SA Course: Alchemy Studies
- 1 Codex of Zhesos- Dark Jedi Brotherhood Alchemy Guide
- 1.1 An Ancient Art
- 1.2 The Permanence of Hate
- 1.2.1 Artifacts of Power
- 1.2.2 Mechu-Deru Vitae
- 1.2.3 Crystal Creation
- 1.3 The Manipulation of Life
- 1.4 The Endless Corruption
- 1.5 The Light of Creation
- 1.6 Amalgamation
Codex of Zhesos- Dark Jedi Brotherhood Alchemy Guide
- "Within this Codex you will find the lore of Force Alchemy. The path is illustrated by the notes I have gathered in my studies here in the Brotherhood’s halls. My Krath Master Ranael has truly shown me the power of the Dark Side and the way of the sublime Art of Alchemy. Perhaps I will survive Death in the Dark Side as a shade apart from the Force forever if my calculations are correct.
While I have mentioned the more common items and methods, unique paradigms exist that were created by figures of powerful and legendary status. These works became great relics and some of the greatest Force users in the galaxy have sought them out.
Listen, listen, my friends. Either way, my words will still surely reach your hungry ears. Hear my words, for within them you will surely find the means to break your chains of servitude and overcome your oppressors. You will become the Master."
- ―Dorab Zhesos, Sith Battlelord
An Ancient Art
- "I have learned today of the history of the ancient Rakata within the Shadow Academy’s halls. Many considered the old aliens to be myth, but this was untrue according to my Jedi grandfather. Upon learning of this, my mind spun. Could the Art be older even that I dreamed? This knowledge makes me hungry for more knowledge- and more power."
- ―Dorab Zhesos, Dark Jedi Apprentice
Force Alchemy as we know it today began with the Rakata, and perhaps the Celestials before them. The Rakata masterfully blended the Force and mechanical objects. Their biological science was highly refined. Rakatan holocrons stored vast amounts of knowledge and Star Maps to the worlds they conquered. Entire planets and systems were plundered and destroyed. In many ways, their works could be considered highly advanced Force Alchemy as we know it today, without the ritual trappings. Fortunately, the Rakatan Dark Side-fueled hyperdrives would only sense Force-strong worlds, so their Empire was far-flung but relatively obscure.
- "During the collapse of the Rakata Empire, the warlords unleashed weapons of terrible destruction that threatened to drive our species to extinction."
- ―Rakatan Elder to Revan
The Rakata also had technologically advanced weapons powered purely by the Dark Side. Among them were the Forcesabers, dark lightsaber-like weapons fueled by the raw power of the Dark Side. Within them lie blackened crystals synthesized by Force Alchemy. It is even possible that the Blackwing crystals made by the former Galactic Empire were influenced by their works. It would appear that synth crystals as we know them today are a Rakatan innovation, perhaps. These ancient, amphibious Darksiders also carried metal swords with Rubat crystals bonded to them. Their Mindspears injected knowledge into the flesh of their victims- or themselves.
- "<krrsh> Rakatans had Forcesabers… powered by the Dark Side and black synthetic <krrrsssh> made by<krrsh>"
- ―Holocron of Eos, unknown keeper
The Ancient Sith
The Rakata encountered the ancient Sith and taught them the concept of holocrons. No doubt to inevitably lure the Force-sensitives to the Dark Side and enslave them. This ploy did not succeed. King Adas rose up against the Rakata. The Sith King wore a suit of alchemical armor and used a blade that may have been a Forcesaber, along with a tremendous alchemically-enhanced axe. The red-bladed weapon shown in Adas' hand in old illustrations could not have been an actual lightsaber, so this remains a mystery. The Rakata were eventually driven out. Adas died, but not before he had recorded his knowledge in a holocron. Its location remains unknown at this time.
- "King Adas was known to wear a set of this Dark Armor, and it was rumored to be quite powerful."
- ―Quote from Master Ranael
The Sith species took the alchemical concepts even further over several thousand years. They became interested in refining the techniques. Their growth of monsters, mutations of themselves and others (such as the Flesh Raiders), altered weapons, amulets of terrible power, and other tools fascinate me. The Sith seemed to understand this from their beginnings.
- "Sith alchemists had years to perfect their craft. Your knowledge is now mine."
- ―Sorzus Syn
When the Exiles arrived, the Sith were already strong with the Dark Side. The Exiles were superior in tactics, infiltration, and combat. They soon subjugated the Sith species and succeeded where the Rakata had failed. It seems every one of the new arrivals (or Jen’Jidai, as the Sith called their new overlords) practiced alchemy. Sorzus Syn, in particular, was a masterful alchemist. She even described herself as a grower of living weapons and plagues. To her, dead cells were easier to work with since they did not resist her efforts.
The Sith continued to evolve as the Exiles mingled their blood with that of the Sith species. They created their own Leviathans and other horrors, just like the Exiles before them. They refined the art of the synthetic crystal to a high degree. Their Sith Swords and later lightsabers became host to a variety of crystals. Dark Armor creation exploded in numbers and many Sith wore such accoutrements.
- "In today’s Brotherhood, it seems that such baubles are the domain of the Krath, and they are sometimes mocked for their use of them. That said, I know many Sith Lords who wear such artifacts, yet hide them deep in their robes and armor, preferring people to think that the power that such items provide is theirs alone."
- ―Grand Master Muz Ashen
The Sith and others took the Art of Force Alchemy and made it their own. So many variables, so many effects… the ability to change and even fabricate new things with the power of the Force is tantalizing. It appears the Brotherhood has considerable resources on the Art, and I am going to peruse them as I am able. There are a plethora of holocrons available and all contain some lore. Though the information is spread out among the groups, it is still available to some degree in lectures here at the Shadow Academy.
- "This may be my niche. It seems alchemy is under-represented within the Brotherhood, with most concentrating on pure battle and the Force directly. I’m beginning to think that this may be the safest way to support the Brotherhood. I cannot wait to begin as I don the robes of an Acolyte. This is my road to Power. My first steps on the path as a Journeyman have begun."
- ―Dorab Zhesos, Novice
The Permanence of Hate
Artifacts of Power
- "But ask me the secrets of Sith alchemy, and I would ask you for three measures of blood: one from a person you love, one from a person you hate, and one from yourself."
- ―Naga Sadow
While I will mention the more common Force-imbued items, there are some artifacts that were created by figures of great, powerful, and legendary status such that their works became great relics. Many of the greatest Force users in the galaxy sought them out. There are examples of weapons both ancient and modern within the Brotherhood’s vaults owned by Clan and House. I was unable to gain access to any of them, but they exist within the rolls.
The Sith took the lessons of the Rakata and blended them with their own knowledge. When the Exiles came and added Je’daii lore to their own, a unique crucible of knowledge was formed. Although other groups practiced Force Alchemy, none was as masterful as the ancient Sith, according to my Master. Even before the Rakata came, the Sith had developed alchemical Dark Armor. They had even begun experimenting with alchemical transmutations, and rapidly absorbed the lore that the Rakata shared. The Je'daii Exiles were the icing on the cake.
Karness Muur was one of the original Exiles. They became the first Sith Lords, and this was of particular note in my coursework. Muur’s mastery of the non-living aspects of the Art was complete. For example, Muur was known to have switched from a yellow-bladed protosaber to a modern, curved lightsaber hilt with a red synthetic crystal during his long reign. This Exile built one of the very first examples of a modern stand-alone lightsaber hilt. He obviously knew the secret of synthetic crystal creation some 7,000 years before our time. Stranger still - this was millennia before the modern hilt came into widespread usage.
- "I wonder- is this again the Rakata Influence? Muur fascinates me. I must research his legacy more closely."
- ―Macron Sadow
Amulets and Talismans
- " I can only imagine the power these Amulets must surely reek of. The one in the Brotherhood museum is an obvious forgery. It has no... “presence." I’m sure the original is hidden away. I long to feel one for myself. It must be god-like to control such power."
- ―Dorab Zhesos, Acolyte
This early genius-level progenitor of the modern Sith Lords was also known to create powerful Dark Side imbued items. Sith Amulets (or Dark Amulets) were designed to directly concentrate the effects of the Dark Side of the Force. In the Shadow Academy, we learned that the Rakata, of course, had similar items. Certainly by the time of the Je'daii and the ancient Sith species they were well known. The term amulet and talisman were used interchangeably to describe the objects, although technically an amulet is protective and a talisman affects others.
Dark Amulets highly amplified the power of the Force-sensitives that used them. They could prolong life, throw blasts of nigh-irresistible Dark Side energy, heal grievous wounds, project illusions, raise the Undead, spread mental corruption, control monstrous abominations, create protective shields, increase strength, enhance Force lightning, and enable seekers to see the depths of probability and possibility. They are seductive, however, and must be mastered by one with a strong will or else they will inevitably consume the user.
It is known that an actual Sith Amulet can even destroy a Force Spirit or Dark Side shade. Exar Kun used the Sith amulet he found in Naga Sadow’s tomb to destroy the powerful shade of Freedon Nadd. They are incredibly difficult to create and require great training and experience in the Force to comprehend fully. Many amulets destroyed their owners.
The Helm of Saalo Morn
- "Welcome to the home of Saalo Morn—the Dark Lord of the Sith. What offering have you brought me?"
- ―Saalo Morn
A Dark Amulet or Talisman is a focus for concentrated energy of the Dark Side. These incredible artifacts were usually seen in the form of jewelry or crystal-clad objects such as gauntlets attached to armor, necklaces, rings, or crowns. On occasion they took the form of a mask or helmet, such as the one owned by the near-human Dark Jedi Saalo Morn in the time of the Old Republic. This helm is of particular interest, as it was originally created by a Jedi and then corrupted by Saalo’s Dark Side influence after he stole it from his former Master. Although Morn claimed to be Sith, he was in fact a mere Dark Jedi according to modern scholars.
Sith Lord Karness Muur reputedly owned one of the most powerful Sith talismans ever known. The Sith alchemist Sorzus Syn created the Muur Talisman for Muur, which gave him the ability to create Rakghouls and to sustain his essence - which was so tied to the artifact that his spirit survived the death of his body. When his physical body died, the Talisman would seek out the most powerful Force user to act as his vessel and conduit. While the talisman was lost for many centuries, many Sith Lords, including Naga Sadow, fought to find and obtain the power for themselves. His Codex was even known to have been in the possession of Sadow.
At some point, the talisman's last owner had been crushed in a cave-in in the Undercity of Taris, where the talisman remained for at least hundreds of years, spreading the Rakghoul Plague amongst the Outcast. As of 3963 BBY, the Jedi Covenant speculated that the Talisman could be located in the Taris' Undercity.
The talisman was eventually found by the Mandalorian Pulsipher, changing his entire crew to Rakghouls. They took Celeste Morne as a host. Morne was killed during a battle with Darth Krayt, and the talisman then attached itself to Cade Skywalker, who proved to be above its influence and destroyed it.
Through use of Dark Side alchemy, any non-Force-sensitive that was struck by the talisman became infected with the Rakghoul Plague and transformed more quickly than from Rakghoul bites in the Undercity of Taris. In addition to that, under the command of a Force-user, the Talisman could transform all suitable beings into Rakghouls in a much wider radius.
The power of the talisman also allowed its claws to become legs for mobility and bound itself to anyone who called to it. The talisman also stopped all aging in its host, as exemplified by the lack of aging on the part of Celeste Morne from 19 BBY to 137 ABY. But the greatest secret concerning the talisman was that it housed the spirit of Karness Muur, who could speak to nearby Force-sensitives and appear as an apparition to whomever was possessed by the talisman.
The Nightsisters have a unique tradition of creation of Dark Amulets. They appear as gems set in jewelry, or objects carved as totem animals. The objects can actually empower the properly trained user to transform into animal shapes, call animals or energetic forms to service, restore vigor and youth, or guide trackers. One of the most fascinating is the Talisman of Resurrection which can actually restore the spirits of the Dead into their physical bodies. Talismans of Counterspell aid in defense and reflection of the powers of others.
- "These are not so different from Sith amulets, despite what the Dathomiri preach, yet none of these abilities have yet been duplicated by a Sith Alchemist to my knowledge. Curious."
- ―Darth Sidious
Dark Armor has been a part of the Sith Cult and other traditions since the beginning. The Sith Alchemists found ways to increase the protection of armor and flesh by incorporating various substances and chemicals. Often, this involved expensive raw materials, time, and the expenditure of Force energy by the maker. The very act of creating Dark Armor drew the alchemist deeper into the embrace of the Dark Side.
Other features could include prowess enhancing chemicals, talismanic Force powers, stealth abilities, increases of physical abilities, resistance to mental powers, or other mundane technological adaptations. An excellent example is Darth Vader’s imposing black armor. The Sith Lord’s armor enhanced the Dark Lord’s physical abilities, kept his shattered body functional, protected him and incorporated advanced sensor equipment. The armor was also environmentally sealed, and contained a functional air supply. The armor was also atmospherically controlled, resisting changes in heat, cold, pressure and ionizing radiation.
Exar Kun carried on this great legacy by forging a number of unusual artifacts. He had a suit of Dark Armor in an era where this form of the art had been largely lost. The armor enhanced his strength and was exceedingly tough, yet lighter weight and flexible. It also helped protect the Sith Lord from manifestations of the Light Side of the Force. Kun remained undefeated in personal combat until the end of his days- a remarkable feat.
Many other examples of Dark Armor exist in historical accounts, from the relatively modern version of Darth Vader’s infamous black suit to Belia Darzu’s own strength-enhancing heavy battle suit. The Jensaarai create their own versions, as do other Force-using warrior orders. Surely more examples remain undiscovered to this day, hidden away in ancient tombs and dark places in the galaxy.
- "There is one example of Dark Armor here, recovered again after Horizons. I have only heard hushed whispers of within the ranks. That which was worn by the resurrected Grandmaster Zoraan. The Skin of Fire was made around 24,500 BBY, I’m told. This date, the age… is staggering to think of. This fossil Bogan armor is known to completely resist lightsabers even though it predates them by almost 15,000 years. And it is rumored to have great Dark Side power. All who wear it go mad and their days end, my Master says. It takes their life and soul for its own, and then will not let you die."
- ―Dorab Zhesos, Guardian
Jensaarai armor was the specialized armor made and worn by the Jensaarai. Each Jensaarai would make their own set of armor. The fabrication was considered the height of their training and the individual would develop a bond with the armor. In this case, it was similar to how a Jedi viewed their lightsaber.
A Jensaarai would begin with an armor shell. They spun cortosis ore fiber around it, and then styled it after an animal that best personified their desires or goals of service to the Jensaarai community. Most were ferocious creatures that were hidden and only struck out in swift, deadly defensive attacks. A notable exception to this tradition was the Saarai-kaar's mask. This was not an animal rendering, but an image of the wearer's face.
Sith Alchemy was used in the creation of the armor and they usually wore gray cloaks over it. The Jensaarai also used an ability to attune their armor. Attune Armor was an ability that the Jensaarai used to imbue the armor he or she was constructing with the Force. The attunement made the armor stronger and added to the wearer's physical and Force abilities.
