The Dark Crusade was a massive series of skirmishes between the members of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood and the followers of the One Sith as the two sides fought for control of the ancient Sith Worlds. The conflict did not truly begin until the Battles of Krayiss II and Nfolgai, but was set off by the actions of former Grand Master Zoraan, who attacked the Brotherhood in the events of the Horizons Plague. For more than a year, the two sides battled back-and-forth seeking domination and destruction. The Clans and Houses of the Brotherhood utilized all the forces at their command to decimate the Sith forces and compete against their rivals within the Brotherhood itself. After capturing a planet and repelling the One Sith, the Dark Council awarded stewardship of the planets do the unit they believed contributed most to the victory.
Prologue - Capture of the Avenger II
- Further information: Dark Crusade - Prologue
- "Get off our ship..."
- ―Methyas, to Darth Necar after activating the thermal detonator
In the wake of former Grand Master Zoraan's death on Antei, the Super-class Star Destroyer Avenger II attempted to flee the Antei System before the Brotherhood could mount a counter-attack. However, without their master's guidance, the ship found it near-impossible to navigate the treacherous Shroud, which left the ship blind and vulnerable to attack.
The reigning Dark Lord, Muz Ashen, quickly dispatched teams of Dark Jedi from each unit of the Brotherhood to board the Avenger II, eliminate all opposition, and capture the vessel for the Dark Brotherhood. A total of eighteen teams were formed and sent, however, most played ancillary roles in the operation. The first team to board the ship played the largest role in its capture, fighting the remnants of Zoraan's Force-trained students
The team, comprising of Kalia Pepoi, Atra Ventus, Araxis Farron, Archangel, and Methyas L'eonheart, began their assault in the Star Destroyer's hangar bay, where they encountered the twin Dark Jedi codenamed Reaper and Frost. Unable to match their opponents with sheer strength, Araxis came up with a plan to lure the one called Frost in with an illusion. The gambit worked, and Frost ended up slaying his own twin brother. Consumed by rage, Frost attacked the five Jedi, threatening to overwhelm them with the sheer power of his pain and rage. However, that blind rage became his undoing, as the teamwork and Force meld of the Dark Jedi united to bring an end to Frost.
Though the first objective was cleared, the battle was far from over. The team continued moving forward, but were forced to battle their way through the ship's security deck where the encountered the Dark Adept, Dantella Novae and managed to combine their powers to place the Umbaran into stasis. Adept Novae because the first prisoner of war in the conflict between Dark Brotherhood and One Sith.
Finally arriving at the bridge, the team was shocked to witness a horrific scene as the entire crew of the command deck had been butchered before any Brotherhood troops arrived. The team was forced to face Darth Necar, Zoraan's apprentice, who had fallen in anguish over his master's death. A powerful Sith Lord in his own right, Necar proved to be a brutal opponent with command over the vicious dark side beasts, Terentatek. In the end, the only way to defeat the Sith Lord was for the team to vent the entire bridge into space. Methyas, alone, bought the rest of the team time to fleet. Utilizing a thermal detonate, Methyas manages to slay the Sith Lord before both of them were sucked out into the vacuum of space.
Chapter I - Dawn of War
- Further information: Krayiss II, Nfolgai
In 30 ABY, the Dark Brotherhood was besieged my some unknown malevolent force. Sleeper cells hidden within the Brotherhood itself were activated, and began a silent, systematic assault on powerful and influential Dark Jedi. In the aftermath of the Horizon Plague, this unknown faction manipulated the disinfranchised Dark Jedi and turned them against their brethren. The infiltrations began. As more and more members turned against the Brotherhood, they provided a foothold for their new masters. In a matter of weeks, what was at first thought to be mere accidents, became a series of devastating attacks across the Brotherhood's dominion.
Library-temple of Krayiss II
The Dark Council was under siege and the Clans and Houses were being attacked by enemies from without and within. Finally, the Grand Master called a gathering of the various leaders and Elders who appeared before the Iron Throne as holographic projections. Orders were given and targets were identified and the Brotherhood was called to unite as one to go on the offensive and destroy the new order that had risen and attacked—the One Sith.
- "You think you deserve to inherit the legacy of the Sith?!"
- ―Darth Malignous, spirit of the library-temple[src]
First on the Brotherhood's path of conquest was the Sith World of Krayiss II, believed to be one of the five sacred worlds of the old Sith Empire. Ancient lore acquired by the Grand Master indicated that Krayiss II was home to a dark side temple-library, which was believed to be filled with power relics, artifacts, and knowledge long-thought lost to the annuls of time. With the Clans and Houses united with the goal of eradicating the One Sith, the Grand Master sent mixed-unit task forces to the surface of Krayiss II to capture and secure the library-temple and the secrets kept within.
