The Krath were one of three Orders of the Brotherhood. Scholarly and insular, the Krath were the most mistrusted of the three Orders. Their foundations are rife with betrayal; even the most inexperienced Obelisk knew that it was a Krath whom betrayed Exar Kun to the Jedi Knights. They knew that the Antei System is the barren desert of today, because of a failed Krath ritual. The Krath Order is now obsolete.
Those who do not understand the allure of power will often confuse the Krath as worthless bookworms, librarians who spend their time lost in the past. The wisdom of the past, the lessons of those who have gone before are of great importance to the Krath, but it is hardly all that they seek. To the Krath, knowledge *is* power, regardless of where it comes from. From the vicious battlefield onslaughts of direct direct displays of raw power, to the necessary understanding of the enemy's secrets, Krath have long stood with the Brotherhood in their pursuit of dominance.
The past of the Krath is marred with madness and loss, repercussions of too much power and not enough control. Delving so deep so quickly into power without the requisite command of it can have devastating effects, the wild power manipulating the user into insanity. These lessons too, are digested, and the Order itself tries to avoid such pitfalls, but inevitably, it will still occur. Such vulgar displays of power, combined with the isolationist practices that constant study require have helped make the rest of the Brotherhood distrust their ways.
The Krath draw their almost religious dedication to their path back to foundations as a Dark Side Cult in the Empress Teta system. Founded by idle rich socialites, they stumbled upon power by way of the gifted Aleema and Satal Keto, and used it to wreak havoc on the Jedi Order's temple at Ossus. But even then, their unkempt power and ambition made them take unacceptable risks, their leader becoming apprentice to the Dark Lord of the Sith shortly before they were both defeated. Many of the Krath died at the enemy's hands, leaving a small number of them to retreat to their own lands, disappearing and letting people think they had been exterminated. In secret, the Krath Order would train select sensitives in the mysteries of the Force, building themselves up so that they could not only return to glory, but to succeed without the intervention of the Sith that many of them believed to be their downfall the first time. From time to time, Krath would grow to great pinnacles of power, their madness and hubris leading them from obscurity and causing such damage as they burned out that the ripples from the events still impact us today, even though names like Tiamat are only found in hidden libraries now.
Ages later, another Dark Lord of the Sith felt the Krath and drew his gaze upon their power. Lord Jedgar Octavius Paladin, the second Sith Lord of the Dark Brotherhood had felt the Krath's strength on his journeys near Cinnagar and had dispatched his Herald, the Sith known as Melan Pyr to join with them, to infiltrate their ranks, much as Qel-Droma had done ages earlier. Melan took to their learnings very quickly, working with Sebban Keto's students to rise to a position of power within the Krath.
Soon, Grand Master Paladin called his Herald back to his side, to learn what he had found. Melan brought with him the knowledge of the Krath, and the Dark Lord sent envoys with Melan back to offer them the chance to join the Brotherhood, access to the Brotherhood's libraries and holocrons in exchange for sharing their wisdom, to act as advisers for his Sith Warmasters. Many of the Krath abhorred Jedgar's new Brotherhood, and refused to repeat the mistake of trusting the Sith as Qel-Droma had done. Many others believed that to join with the Brotherhood presented them with the only opportunity to seize control again, and took the chance. The Krath split with their Cinnagar-bound brethren, becoming an Order of the Dark Brotherhood.
Among themselves, the Krath speak of the Wanderer as the first of their kind, in hushed whispers and veiled innuendo. Only a few Krath can claim to have any understanding of this enigmatic figure in the legends of the Dark Side. Common knowledge says that the Wanderer was the first Apprentice of Darth, selected as the first after Darth’s exile from the Jedi community. The Wanderer was a prophet of exceptional clarity, and lived a nomadic existence across the Galaxy. After the exile of the Dark Jedi from the Republic, it was the Wanderer who led them to the future Sith Empire.