- "The Dark Side swords were generally quenched in blood, or the appropriate life-fluid. Fear, terror, and hatred experienced by both their victims and creators seems to be a common theme in their birth- and their life as a weapon."
- ―Macron Sadow
The infamous Sith Sword is another variation on the theme of Force-imbued objects. The weapons may have evolved from earlier Jen’Jidai lore brought to the Sith by the Exiles. It is also known that the Sith species themselves already possessed Sith Sword alchemical technology when they encountered the Exiles. Since both cultures had contact with the Rakata historically, this makes perfect sense.
Sith Swords are an interesting classification of weaponry. It seems that the Je'daii, ancient Sith, Exiles, and the Rakatans before them all possessed metal blades that were enhanced with science and the Force. Again, it seems to have begun with the Rakata. They were known to have blades imbued with the ground powder of Rubat crystals. The blades were a focus for the Dark Side of the Force. Undoubtedly, the Rubat aided in their strike precision, speed of attack, and ability to contain Force energy.
Many Sith of old preferred the satisfying feel of the blade cutting soft flesh, as opposed to the more “impersonal” lightsaber. The Sith Swords words also tended to focus Dark Side abilities in a way that lightsabers could not. Ajunta Pall, Ludo Kressh, Naga Sadow, and Marka Ragnos were known users of this type of weapon. Later Sith Lords sought out ancient blades and claimed them for their own, as Darth Malak was known to have done.
The classical Sith Sword (or Dark Blade) is a complex and powerful work of alchemy. The weapons had a huge variety of effects. The science of metallurgy and the Force were used to imbue metals and ceramics with a strong affinity for Dark Side power. The weight of one of these magnetic weapons could vary, although most were rumored to be exceptionally dense, heavy, and hard to wield. They could block lightsabers, and re-direct blaster bolts and energy weapons. The polished surface would reflect laser beams. Due to the nature of the weapon it could absorb Force Lightning, and then discharge it when striking an object. In fact, when imbued with the Force energy of a trained wielder, they could become sharper and even act as a magnetically-sealed object. To top it off, they amplified the Dark Side power of their user.
- "I have seen the redacted video of the last stand of Zoraan in the archives, and that old Bogan Sword was powerful. Yet still he lost- and died a second death."
- ―Dorab Zhesos, Guardian
Adas' Great Axe
The ancient Sith species also discovered the secret of imbuing metal and ceramic weaponry with the Force. King Adas often used a fearsome great axe that had unholy amounts of Dark Side power, according to Sorzus Syn’s studies. Although Adas died, he did indeed manage to drive the Rakata from Korriban before he died. Undoubtedly many Rakata warriors met their end under his cleaving blows. Later after contact with the Exiles these weapons became even more refined. There are lesser forms of the swords such as Sith Warblades that do not have puissance within the Force, and these are of no interest to us. We seek the truth of the darkness.
Scepter of Ragnos
The artifact known as the Scepter of Ragnos was created by Dark Lord of the Sith Marka Ragnos, who ruled the ancient Sith Empire sometime before 5,000 BBY. The weapon consisted of a sword that terminated in a forked crest. Both the handle and blade tip were striated, and the hilt had a double guard, the inside guard shorter than the outside. A fuller ran vertically down the center of the blade. The Scepter crest and handle were slate gray, while the blade was silver.
The scepter was said to be able to siphon and store large amounts of Dark Side energy from areas in the galaxy; when an area was drained, its Dark Side aura disappeared. The scepter could fire beams of Force energy or simply unleash a blast of power. The scepter also had the ability to infuse a dead body with enough Force power to reanimate the corpse's cells. It could also use its power to make ordinary beings Force-sensitive. Hidden inside the scepter's handle was Ragnos' Sith sword, which could be taken out and wielded separately.
In 14 ABY, Tavion Axmis found the scepter in the possession of a collector. After killing the being, she took the scepter and learned how to wield its power. After filling the scepter with Dark Side energy, Axmis, journeyed to Korriban to try and resurrect Marka Ragnos. Jedi Knight Jaden Korr, confronted her there, and a battle ensued. Axmis was defeated but was still able to unleash the Dark Side energy into the sarcophagus of Marka Ragnos, summoning his spirit. Ragnos possessed the body of Axmis and dueled with Korr, destroying the scepter in the process, sending Ragnos’ spirit back into the sarcophagus.
- "Ragnos’ weapon was not lost. After his death, it was buried with him, true, but it was later found and brought to (UNREADABLE)"
- ―- Unknown
Another interesting piece can be found in the Darkstaff. Three thousand years ago, this relic was in possession of the Sith Empire and was stored on the space station Arcanum. The relic was eventually stolen, but eventually ended up in the hands of the Oblee species. The staff summoned a shadow creature and manipulated the Oblee to believe this creature was a threat. The Oblee then tried to use the Darkstaff to power a great weapon, but when the staff was activated it destroyed the planet.
In 31 BBY, the Darkstaff was found again, and after being struck by a Force Lightning bolt from Darth Rivan’s fortress, causing the transport of the entire Cularin system ten years into the future. While the relic was damaged it was eventually repaired then planned to consume the energy from a Jedi relic known as the Eye of the Sun that was hidden on Cularin and would then use the power it had absorbed to destroy the system. However, the staff was destroyed before its plans could be realized.
This sentient Sith artifact was one of the most dangerous items in the entire galaxy. The rod was brown in color and about one meter in length. One end of the staff was hooked while the other had a blue shining light. Though the staff was created to feed off the Force, the relic was not imbued with the Force. All light that passed near the artifact was consumed by the Darkstaff. The artifact was able to produce black tendrils that allowed it to draw on the Force essences of living beings and drain the energy from Force artifacts. When enough Force energy had been absorbed, the Darkstaff had the ability to destroy entire planets. It had ability to possess the mind of a being and could then use them as a spirit-vessel. It could also turn creatures into Sithspawn and animate corpses into Dark Side zombies.
- "There are a host of other powerful weapons besides those you have mentioned that have similar properties. The Zeison Sha discblades, lanvaroks, Odan Urr’s staff, Je'daii swords, Krath warblades, and many others. Never close your mind to the true power of the Force, my Apprentice."
- ―Krath Master Ranael
There are other methods of imposing one’s will upon nonliving materials. The science and art of Mechu-Deru is a prime example. Mechu-deru involves infusing nonliving objects with the Force, as well as an innate understanding of mechanical and electronic workings borne of the deep insight gained. This had been practiced by both those who follow the Dark Path, and those of the Light. Mechu-deru Vitae refers specifically to a Dark Side variant of this ability. Belia Darzu was a known practitioner according to my Master. Other forms, such as the Ssi-Ruvi entechment process exist also.
The Infinite Empire
- "The Rakata discovered many truths. Who are we to ignore them?"
- ―Muz Ashen
The Rakata (and Celestials before them) knew the mysterious secrets of melding the Force with artificial objects. They had droids that were fueled by raw Dark Side energy, and not fusion batteries. The Rakatan Forcesaber used no power cell- rather it drew on the sheer fury of the Dark Side directly. Yet nothing, nothing else can overshadow the Star Forge. A living mechanical entity that could siphon matter and energy from the star of Lehon and create battle fleets at will is a mind-boggling concept.
The Infinite Empire had powerful droids. The Rakatan guardian droids that Revan encountered on the Star Forge are a prime example. The three-legged droids had shields, carbonite projectors, plasma flamethrowers, blasters, and armor. Temple Droids defended sensitive sites with their blasters and regenerative abilities. Although the droids encountered by Quinlan Vos at Honoghr were millennia old, they functioned perfectly before being destroyed.
Another interesting example is the shard of the Star Forge deposited on Nar Shadaa by “The Revan” that was nurtured by generations of sentients. As it grew, it provided food, water, and droids for the sentients. The strategic implications are staggering. Sadly, the Rakata methodology was lost to time.
Sith War Droids
The ancient Sith took this discipline to a new level. They constructed crude, yet powerful droids that were imbued with the Dark Side. These droids had weapons and armor that had been enhanced with Force Alchemy. Their energy weapons had synthetically clean crystals. Their vibroweapons were laced with cortosis and a host of other alloys. The schematics and secrets of the old Sith were quickly appropriated by those who could find them.
Sith War Droids of the first Sith Empire are noteworthy. They were known to be in use during the time of Marka Ragnos and Naga Sadow. These constructs were often armed with Sith Swords that could deflect blaster bolts and energy weapons. They were competent in both ranged and melee combat, but they were not used widely due to the immense construction expenses involved in their fabrication. Sith Slayer droids were even more imposing. These metal beasts were over twelve meters in height, armed to the teeth with four blasters, and had stout alchemical armor. They were, of course, even more expensive to make.
Krath War Droids
In the time of Satal and Aleema Keto, the art of imbuing droids with alchemical abilities and modifications leapt to a new height. The Ketos, with their vast resources, were able to meld more modern technology with the idea of the original Dark Droids as written by the Sith and others. These Krath war droids were devastating to the Jedi of the time. They carried a short vibrosword, pulse-wave weapons, and stabbing spines. Although they were faster and more powerful than earlier versions, they lacked heuristic processors and were essentially mindless. Interestingly, General Grievous’ cyborg body may have been partially based on a Krath war droid design, constructed by Geonosians under the guidance of Count Dooku.
- "...artificial beings are well suited for combat against Jedi. What better way to guarantee a drawn-out war?"
- ―Darth Sidious
Mark I and Mark II
Later in history we find the Mark One and Mark Two Sith war droids utilized by Darth Malgus. Both multi-legged designs were fabricated by the Colicoids - who created the droidekas hundreds of years later for the CIS. These were tough, well armed, and somewhat more intelligent than their predecessors, but moved awkwardly. These were made in even greater numbers than their Krath droid predecessors and were instrumental in several battles.
IT Series Interrogator Droids
Later droid models influenced by the Sith and Krath traditions include the notorious IT series of Interrogator type droids. It is rumored this concept was an earlier Sith design, and later modified by the Empire. The original IT-0 droid had expensive medical and psychological programming and could keep a subject under interrogation alive almost indefinitely. The droids were equipped with an ungodly array of devices of torture- arc emitters, shears, drug injectors, bone crushers, sonic devices, acid jets, and others. Later IT-3 models succeeded the IT-0 and had actual heuristic processors.
Dark Eye Probe Droid
The Dark Eye probe droid bears mentioning as well. Darth Maul was known to use several of these during his lifetime as a Sith Lord. They were alchemically altered for both protection and stealth operations. Dark Eyes could also carry weaponry, such as blasters and poison needle projectors.
Dark Brotherhood's YVH Droids
Modern examples of droid based Mechu-deru would include the Brotherhood’s YVH droids that have been specifically modified with Mechu-deru vitae. Droids of this sort were used to repel Omancor Crask’s minions by Darth Ashen, and others have them as well. Sith Security droids, Dark Eyes, Interrogators, and a host of other Dark Side-influenced droids continue to exist across the galaxy to this day.
Other stranger versions of Mechu-deru vitae existed. The Heart of Dathka Graush is an example that borders on the almost surreal. The ancient Exile Sith Lord replaced his own beating heart with a fist-sized ruby enhanced with the Dark Side. It literally ate the souls (Force essence) of his victims. When the Heart is conjoined with the Helm of Dathka Graush, one could supposedly control the very essential forces of Nature on the planet in question. This is truly a magnificent artifact set.
- "My first attempt at alchemical self-modification was a complete failure, and I have disgusting burns on my face now as a result. I am blind, my lungs are scarred, but the implants will allow me to see and breathe normally. I intend to use Mechu-deru on the implants I have installed to offset the damage once I have grasped the science of it. My Master says the disfigurement adds a sinister character to my appearance like a proper Krath. Fortunately, the war-droids that Ranael then unleashed on me as punishment did not summarily kill me. I will focus my attention and my hatred more fully the next time and complete this task. One day, she will pay for the humiliation. I will destroy her myself!"
- ― Dorab Zhesos, Jedi Hunter
- "Master Ranael has decided I will grow my own red synthetic crystal as one of the tests for Knighthood. I have been given the general concept of a suitable furnace and have been left to construct it on my own. I’ve decided to use the first, more traditional method. My scientific skills are adequate but the time and materials needed to construct the second type are out of my reach."
- ―Dorab Zhesos, Jedi Hunter
There are, as well, alchemical methods used to create the synthetic lightsaber crystals that grace many Sith and Jedi weapons alike. Interestingly, again the methods were first recorded by the Rakata. These same methods can be used to taint or purify natural crystals also. The interested alchemist must build their own forge using plans available from a qualified Master or ancient sources such as Holocrons. The alchemist must build a device capable of reaching high temperatures with precisely controlled conditions.
A Master may allow a learner to use his or her forge, but this is generally not the rule. Very rarely, a functioning forge may be found or removed from its current owner or resting place. One method of synthetic crystal production involves direct use of the Force by the alchemist-creator. This is the first method learned by the Sith when they began to construct lightsaber crystals. This unit is a simple and smaller device that has only a pressure vessel, raw materials, a heating unit, and very basic controls. The operator uses meditation and the Force to lay down every molecule in the growing crystal structure with the power of refined telekinesis and foresight. This requires a high level of skill, control, and stamina. Once the process has begun, it cannot be terminated without ruining the crystal. This can take several days.
It is a true test of skill with the Force for a Darksider to fashion a crystal in this manner. These crystals are perfect when completed, and require no further treatment. Darth Maul used this method to fashion the four perfect red synthetic crystals needed for his double-bladed lightsaber. It is not known if Maul used any altered Novae in his weapon, although it is highly likely. Many Darksiders favor these crystals- there are more examples than need to be counted within this tome.
Synthetic crystals have also been utilized by the Jedi and other Force-using groups, especially in Imperial times.
Another more “modern” method of synth-crystal creation involves using a much more sophisticated furnace with ultra-clean and precise internal conditions. Powdered seed crystal or chemicals are either dropped onto a tiny point point and the crystal grows thereon, or a crystal-tipped piston is slowly withdrawn from a flux melt. Under pressure this causes a crystal to grow from the melt. The modern method is well suited to grow larger crystals such as those used in holocrons.
- "Success! My first lightsaber power generator crystal has emerged from the fiery heart of the forge unscathed. It did not detonate it’s power cell and blast me into ionized vapor when I first ignited the amaranthine-colored blade. I feel this is a superior weapon to the crude ones that are given us by the Armory. I cannot wait to progress further. Today I will wield my own fierce blade proudly in the Trials of Knighthood. I will overcome my enemies and slay them. Today, I become a Dark Jedi Knight!"
- ―Dorab Zhesos, Dark Jedi Knight
The Manipulation of Life
- "There were twelve of us…. I, Sorzus Syn, grower of living weapons and biological plagues."
- ―Sorzus Syn
According to the ancients, the art and science of Force Alchemy and genetic manipulation could be used on living organisms over time to create monstrous true-breeding abominations. Again, the Rakata seem to have been one of the first species to do so on a large scale. They casually terraformed planets to suit their tastes. They engineered bioweapons and infective agents that killed entire worlds. Rakatans did indeed modify slave races, although much of the details have been sadly lost to the ravages of time and ignorance.
- "My implants have now been altered with Mechu-deru Vitae that I have learned from my Master. In my agony and shame, I have found new power."
- ―Dorab Zhesos, Dark Jedi Knight
Sorzus Syn, Exile and Chief Alchemist
- "The Je'daii order made a monumental mistake in not summarily executing the Bogan Exiles – or was this perhaps the will of the Force?"
- ―Macron Sadow
The ancient Sith species specifically created beasts with Force Alchemy to serve them. The later Exiles seem to have perfected the Art, with Sorzus Syn being a known expert on the myriad ways to enhance and warp flesh. This chief alchemist among the Je'daii exiles increased the art of flesh manipulation to a highly refined degree. Sorzus was a Master at her craft. The classic image of a female Sith Lord is not what Sorzus was. She was not a “sexy sorceress,” but rather, a powerful, strong, deadly, and experienced Bogan Adept. Syn and her compatriots quickly subjugated the native Sith and imposed their own will upon them.
Sorzus was delighted to find that the native Sith already possessed some degree of understanding of bio-manipulation. In fact, she referred to them as an “untapped wealth of knowledge about the Dark Side of the Force.” The Exiles even intermingled their own blood with that of the native Sith under Sorzus’ early guidance. One specific example is Baron Dreypa breeding with a Kissai Priestess under Syn’s guidance.
- "How many of the ancient Sith Lords came from these unholy unions? Many, if history is any judge. And powerful they were."
- ―Master Ranael
Syn then turned her focus upon the lore of the Sith before her. She penetrated many hoary tombs of long-dead Sith Kings and looted their contents. Her slaves fell to Tuk’ata and myriad traps. The secrets of Sakkra-Kla, King Nakgru, and a host of other long-dead Sith lay open for her. Sorzus delved deeper into the lore of the native Sith than even their own ruling classes. She was unafraid to penetrate places considered taboo, and had the power and resources to fight off or enslave the tomb guardians. This Jen’Jidai Lord saw the echoes of the Rakata influence on the Sith species and deeply embraced it for herself.
- "The technology the Rakatans brought allowed the Sith to expand their influence and claim the planets that make up the dark fist of Sith Space."
- ―Sorzus Syn
- "The screams I saw with my new eyes on the holocron projections of Jen’Jidai projects were awful. Ahhh. Thank the Force the videos were rough and poorly resolved. Gods. Watching those ancient studies… their agonies… the Power!"
- ―Dorab Zhesos, Sith Warrior
Sorzus Syn, Jen’Jidai, then made a detailed assessment of the beasts that the Kissai Sith’s “Ninushwodzakut” (Knotters of Entrails) had created and added her own knowledge. She was the first to completely categorize the beasts that the Sith had made before her, as well as her own abominations. Sorzus took detailed notes and genetic samples and delineated the paths of monstrosity clearly for the first time. Warbeasts were described on Ziost as Syn examined the breeding pens.
Silooth, Behemoths & Warbirds, Oh My
- "During the same war that birthed the Silooth, the Sith introduced the Warbird and the War Behemoth."
- ―Sorzus Syn
Silooth are gigantic war-beasts mutated from carnivorous beetles. They are nearly the size of a tank, heavily armored, have powerful mandibles and can squirt horrific gouts of concentrated acid. During the Golden Age of the Sith Kalsunor was overrun and devastated by these insectoid horrors. They exist there to this day, ostensibly “held in reserve.” Rumors of incredibly large specimens living in the deep canyon systems of Kalsunor have surfaced from time to time. In truth they may have proven too much for even the Sith to control.
The Sith also developed the War Behemoth and Warbird around the same time as the Silooth. The massive behemoths may have been mutated from pachydermal original stock from Khar Delba and are used as lumbering weapons platforms and troop carriers. The massive mutated herd creatures stood from 12 to 15 meters tall at the shoulder. The quadrupeds could weigh in excess of 10,000 Kg. They possess dense, thick hides with a leathery texture, a scale-armored back, tusks, horns, and coarse fur.
Warbirds are flying assault platforms that obey telepathic commands and can tear enemies to bits with razor-sharp beaks and claws. In the days of the old Sith Empire, they were a mainstay of the Massassi infantry. They were notoriously foul-tempered beasts. These avian monsters would often trample and ram their prey with their goring beaks before tearing them to pieces.
- "A creature from another age, a Tuk'ata. The Sith placed them here long ago to guard their tombs. They still perform this task."
- ―Luke Skywalker
The Tuk’ata deserve special mention. The Force-sensitive Tuk’ata (also known as Sith Hounds) were specially bred to guard the ancient tombs of the Sith and as companions to the Sith Kings and Dark Lords. They were large, fearless abominations originally bred from herd-animal stock. Tuk’ata are quite intelligent and can communicate with each other and Force-sensitives telepathically. They possess tactical knowledge and are not crude unthinking beasts. In general they possess glowing red eyes and there are several varieties such as Wild, Spitting, Raging, Mutant, and Vicious Tuk’ata.
Interestingly, the Tuk’ata can live for hundreds, if not thousands, of years sealed within tombs and other secret places. it has been theorized that they gain sustenance (at least in part) from the Force. They have been reported from numerous places throughout history, including the Tomb of Tulak Hord and other tombs on Korriban in the Valley of the Dark Lords, Yavin Four, Ziost, and most major Sith-held planets historically.
- "There is one recorded instance of a Jedi Master “turning” two of them to the Light Side of the Force, however the two Tuk’ata Nobilis were killed by Darth Vader in 19 BBY."
- ―Muz Ashen
Hssiss: Dark Side Dragons
Hssiss, or Dark Side Dragons are another beast possibly engineered by the ancient Sith. The Hssiss reputedly originated on the world of Ambria. The Dark Side Dragon is recorded in Sorzus Syn’s writings, so it more than likely predates Lake Natth on Ambria somehow. The potent Dark Side energies of the planet undoubtedly influenced their development.
Hssiss are drawn to suffering and carnage. These reptilians have a potent Dark Side-powered poison that is fatal to most living beings. They have other Force powers as well, including near-invisibility and the power to mask their Force presence. Dark Side shades are also known to be able to possess them and use their bodies, examples of this being recorded both on Ambria and Korriban.
- "Life itself was in our service."
- ―Sorzus Syn
Terentateks are another magnificent horror recorded in Syn’s writings. It appears the Terentateks were fairly recent creations of the Kissai according to the Exile Alchemist. Exar Kun was for some time rumored to be the creator of the Terentateks, although we know their origins to be much more ancient. They were used by the ancient Sith against their Force-using enemies and have been known in more modern times as “Jedi Killers.”
The creatures resemble rancors, except with spines growing from their bodies and a pair of tusks protruding from their gaping maws. Terentateks feed on the blood and flesh of Force-sensitives. They have a potent poison in all parts of their bodies. They are highly resistant if not nearly immune to Force powers. These creatures can hibernate for long periods of time and emerge from stasis when the Dark Side is again powerful in the galaxy.
War Wyrms were huge serpentine behemoths that were incredibly huge. The original species originated on the lamproid homeworld of Florn, which was invaded by the ancient Sith some time before the arrival of the Exiles. They were considered siege weapons and could be thousands of feet in length. A later variation was grown by Naga Sadow on Yavin Four, and nearly resembled the historical Sith Wyrms in every aspect.
Exar Kun later grew his own version from a juvenile exogorth after slaying Naga Sadow’s spawn earlier on.
- "My burning flesh… the pain… aaah."
- ― Gritha, Dark Jedi Novice
Battle Hydras were one of the last engineered species mentioned by Sorzus Syn. Although there was some variation in the creature's appearances, they seemed to follow the same general design. These multi-headed reptilians had wings and flew. They had poisonous stingers, claws, fangs, and yellow eyes. Their bodies and skin was infused with alchemical alloys that both toughened their natural weaponry and repelled attacks, including lightsabers to some degree. They were susceptible to commands from Dark-Side using Force sensitives and gathered near places strong in the Dark Side. Exar Kun, again, may have engineered them to a higher degree during his own time of experimentation on Yavin Four.
- "Chrysalides fascinate me to this day. Darth Sidious was onto something good here. From the old Lore, the New begins, and the Circle of Life and Death continues."
- ―Macron Sadow
Chrysalides are another fascinating aspect of the alchemical process. A Chrysalide is grown from zygotic material, although they do not generally breed true like specimens gradually mutated over generations. They can also be developed from a fully grown living creature although this is more difficult.
In general an egg or fetus of the creature to be modified is subjected to controlled growth conditions within a “Chrysalis” or shell that provides an enclosed environment. The growing creatures are bathed in chemicals and manipulated with the Dark Side inside their gestation pods. The end result is a formidable, fearsomely powerful creature capable of easily rending durasteel with its claws and teeth. It is also an expensive process, both in time and materials. As well, the creatures are difficult to control and possessed of a very limited ability to reason.
Again, Sorzus Syn mentioned the Sith as having seen Chrysalides in her own time among the Sith race. Apparently, the early Sith had Chrysalide Veergundarks for certain. Later, other versions such as the ones Emperor Palpatine used in the defense of his strongholds on Byss. It is known that Palpatine’s servants grew Rancors, Gundarks, Katarns, and Vornskrs with the Chrysalide process. The Emperor’s Chrysalides defended his citadel on Byss in 10 ABY and forced a retreat from the Rebel forces.
Plagueis and Sidious: Progress
- "You must begin by gaining power over yourself; then another; then a group, an order, a world, a species, a group of species… finally, the galaxy itself."
- ―Darth Plagueis
Later experimenters in this methodology such as Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious found ways to combine modern technology with ancient lore. Plagueis, in particular, reputedly found a way to influence the creation of life itself, not just the modification of existing genotypes. With his mastery of the Force and alchemy, he could regenerate lost body parts, resurrect the dead, and stave off his own natural death almost indefinitely.
Darth Sidious was truly a Master of genetic manipulation, on every imaginable scale from microscopic planet-destroying plagues to massive siege creatures. We will learn more of his nefarious work in my later notes.
The Endless Corruption
- "To say that the Force works in mysterious ways is to admit one's ignorance, for any mystery can be solved through the application of knowledge and unrelenting effort."
- ―Darth Plagueis
The term “Sithspawn” or “Dark Mutation” can refer to true-breeding genetic mutations as previously outlined. However, it is more often used to describe living creatures directly subjected to the effects of Force Alchemy. They do not generally breed true and are often sterile. Fantastic effects can be achieved- if the subject survives the painful experimentation. The processes involved often weaken the mind of the subject and turn them into literal slaves of the experimenters. And some alchemists actually experimented on themselves …
- "My Master is trying to kill me for certain. I must survive. I will find the kernel of truth in his wicked experiments, and show him the error of his ways."
- ―Gritha, Acolyte
Sithspawn were the stuff of nightmares, and many could incite terror simply with their presence. Due to the manipulation through the Dark Side of the force the Sithspawn could withstand great amounts of pain, allowing them to continue on with the tasks given by their masters long after suffering crippling injuries. Beings not previously sensitive to the emanations of the Force could be made to sense its whispers.
- "I have used the Sithspawn process on my Apprentice Gritha. I hope to make her mind weak, so that she will be my servant unable to challenge me. Although Humans are more malleable, the Zabrak seems to well-endure the painful process and is quite responsive. Her strength in the Dark Side is already on the rise."
- ―Dorab Zhesos, Sith Battlemaster
Due to their construct-like nature, a Sithspawn could be made much stronger or more agile than its original form. Through the right controls and splicing regimens, their bite could be made powerfully venomous. They could be given the ability to see in total darkness. Extra limbs, different ingestion processes, or even additional heads could be added. Much like with the Tuk’ata, their skin could be made thicker and armored in order to help protect from physical damage. Land creatures could be given wings for flight or a spiked tail for crushing enemies. Essentially, the Sithspawn modification has few limitations, and many enhancements can be added to create incredibly powerful guards and warriors.
- "I have even seen and read in old holocrons that, in rare instances, some Sithspawn had the ability to project fire, lightning, or drain energy from their hapless victims."
- ―Macron Sadow
- "Focused on you, Zythmnr, the Dark Side of the Force will transform you into the greatest of all the Massassi!"
- ―Exar Kun
There are many classical examples of the Sithspawn process. Zythmnr, or the subsequent “Massassi Abominations” is an excellent example of a suite of Sith-spawned traits. Zythmnr was a male temple priest on the moon of Yavin Four when Sith Lord Exar Kun arrived. When Exar Kun was subsequently captured, Zythmnr ordered that he be sacrificed to the Sith Wyrm that lived in the temples built by Naga Sadow millennia before.
After Kun defeated the Sith Wyrm using the power of a Sith Amulet stolen from Zythmnr, he was not pleased with the old priest’s attempt to have him sacrificed. Zythmnr recognized the ascendant Sith Lord as the culmination of prophecy and “willingly” submitted to experimentation. Exar Kun then used Naga Sadow’s alchemical machine to twist the old priest’s body with the power of Force Alchemy.
The Massassi’s body became a living weapon. His skin was armored with Sith alloys, and his bones were strengthened, as well. His muscles increased in strength and stamina. He grew vicious, flesh-shredding claws, armored gauntlets, and his head became encased in an armored shell. Although unable to touch the Force before, Zythmnr became Force-sensitive after the agonizing experimentation. In fact, he literally radiated Dark Side energy afterwards. Exar Kun was pleased that the Massassi took so well to the alchemical processes and created several of the creatures that he later dubbed “Massassi Abominations.”
Blessing of the Fanged God
- "By conjuring green spirit Ichor and channelling the rawest hatred, the energies can be siphoned into hulking muscle and bone."
- ―Mother Talzin
It is known that the Nightsister tradition from Dathomir has a unique method of flesh-warping using the Dark Side. The Nightsisters refer to the process as the Blessing of the Fanged God. Raw spirit ichor was channeled into the body of a willing subject by a powerful Nightsister or group of Nightsisters. The technique changed the physiology of the subject permanently (if they survived), and increased the strength, constitution, and physique of the subject. Most subjects also either grow or have an enhancement to their natural weaponry. This ritual was only applied to warriors who had passed the Tests, so perhaps there is some alchemical connection regarding the herbs, minerals, and venoms known to be used by the Nightsisters.
- "Enhanced healing would be useful to me. I must experiment further with my Apprentice’s body and mind. Gritha unfortunately has a powerful connection to the Dark Side, and I fear I may have made a mistake in her enhancements. She learns quickly. The Zabrak seems able to resist outright torture. I must dominate her mind instead."
- ―Dorab Zhesos, Sith Battlemaster
Behemoth from the World Below
Sith Lord Seviss Vaa deserves more than a passing mention in my notes. Lord Vaa was a powerful alchemist during the time of Lord Skere Kaan. The Sith was an avid student of the old lore, and spent much of his time tracking down old legends and alchemical knowledge. He was fascinated particularly with Naga Sadow’s legacy.
Lord Vaa created a Sith-spawned behemoth from lizard stock on Aduba-3 known as the Behemoth from the World Below. This lizard was turned into a gargantuan Dark Side abomination although it was inherently unstable. The creature could fire blasts of lightning from its fin projections and was immensely strong and tough. Vaa was unfortunately dissatisfied with his work and placed the beast into suspended animation. It had been trained to attack anyone wielding a lightsaber and when released managed to kill many sentients and warriors before Han Solo finally dispatched it.
Another example of Sith-spawn creations were the Imperial Sentinels. These armored giants served Emperor Palpatine’s Dark Side Adepts. Cloned in a hidden facility on the Planet Byss, these mute warriors were altered by the Dark Side Adepts and injected with chemicals that reduced their higher brain function to make them completely subservient to their masters. Through the use of Dark Side Alchemy, the Sentinels were made to be to 2.4 meters tall or more.
Along with huge size, they also possessed great strength. It was also rumored that the Dark Side Adept that they served was able to perceive what the Sentinel did, giving them total control over the behemoths. It is unclear what Imperial Sentinels were originally created from or what they looked like. They were always covered in armor and robes, and only their glowing red eyes could be seen. Luke Skywalker was even known to have created one during his time of service under the returned Emperor Palpatine.
- "Dorab has used his vile alchemical tricks on me in an effort to enhance my physique and connection to the Dark Side. It does seem to have worked. His attempt to stupefy my mind has failed. However, I am in brutal agony every single day. I must survive. I must make him pay the ultimate price, as he did to his own Master"
- ―Gritha, Obelisk Jedi Hunter
- "We will be strong again. We will feast on their hearts, and the blood of the weak shall wash pure the dead stone."
- ―Captain Naz Felyood, compelled by the power of Dathka Graush's spirit
Undead are yet another form of the Sithspawn process. Even in ancient times, the Sith were known to have means of resurrecting the dead to some semblance of shambling life using the Dark Side and Force Alchemy. The deceased spirits of dead Sith Lords have been known to inhabit such shambling shells even before the Exiles came to Sith Space. One can only wonder if the Rakata had similar predilections. There are a large variety of such creatures.
Sith Lord Dathka Graush was a master of this art. The brutal pure-blooded Sith was considered extreme in his methods even by the Sith standards of the day. Graush was a masterful conqueror and created the Tsaiwinokka Hoyakut “spell”, which animated an army of spawning undead to fight for him. The bony legions could transmit their condition though a bite, and Graush dominated Korriban for some time until he was assassinated.
- "Once turned into a Rakghoul, the only sure release is death."
- ―Macron Sadow
- "It is not the only way. The Tarentae have some experience with this…"
- ―Muz Ashen
Rakghouls are not quite undead, although they bear mentioning. As previously discussed, Karness Muur concentrated his power and life essence into a Sith Talisman. The Muur Talisman also had the ability to mutate other sentients into mindless Rakghouls. Victims would mutate into horrid creatures. Covered in spines, their hands became clawed tearing weapons, and their teeth enlarged and sharpened. Their minds were lost; however, in the presence of the Talisman, they could retain shreds of their former skills and knowledge.
The Rakghouls could be commanded by the Muur Talisman’s owner. Karness Muur also engineered the Rakghoul Plague, which allowed for direct transmission of the Rakghoul mutation into those bitten or scratched by other Rakghouls. Plague-created ghouls were also controlled by the Talisman. In the time of Revan and Malak a serum existed to combat the transmutation, and their Sith Troopers often carried it when traveling to Taris. There is no known cure but Death, although is also rumored that the Force can be used to cure the effect by someone with the correct power and training.
- "It is the Rakghoul plague. Did you really believe a suit designed to protect you from germs and viruses would shield you from the effects of Sith magic?"
- ―Darth Vader
Sith Poison (or Dark Toxins) and chemicals are another aspect of the alchemical process. Sith Poison is arguably one of the most famous, rare, and mysterious weapons of the Alchemist’s arsenal. The Sith, Rakata, Nightsisters, Sorcerers of Tund, Krath, Hssiss dragons, and a host of Dark Side related Force traditions all used or use some form of these chemicals. They are traditionally used on Force-sensitive beings.
These poisons literally infect victims with the Dark Side, causing tremendous agony and forcing the afflicted to call only on the Dark Side of the Force. Overcoming the debilitating poison is a lengthy and painful process, as the venom tends to linger in the system of the being in question. They can be used to debilitate enemies, for interrogation, or to turn others to the Dark Side.
Satal Keto used Sith Poison on the Jedi warlord Ulic Qel-Droma. The poison clouded Qel-Droma’s mind, and tainted him with the Dark Side. Sith poison was instrumental in turning Ulic by helping to release his full fury in a battle with Keto. This battle proved fatal for Satal Keto, and completed Ulic’s Qel-Droma’s fall into Darkness, his ascent as a Krath and later as a Sith Lord.
The Light of Creation
- "Not all Force Alchemists serve the Dark Side, I am told. The Jedi have their own traditions, apparently. They deserve closer study in order to fully understand the Art."
- ―Macron Sadow
Force Alchemy Among Jedi
- "Whatever Anil Kesh can imagine, Vur Tepe can make real."
- ―Je'daii proverb
Today, Master Ranael discussed this with me as part of the greater mysteries. On Tython, the Jedi began their studies of the art of Alchemy. The Rakata technology that the Je'daii Order absorbed after the crash of a Rakatan ship on Tython in 25,817 BBY that sparked the Force Wars may have enhanced their studies in the Art. There is conjecture about this point, as known instances of Force-imbued blades were in use by the Je'daii almost twelve thousand years earlier than the Force Wars.
- "Weapons can be imbued with the Force, and so can armor."
- ―Anavus Svag
It is known that the Je'daii used metal or ceramic blades imbued with the Force. Initiates would obtain high quality metal or metallic ceramics and forge them into blades while using the Force and deep meditation to control the crystalline structure of the weapon’s molecules. The process resulted in a fine-edged weapon with superior strength and durability. The the Je'daii would attach a crystal to the pommel of the blade and use the Force and long meditation to join them permanently.
This highly difficult process was time-consuming, draining, and success was not guaranteed. The final product could come in a variety of blade shapes, each unique to the creator. Some glowed with energy or flames, others showed no outward signs of having been altered. The weapons required no power sources and could cut through most materials easily, and would still cut denser materials, albeit more slowly. Some channeled abilities in the Light Side of the Force, or enhanced its wielder in some way according to the crystals used in its creation.
The Je'daii, and later the Jedi Order, used forms of alchemically-enhanced battle armor during times of conflict. It has been theorized that with the limited mobility that already ensues with large battles, the armor was needed for survival. Jedi armor was modified to be hard, flexible, lightweight, and possibly had other Force related properties such as increased healing or resistance to Dark Side-related powers.
In the time of the Je'daii, the armor was used to repel their Force-imbued blades, but by the time of the later Jedi Order, the armor had been developed to resist lightsabers. The Old Sith Wars, Great Galactic War, Cold War, and The New Sith Wars all saw the Jedi Order using battle armor. Examples of this occurred during the Clone Wars era as well. Interestingly, Bardan Jusik was known to wear a suit of Beskar’gam at this time. It is unknown whether this was alchemically enhanced.
Force-imbued Clothing and Apparel
The regular clothing of the Jedi was often enhanced, especially by Masters. There were a variety of robes that were enhanced by the Force. Ossus Keeper robes enhanced the mental focus and alacrity of those who wore them. Other types had increased armoring effects, or other abilities. These included such things as increased resistance to the Dark Side of the Force, regenerative abilities, mental enhancements, or an increase in healing focus.
There are specific examples of unique creations. Master Arca Jeth’s robe is a prime example. The garments were resistant to decay and were imbued with the Light Side of the Force. The robe increased its owners wisdom, and enabled them to regain expended Force energy more quickly.
Nomi Sunrider’s famous garb gave a strong boon to the innate understanding of those who wore them, and deepened their ability to call upon the Light Side of the Force.
Cay Qel-Droma’s robe was resolutely armored and increased one’s innate knowledge. There are many others.
- "How I long to study them for myself."
- ―Gritha, Jedi Hunter
Other items were enhanced and used by the Jedi. Rings, circlets, tapestries, bracers, and belts are among them. Historical examples exist here also.
One fascinating example is the Belt of Bodo Baas. Master Baas’ belt reputedly increased the strength and raw fortitude of its owner and increased their ability to understand lightsaber creation and fabrication.
The Circlet of Saresh enabled a greater Force connection.
- "Without the mask he looked more human. It was easier to remember he was just a man, with all the weaknesses and vulnerabilities that implied. With the mask, however, Revan was an icon, a symbol. He was the shaper of history, an individual defined by his actions rather than his thoughts, feelings, and beliefs."
- ―Meetra Surik
Crystal Growth and Modification
- "In your pursuit of justice, having tools to ensure your survival is tantamount."
- ―Cala Brin
The modification and growth of crystals is a facet of the Alchemy that the Je'daii and later Jedi practiced. The early Je'daii altered natural crystals and used them in their weaponry. The First Blade on Tython used a synthetic crystal created in the Forge of Vur Tepe. Synthetic Meditation Crystals were used in the Force imbued weaponry of the age.
Later Jedi frowned upon synthetic crystals in general, although there are exceptions. In times of necessity, Jedi would create them. Due to the Galactic Empire guarding or razing many known crystal sites during this time, most New Jedi Order lightsabers used synthetic crystals.
- "Synthetic though they were, most were loath to use the bloodshine hues so many of the Sith used. Superstition and fear of corruption kept them from it, to the point of saying that the Crystals of the Sith burned hotter, or would break a Jedi’s natural blade. Sadly just rumors, but ones we did well by encouraging. Fear is our strongest ally."
- ―Muz Ashen
The natural lightsaber crystals preferred by the Jedi could be altered through Force Alchemy. In fact, attuning one of these to serve as a lightsaber’s generator crystal was a form of the Art to begin with. Dantari crystals could sometimes be enhanced by the very Force aura of their wielder. Jenruax novae were refined by Jedi artisans. Kasha crystals were used by Cerean Jedi and attuned their minds to greater clarity. Solari crystals could be imbued with the Light Side of the Force. The Ankarres Sapphire is an example of a unique crystal, powerfully attuned to the Light Side of the Force. This blue stone aided in healing and empowering its owner.
- "Meant to be a teaching device, Jedi record their experiences into them. They're interactive so you can talk with them."
- ―Quinlan Vos
Holocrons were not unique to the Sith or Rakata. The ancient Jedi knew their creation, as well. However, the Sith knew this art from the Rakata almost three thousand years before the Jedi began creating their own. Jedi Holocrons were created from both synthetic and naturally-attuned crystals. These items were usually some sort of geometrically regular polygon, with cubic and hexagonal prisms being more favored shapes. They contained the historical lore of the Jedi, including vast stores of information on the Force and other techniques.
The Great Holocron
The Great Holocron was the centerpiece of the Jedi Temple's library holdings. It contained vast amounts of information that was accessible to any Force-sensitive being willing to open itself to the holocron, and Jedi trainees were encouraged to explore its contents. Despite its ease of access, consumption of its manifold mysteries was thought to be impossible—even Master Yoda was thought, by Archives Director Jocasta Nu, to still struggle with its depth.
While the Great Holocron was designed to only reveal information that its user was prepared to encounter, inexperienced Padawans accessed the Great Holocron under the watchful eye of the Archives Director who stood ready to step in if the young Jedi was drawn in too far.
It contained information on advanced Lightsaber construction and combat, Sith and Republic history, as well as methods of resisting the call of the Dark Side. Following the rise of the Galactic Empire, the Great Holocron was lost, probably captured by the 501st Legion troopers in the assault on the Jedi Temple during Order 66.
- "Rumour has it that Taldryan has recovered enough fragments of this artifact that it has been driving the clan back toward the light."
- ―Dorab Zhesos
- "Somehow, I doubt that."
- ―Maelous Ascarend
Mechu-deru was also practiced by the Jedi. Mechu-deru itself was not connected specifically to the Dark Side, although the Mechu-deru vitae form was. Jedi technicians could use the ability to modify and repair complicated devices. The power to disable droids or turn them to fight against their senders was known to some Jedi. Master Arca Jeth was known to use the ability to destroy Dark Droids he encountered. It is possible that other Jedi used it as well, like Anakin Skywalker.
Body and Genetic Manipulation
The art of body and genetic manipulation was not practiced by the Jedi in general, as they viewed this as unnatural and against the order of things. There is one known example, however. The Je’daii Master Quan-Jang created alchemically-enhanced Terenta to seek out explosives during the Despot Wars. Unfortunately the beasts developed a taste for Force-using meat. The experiment was considered a failure by the Jedi and somehow led to the Terentateks, detailed previously in my notes.
- "I have read my Master’s notes. Dorab considers me an abomination, a failed experiment. He is wrong. My will is focused into a fine point now. My flesh is iron. I will show him, soon."
- ―Gritha, Dark Jedi Knight
The various techniques can be combined. Full mastery of the art of Force Alchemy and of one’s self is required. The results are often gruesome and dangerous, both to the subject and creator. While perfection of body and power creates formidable creatures and tools, they can be turned on their creators.
While technically created through Mechu-deru vitae, the Technobeasts are considered by some to be amalgamated Sithspawn created through an insidious process that melds technology and organic creatures through an insidious process. The frontal lobes of the victims' brains were lobotomized by the virus, making them incapable of higher thought, by which point the process was irreversible.
While no two Technobeasts were ever alike, they often had sharp protrusions on their arms, by which they could infect others. Some were even designed to release a cloud of the technovirus in combat. However, it was possible to kill the technovirus before it reached the frontal lobes, as demonstrated by Darth Bane.
Shadow Droids are a particularly horrid example of the melding of Mechu-deru vitae and Sithspawning (described elsewhere in these notes). The Galactic Empire experimented with removing the still-living brains from grievously wounded TIE Aces and inserted them into droid starfighter bodies. They became cyborg Darksiders.
These monstrosities were first constructed on Byss during Emperor Palpatine's reign. Umak Leth supervised the project, and the Emperor himself imbued the cyborgs with the ability to touch the Dark Side of the Force using Sith alchemical processes. Shadow Droids were difficult to detect and could easily go toe-to-toe with advanced X-Wing type fighters flown by skilled pilots and defeat them. Their Dark Side connection seems to have been in the area of attack precognition.
Darth Vader after his duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi is a perfect historical account of this. The shattered Anakin Skywalker’s body was kept alive by the Emperor’s skills. He was eventually encased in a customized set of Dark Armor by the Emperor. Vader’s severed limbs were replaced with Mech-deru implants, and his entire system was flooded with Sith chemicals. Vader was dependent on the chemicals that he received from his Master, and his armored life-support system was vulnerable to Force Lightning. In this way, Palpatine kept him under control, like many Sith Masters before him did with their creations and apprentices.
- "Today, I have slain my mentor. Dorab taught me well, and wracked my flesh. I learned his lessons and made him pay the ultimate price. I will forgo the Art, as it availed him not in the end. It is too slippery, too dangerous. It is a path that leads to destruction for most, as it did for him. Foolish Sith."
- ― Gritha, Obelisk Templar