could not for the time being.
Onderon Civil WarEdit
A conflict instigated by Nihilus on the behalf of the Triumvirate, the Onderon Civil War divided the planet, and further hindered the Exile. The battles pitted Loyalists, siding with Queen Talia, against General Vaklu, her cousin in charge of the majority of the military, and his Sith allies. The fighting raged all across the city of Iziz, incorporating beasts of Sithspawn and natural Onderon alike. The battle also was on a darker battlefield: Onderon's mutual atmosphere moon, Dxun, where the tomb of Freedon Nadd, an ancient Sith Lord, was located. A Sith Master and his hordes of Sith Lords, Assassins, warriors and basic Sith troops were guarding the tomb, as well as performing a ritual around a dark side nexus to turn the tide of the battle. Eventually however, with the help of the Exile, her companions, and Kavar, another sought member of the Jedi Council, the Loyalists won. Nihilus also accumulated a new slave: Colonel Tobin, a veteran and Vaklu supporter. Kreia gave false information to Tobin, after the battle, effectively trapping Nihilus with another insatiable target: Telos IV, the site where Atris had supposedly built a new Jedi Academy to consume.
Darth Sion's path led him to Malachor V, Nihilus' to Telos IV, with Traya and the Exile visiting both. Kreia had set in motion plans to destroy the Jedi, the Sith, and even the Force itself. She had already killed the remaining Jedi Masters for their failure to see what they had caused, and the Exile's point of view. Kreia went to Telos with intentions to fully change Atris, who had long been under the influence of her own archived Sith holocrons. The Exile confronted Atris, while Kreia commented after going to Malachor V. Kreia found Sion, defeating all his Sith Assassins along the way to the Academy. He was brought under her heel once more to serve against the Exile, a somewhat mutual goal. Meanwhile the Republic, the Telos Security Force, the Exile's team and her various acquaintances were hard at work combating Darth Nihilus' fleet, which started to bombard the vital Citadel Station. The invasion of Sith commandos was briefly held off, while the Exile, Visas Marr, and Mandalore Canderous Ordo with his Dxun-trained Mandalorians flew a shuttle to the Ravager with the intention of destroying it, and its all-consuming master. Proton detonators were placed, and the Exile's companions helped her fight Nihilus, in a quick and decisive battle that drew on the Force bonds that Marr and Nihilus had. Nihilus, Lord of Hunger, had fallen. He disappeared in a manner befitting an evil perversion of a Force ghost, dark energies consuming his body. The Ravager was destroyed, and the battle won.
The Exile had personal business on Malachor V on two accounts, and so traveled there. She fought and slew the bulk of the Sith Triumvirate, Marauders, Assassins, Lords and regular troopers alike. She defeated Darth Sion in a battle of lightsabers, and then will in an emotional confrontation, where he released himself from the constant pain. She then proceeded to Traya, meditating in the Trayus Core. Kreia dismissed the Exile's attempts to "save" her and bring her back to the Light. The argument culminated in a fight that Kreia had hoped for, to complete her plan. The resulting Force echoes of the Exile's death would poison, if not kill, the Force, her nemesis.
An open but brilliant lightsaber duel resulted, Traya utilizing her full Force arsenal. The Exile wounded Traya by cutting off her remaining hand, but she struck back using telekinetic lightsaber combat, sending three hidden lightsabers at her. The Exile eventually defeated Kreia. As one last gift to the Exile, she gave her prophecies concerning the Force, the Mandalorians, and all her many acquaintances and friends. Then Darth Traya, Lord of Betrayal, died, and the Sith Triumvirate perished with her.
What remained of the Sith Triumvirate after these events was ultimately destroyed. Most casualties were directly caused by the Jedi Exile.
The Sith Triumvirate utilized the same weapons and technology as Revan's Sith Empire. Since it was a remnant of said Empire, its military was virtually the same, using Interdictor-class cruisers and Sith fighters in the navy, Sith troopers, war droids and Dark Jedi in the army. However, the structuring and classification systems of the Sith and Dark Jedi were different. The Triumvirate used Sith Marauders, Warriors, and Assassins almost exclusively, utilizing each for a unique purpose not found in Revan's technologically powered Empire.
And then, since it was smaller, the Sith Triumvirate tried to avoid outright battles, preferring deception. It also was directly commanded by the three Sith Lords; Sion would often send Assassins after a target while he was directly inside the building, and Nihilus would only go into space combat if the Ravager was present, to use his unique abilities. The military lacked command structure like other larger systems of government, with no admirals or generals, but instead, Sith Lords or lesser Dark Jedi. The few times that the Triumvirate fought openly was during the Onderon Civil War and the Battle of Telos IV, the former supporting General Vaklu's soldiers with Dark Jedi and Sith beast handlers, while the latter apparently used all of their remaining space and ground forces.
Member worlds and key locationsEdit
- Malachor V, origin and capital
- Sith Academy, abandoned
- Onderon, support
Behind the scenesEdit
Despite a popular misunderstanding, triumvirate is a term meaning 'organization ruled by three persons', not 'three rulers'. Therefore, the term triumvirate does not refer to the trio Traya, Nihilus, and Sion, but describes the whole alliance of all the Sith Lords, ultimately ruled by this trio. Although the original Latin literally translates to 'an organization of three men,' from the root 'vir' (meaning 'man,' as in male individual, not human, which would be 'homo'), it has come, through common usage, to be gender non-specific, with the emphasis being placed on the number of leaders rather than their sex.
There have been several types of triumvirates in the Star Wars saga. One example would be Moff Disra, Grodin Tierce and Flim. Yet another is Grievous, Asajj Ventress, and Durge. A third would be the commanders of the first Death Star, Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, Admiral Conan Antonio Motti, and General Cassio Tagge.
The name "Sith Triumvirate" was first coined for the trio of Darth Traya, Darth Sion and Darth Nihilus by Wookieepedia until authors John Jackson Miller, Rodney Thompson, Sterling Hershey, and Abel G. Peña made the name for the group official in Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide.
- "Unseen, Unheard"—Star Wars Tales 24
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (First appearance)
- The Old Republic: Revan (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Mentioned in Codex entry)
- Darth Plagueis (Indirect mention only)
- The New Essential Chronology
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide (First identified as Sith Triumvirate)
- "Heritage of the Sith"—Star Wars Insider 88
- The Essential Atlas