However, the Brotherhood was a step behind. The One Sith, led by a Sith Lord named Darth Sinagar had already led a team in and discovered the entrance to the library-temple. Utilizing a powerful and dangerous ritual, Sinagar and his acolytes breached the seals on the temples and entered. Sinagar's apprentice, Tor Siva, was left on the surface to protect the entrance. A Brotherhood team, led by Shadow Taldrya and comprising of the Battle Teams Dark Forge and the Wardens made up the vanguard of the Brotherhood's assault. Joined by his fellow member of Taldryan, Benevolent Taldrya Whiner, Shadow drew away Siva and her retinue to allow the rest of the team to follow Sinagar into the library-temple. In the desert wastes, the two Dark Jedi managed to combine their power to defeat the Sith Lady and join up with the rest of the team.
Within the halls of the library-temple, madness seemed to have taken hold of both Brotherhood members and the One Sith. Possessed by the spirits dwelling within the relics and artifacts, both sides were forced to eliminate their own as they delved deeper into the heart of the library-temple to find the source of the madness. When the Dark Jedi arrived at the inner sanctum, they discovered the remnants of the One Sith had been murdered by Sinagar, who was now possessed by a spirit calling itself Lord Malignous. The Jedi fought against the brutal power of the spirit, but where overwhelmed by its power. It was due to the uncontrolled power unleashed in the battle that the guardian spirits of the library-temple awoke and attacked Malignous en masse, weakening him enough for Shadow to eliminate him with a Force meld-enhanced blast of Force Lightning. With Sinagar dead and the temple freed from Malignous' taint, the Brotherhood gained its first victory in the Dark Crusade.
- "It is time the so-called Sith see what it is they really face."
- ―Yobd Nan[src]
Deep within the jungles of Nfolgai, a great burial temple was said to hold the remains of Sorzus Syn, a master Sith alchemy and his knowledge and techniques for creating Sithspawn. As one of the units sent to subjugate the One Sith on Nfolgai, Plagueis sent an entire army of war droids to capture the temple. As the battle raged outside its walls, Yobd Nan, a newly appointed Sith Lord, was researching the mysteries left by Sorzus Syn.
The Plagueian droids eventually managed to blow a hole into the side of the temple. Nan ordered his guardians, a trio of Nightsisters to protect him. Leading the charge on the temple were two Dark Jedi, Ronovi Tavisaen and Solus Gar. The nightsisters attacks proved ineffective, and were taken out by two modified SD-10 battle droids. Enraged, Nan launched a powerful attack at the two Dark Jedi, but his power could not reach them. It was revealed that the pair had come up with a countermeasure to Nan's power, and had acquired a rare ysalamir to prevent the use of the Force for either attack or defense. With his power rendered useless, Nan was ripped apart by the battle droids at the order of Gar. Nan's fall signalled the end to the battle and Plagueis claimed the burial temple and the secrets it contained for the Brotherhood.
Chapter II - Places of Power
- Further information: Khar Delba, Rhelg
Dark Councilors have identified the planets of Rhelg and Khar Delba as potentialfollow on targets. Grand Master Ashen and his advisors have observed an anomaly within the Force on Rhelg. This information has not been shared with subordinate Houses/Clans and explains its limited selection by Brotherhood forces. The Grand Master takes the time to deliberate on deploying his forces deeper into the Stygian Caldera in search of One Sith forces.
Though victory bad been secured on two notable worlds, the various members of influence across the Brotherhood knew that the balance of power was shifting. The confidence and servitude endured under the current Grand Master and Dark Council had not led to a Brotherhood increasing the size of its holdings. Rather, for the second time in a short period, it found itself under siege inside and out, infiltrated and under attack. Some felt that the battles having taken place thus far were clear indications of the power the Grand Master was too afraid to utilize. Notable efforts from surprising sources leading some to believe the balance of power within the Brotherhood was shifting, which could lead to disaster.
But everyone knew the time for dissidence had not yet come. The Grand Master, not entirely blind to those in his service and their feelings, ordered another series of assaults on One Sith worlds. And though they may claim victory, there were those that still felt the Brotherhood was one step behind the devious One Sith forces.
(The assaults on Khar Delba and Rhelg.)
Chapter III - Forbidden Knowledge
- Further information: Bhargebba, Ch'hodos
In an attempt to secure valuable resources, the One Sith had spent the years leading up to the Crusade investigating and occupying the ancient Sith Worlds. Intelligence gathered by the Dark Brotherhood determined that the Sith had discovered to such resources on the planets Bhargebba and Ch'hodos. While the Houses and Clans were still recovering from the previous battles, the Grand Master ordered a continuation of the assault. The Brotherhood's forces once again split up to cover more ground, with temporary alliances, doomed to failure, once more forced upon the units. However, unlike the previous battles, the One Sith were deeply entrenched and the battle became a drawn out and costly affair for both sides.
- "Attention all troops. We have secured the Forge. Soulfire, Void Squadron, Vic and Andrelious held off Scholae and Odan Urr. The downed Larty team has been recovered, and House Qel-Droma has secured an enemy captain as a P.O.W. Bhagebba is ours. Arcona Invicta!"
- ―Wuntila Arconae, after the capture of the Forge of Loka Dan
Brotherhood forces preparing for battle.
The resolve of the Brotherhood to annihilate the One Sith forces from the ancient Sith Worlds was unshakable, perhaps even stubborn and dangerous. In particular, Clan Arcona was ordered to lead a combined-Brotherhood assault of enemy holdings on the planet of Bhargebba, where a group known as the Mecrosa Order would fight tooth and nail to repel the invaders. And with over five thousand years of experience under the Mercosian's belts, it would be a hard-fought battle, indeed.
The primary target on the planet was the Forge of Loka Dan, a vast structure hidden deep underground. The structure itself was heavily defended and hard to access, but any price was worth paying for the prizes that lay within. Potential artifacts, including weapons and armour, knowledge, and other trinkets and treasures of a time long past and forgotten lay buried deep inside. The assault began, and the chaos of battle intervened. With the rest of the Clans busy fending off Mercosian and One SIth assaults, it was up to Arcona to secure the site, and to secure these artifacts. Though of course, since they had to be cataloged upon capture, perhaps the Grand Master might not notice if a few simply had not been found. But first they had to get inside, ad it just so happened that the battle had placed Arcona in the position most opportune to capture it.
The battle was extremely hard fought, with both Clan Arcona and their Mercosian enemies taking losses that they had collectively underestimated. However, the determination and resourcefulness of Arcona prevailed, and they eventually dispatched their cult-practicing enemies to gain full and unimpeded access to The Forge. Once inside, however, Arcona also had to deal with the Sith spirit of Dan Loka, as well as a group of specially trained One Sith adepts. Having just recently defeated the Mercosa Order, the Dark Jedi and Arconan Sith were exhausted. But the potential prize before them forced their resolve, and they once again defeated, albeit narrowly, the Sith Spirit and the One Sith adepts.
- Captain Lin: "What do you want with me?"
- Jac Cotelin: "Me? Nothing. Them? I cannot fathom."
- ―Captain Lin, questioning Jac Cotelin about her fate
Brotherhood encampment on Ch'Hodos
As the conquest of the ancient Sith worlds continued, the planet of Ch'Hodos was a ripe target of opportunity for the Brotherhood leadership. Specifically, the Fortress of Shar Dakhan was the location of a valuable One Sith research station, and perhaps the location of much older relics and knowledge, as well. The Fortress was also highly symbolic of the ancient Sith Empire, and its capture would strike a critical blow to the morale of the One Sith. But first, the Brotherhood determined that in order for any such attack to succeed, the world must be cut off from its supply chain.
Darth Pravus, at the time serving as Voice of the Brotherhood, contacted another prominent figure, former Grand Master Jac Cotelin. Pravus had intelligence of one Captain Lin, a smuggler and arms trafficker, who was hired to run supplies for the One Sith on Ch'Hodos. Pravus conferred with Jac about the importance of capturing Lin and her ship, the Core's End, and bringing them before the Dark Council on Antei. Only with his help could the Brotherhood hope to even think about breaking through the heavily entrenched One Sith forces on the planet. Jac agreed after some deliberation, and began about planning his operation.
Cotelin's mission was a success. He eliminated a majority of Captain Lin's crew and ordered her to Antei, to face the wrath and questioning of various parties of the upper leadership of the Brotherhood. Her ship, laden with valuable supplies for One Sith forces, was confiscated and held by the Brotherhood. Pravus and other members of the Dark Council extracted all the information they could from Lin and her ship, before setting about the final plans for the operation to take Ch'Hodos. The information gathered would be crucial to a successful assault on Shar Dakhan.
As part of the campaign against the One Sith, a large force was once again assembled for this next assault. Comprising various ships and arms from across the Brotherhood, the assault was inevitably led by Clan Plagueis, whose ferocity and tactics were crucial in the opening and closing stages of the assault. The casualties from taking the Fortress of Shar Dakhan were staggering, on both sides. Even though the One Sith had been cut off from their supply chain, under the leadership of Elser Repu and his apprentice, Erithin Vax, every inch of ground was fought for tooth and nail. However, Plagueis took the initiative during the final stages of the assault, leading Brotherhood forces to a Pyrrhic victory over their One Sith foes, and dispatching Repu and Vax to secure the Fortress, and the research. The last of the One Sith forces on the planet surrendered, and another victory was recorded for the Brotherhood.
Chapter IV - Chains of Duty
- Further information: Ashas Ree, Athiss, Svolten
While the Dark Brotherhood consolidated their forces and made plans to continue their assault on One Sith worlds, the Sith Lord Esoteric, leader of One Sith Intelligence, watched from afar. He knew that the Brotherhood's victories were empty to the One Sith. They had infiltrated the Brotherhood itself with their own agents, spreading the fear of betrayal throughout its vast ranks. Betrayal was spawning doubt, doubt in the leadership of the Brotherhood, and doubt about the over-the-top operations designed to retake ancient Sith space. Though the physical battles were being lost, Esoteric's mission in sewing discord among the upper echelons of the Brotherhood were succeeding. This reality would make the Brotherhood's next steps in their war delicate, as the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Phase II saw the separation of the Brotherhood into special and general forces. The assaults on Ashas Ree, Athiss, and Svolten, were each undertake by various forces from various Clans. Now that the One Sith had had time to reinforce these positions, the Brotherhood's initial strategy of overpowering their enemy through sheer force and numbers had to change. Various operations were devised based on the location, conditions, and other circumstances surrounding the three planets. But just like other ancient Sith worlds, these planets held valuable secrets, invaluable artifacts, and knowledge that hadn't been met by mortal eyes in hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. The Iron Throne, just one corporeal head of the endless Dark Side of the Force, constantly sought knowledge that would extend its power and influence. These were important to obtain, not only for the Clans who claimed victory, but to the Grand Master himself. Nothing short of victory was to be accepted.
Some Clans and Houses were tasked with special operations, utilizing small and successful strike teams made up of their most powerful members. Their missions brought them behind enemy lines and into less-than-ideal situations, typically using their quick thinking and wit under effective and overwhelming enemy fire to regain the momentum and complete their mission. These operations had larger, more standard military implications, and their failure would have had a serious effect on the overall machinations of the Brotherhood war machine. Luckily, the trust placed in these individuals was not ill-placed.
Brotherhood and One Sith fleets in battle
More conventional tactics were used elsewhere, with the Brotherhood's more powerful fleets and conventional, battle-tested forces bearing down on equally brutal and ferocious One Sith warriors. In every engagement, losses were seemingly heavier than the last, but the incredible resources and supply chain of the Brotherhood managed to continually grant them some form of victory. Though not all their objectives were achieved, the overall goal of seeking and destroying One Sith forces, regular or otherwise, was met continually with a bloody eagerness from the Clans and Houses.
But more often than not, the Grand Master's plans left serious casualties in his wake. From hordes of loyal slaves and soldiers lost in the fighting, to influential members of the Brotherhood, including Jac Cotelin, few were spared from the fires of battle. Though Cotelin and many others were barely alive, they were still lucky enough to have not been condemned to death on such cursed worlds as those they had assaulted. And though the casualty list grew higher, the Grand Master sensed that an end was near. But what end, it seemed, was entirely unclear. But the war had to continue.
Chapter V - Once More Unto the Breach
- Further information: Jaguada, Kalsunor, Korriz
The assaults on Jaguada, Kalsunor, and Korriz were ordered by the Grand Master and his subordinates. Though the Brotherhood was plagued with traitors and deceit and suffered from turmoil inside its own ranks, the momentum to push forward was still in their favour. The Grand Master wanted to keep the focus on the battles at hand, having only the Dark Councilor's who silently doubted his rule to deal with, rather than disenchanted leaders and legions of the various Clans. It was important for his own rule that the focus be on destroying the ever-present One Sith, and important for his forces that they maintain the initiative and continue their offensive operations. As before, however, he gave authority to the Clan and House leaders to devise plans as they saw fit, stating to them only the objectives that must be attained by any means necessary.
In these later stages of the Crusade, the Grand Master understood that the power of the Brotherhood was in the manipulation of the Dark Side's base instincts. He partnered members together, and ordered rival Clans and Houses into operations where their end goals and results directly conflicted with each other. Though it was a risk, the Grand Master successfully predicted that playing on these petty squabbles increased the effective fighting strength of his troops, as they had more to fight for than simply his praise and artifacts. It was for pride, for glory, and the memory of besting their rivals.
Infiltration teams made up of elite members, as well as veteran commanders with experience leading planetary assaults were chosen, and the battered forces of the various Clans and Houses assembled. The Brotherhood's supply lines were increasingly stretched and confidence was weakening, but their forces remained determined to enact the will of the Iron Throne. Though the Brotherhood had suffered betrayal, their anger was channeled into the battles to come. And though it wasn't spoken, many could feel the end of this great Crusade was near. What the end would bring, or when it would happen was unclear, but if they kept pushing, perhaps they could finally lay claim to the spoils of their swiftly-fought war.
Either One Sith forces retreated or were routed, but victory was seemingly secured once again. The wounds of battle were licked and the spoils of war carted away for further study. The Grand Master took notice of some of the Clans, particular Plagueis, Arcona and Taldryan, who were going above and beyond their duties and out-smarting their One Sith opponents. The pieces on the board were falling into place, and the final confrontation between the One Sith and a barely-united Dark Brotherhood was nigh.
Chapter VI - An End, or Perhaps a Beginning
- Further information: Dromund Kaas, Ziost
Dromund Kaas and Ziost were the final pair of systems that had not fallen under the domain of the Dark Brotherhood, and thankfully so. Though the Brotherhood had suffered immense casualties up until this point, the sheer size and scope of the combined armies and fleets of the various Clans and Houses still made them a significant threat to the retreating One Sith. But now, during these final days, the front line commanders of the Brotherhood would come face-to-face with their ultimate test: to best the Sith Lord Esoteric and his forces, and to best the One Sith on two of their most heavily fortified planets. And if victory could be achieved, the ancient Sith worlds would be under the secure rule of the Dark Brotherhood, and the secrets of the Stygian Caldera would be open to all those who had won their spoils, or those sly enough to steal from others.
The Clans assembled their forces, and the Grand Master assembled his. United under his firm command, he ordered the assaults on Ziost and Dromund Kaas to begin. Of the two battles, Dromund Kaas was by far the more ferocious and dangerous, with Clan Taldryan taking lead of the assault and battling head-to-head with Esoteric's highly trained and deadly private forces. Though less ferocious, the conflict on Ziost was equally taxing, with Brotherhood and One Sith forces battling for every kilometer of ground and space gained. There were points in both battles where the Grand Master and his fellow Dark Councilor's thought defeat was imminent, though their forces used unconventional tactics that turned the tide back in their favour.
In the end, the Dark Crusade came to a close with Dromund Kaas and Ziost falling under the rule of the Brotherhood. The Sith Lord Esoteric escaped, with some of his forces in tow. Though a search was mounted, he could not be found, and the Brotherhood was in no shape to pursue such a target in any case. The Grand Master, setting his Dark Council to the rejuvenation of the Brotherhood, turned his attention to the Clans themselves. He recognized the contributions and sacrifices that had been made in his service, and bestowed upon each various prizes and praise in hopes of once again solidifying his rule and their confidence. Though the Crusade was over and the One Sith had been dispatched, the threat of Esoteric loomed over them all. The end of the Dark Crusade was, in a way, not an end at all, but a beginning of a new threat united under the sole rule of the dangerous Esoteric.
Events and Placings
Phase 1 Chapter 1 here
Phase 1 Chapter 2 here
|Bhargebba Event Results
||OPM Marick Arconae
||OE Wuntila Arconae
||OE Wuntila Arconae
||OPM Cethgus Tiberius Entar Arconae
||KPN RevengeX Palpatine
||SWL Xen'Mordin Vismorsus
||CSE A'lora Kituri
||SWL Andrelious J. Inahj
||KAP Atyiru Caesus Entar
||DJK Kyrun Ashida
||DA Teroch Erinos Arconae
||OPM Marick Arconae
||OPM Marick Arconae
||GP Sanguinius Tsucyra Entar
||DJK Kyo Loric
||KAP Atyiru Caesus Entar
|Phase I Chapter III|
- Scholae Palatinae
- Naga Sadow
Champions of the War
- Jac Cotelin, Taldryan
- Selika Roh, Plagueis
- Marick Arconae, Arcona
- Furios Morega, Plagueis
- Alaris Jinn and Shadow Taldrya, Taldryan (Tie)
- Keirdagh Taldrya Cantor, Taldryan
- Troutrooper, Arcona
- Cethgus Tiberius Entar Arconae, Arcona
- Howlader, Taldryan
- Ronovi Tavisaen, Plagueis
Notes and References