Another version says that the earliest known Jedi of this Order were the followers of a cult of personality, lead by a Dark Jedi residing on Andiron, called Negas. He wielded a potent form of dark side sorcery, used to ensnare the minds of those around him. It was said that with the merest words, he could alter the seasons, darkening the sky for months at a time, or even fester disease in an entire village. According to the Book of Memories, this sorcerer even ensnared the First Dark Lord, Darth himself. When he was mysteriously destroyed, his legend passed into myth, feared and loathed as an evil god of darkness and destruction by the future residents of Onderon.
In the Brotherhood
In the modern Brotherhood, the Krath are invaluable as diplomats, researchers, and scientists. Their particular form of magic allows them to manipulate the Dark Side though sympathetic relationships between other elements of matter. Their knowledge boggles most of the Sith and Obelisk, and intrigues the Elders who were not initiated into their ways. Young Sith and Obelisk tend to fear the Krath, the Elders of these Order, tend to emulate the Krath, in their scholastic pursuits, and they wonder who is really in control of the Brotherhood. This inherent connection to the Force is both their strength, and weakness. The dedication, isolation and power that comes from seeking such wisdom has a way of wreaking havoc with the mind, leaving many of the Krath unstable and antisocial at best.
The Krath are just behind the Sith in terms of leadership positions, and when they do not hold the command position itself, they often serve as advisors, especially to Sith Dark Councilors. This places the Order in a position of quite heady authority, without many of the consummate risks of actual political power. This also places them in a precarious position. Despite their best efforts, the Sith often play the political game with more finesse than they. When the Crown changes heads, the Advisors are often the first to lose theirs.
With an understanding of how the mind works, and how the Force can be used to impact the mind, the Krath have developed techniques that allow them the ability to share knowledge, extract knowledge, or even to impart hatred so virulent that it is painful. These concepts also lend themselves to the Krath studies in Alchemy, of Mechu-Deru, and to the craft of Holocrons and the spirits residing within.
The Krath of the Brotherhood have been known to specialize in many differing fields of study, but the largest colleges of thought are called Sorcerers, Scholars and Alchemists.
The fiercest and least scholastic appearing of the Krath, the Sorcerers are used as heavy artillery by the Brotherhood. A small cadre of Sorcerers can join power and use it to vicious effect on their enemies. The path of the sorcerer is long and arduous, the focus to harness such violent forces without succumbing to them requiring almost a singular devotion to the study of such things. Sometimes called 'Warlocks', the Sorcerers set themselves apart from the treacheries and intrigues of Brotherhood politics, having no time or patience for it. While this adds to the general feeling of mistrust that many feel for them, they still have no choice but to value their brutal effectiveness in battle.
There are those who speak so infrequently that they are always heard. The scholars spend their lives focused on learning all that there is to know. Their encyclopedic knowledge and astute powers of observation make them indispensable as advisors, planners and aides in the near-constant power struggle of the Brotherhood. Their roles place them as 'powers behind the throne' in many cases, using their expertise to lend power to their Lord's cause. Particularly charismatic Scholars will sometimes seize power for themselves, using their own formidable wisdom to further their own cause instead of merely aiding others.
The monsters and machines of the Krath are renowned across the galaxy, often mistaken for the craftsmanship of the much more widely known Sith. But the Sith often lack the patience required for such technological or biological finesse. The Krath mindset is far more applicable to the decades of study required to learn these delicate and dangerous sciences. From bio-engineered and enhanced monsters and famed Krath War Droids to alchemically treated weapons and crystals, the Alchemists of the Krath Order have long contributed to the fighting forces of the Brotherhood.
Krath stereotypes of the other orders:
Sith: "Headstrong and proud, many Sith are too caught up in their own games to really pay attention to the ‘glory’ they babble about. When the time comes, they will realize just how empty their lives really are."
Obelisk: "These are best suited to watching your libraries and temples, young one. Be cautious, however, even the best mind is useless when separated from its body. The Obelisk are not known for deferring their anger in such considerations."
In the past, several houses were Krath aligned and thus allowed only Krath into their ranks. These were: