Star Wars: Shattered Worlds
After the death of Darth Sidious and Darth Vader, the fabric of the Order of Sith Lords unraveled. Over two millenia of ancient Sith teachings and artifacts that passed from a single Sith master to his/her single Sith apprentice since the time of Darth Bane became lost to time or scattered throughout the Dark side users among the Imperial remnants. Many attempted to resurrect the mantle of the Sith forming around cults dedicated to what ancient teachings they could find. These cults rose to varying degrees of influence over Galactic events; however, none was truly able to gain validity as true heir to the Order, despite many attempts through the many years of Galactic unrest.
This fracturing and instability among the would-be successors to Darth Sidious remained until the rise of a new power whose origins and history shrouded in rumor and mystery. Some believe he was a fallen Jedi Knight who amassed unrivaled mastery over ancient Sith teachings and relics. Others say he is the last of a forgotten line of a pure Sith race, hidden away for millenia in the Unknown Regions of the Galaxy. Another claim is that he was a simple Force sensitive who sought the ancient Sith teachings and became possessed by the spirit of one of the ancient Sith Lords, now reborn to reclaim the Galaxy under SIth rule. Whether any of these stories are true, what is truly known is that this follower of the Sith ways was capable in a relative short period of time to unite the various cults, whether through rising their ranks and subduing their leaders or through guile or prophetic wisdom. The majority of SIth cults in the Galaxy were forced to bend to his will and submit to his rule as the new Sith Emperor, Darth Veritas.
Darth Vertias gathered the warlords, prophets, and his puppet leaders of the cults he had subdued to the lost Sith homeworld of Moraband and swore oaths and performed rituals at each of the major tombs. Finally, at the base of the obelisk marking the Tomb of Darth Bane, he disbanded the “Rule of Two” enacted by that same ancient SIth Lord — a policy that led both to the ultimate rise of Darth Sidious and his New Order / Galactic Empire, as well as the demise of the Order of SIth Lords. The Emperor then bestowed the title of Dark Lord of the SIth on each of these leaders present, re-establishing the Dark Council. And in a final act of defiance to Darth Bane he restored the name of the ancient Sith home, designating that from this time onward it shall be called New Korriban.
Each Dark Lord gathered their apprentices and acolytes to the planet and began training in their newly unified Sith teachings. The ancient SIth Code was restored and nearby planets such as Vjun were quickly exploited for resources and Dark side rituals. The Sith then launched an invasion of Dromund Kaas, which quickly fell to their combined might and was restored as the capitol of a new Sith Empire. Now having a small army, resources, engineers, trade, and all that was necessary to begin their conquest, the SIth turned toward bringing the Imperial remnant forces and other potential allies under their boot.
The Sith Code
The restored Code of the Sith is the heart of the teachings of the second Sith Empire. The Sith Code is learned in the ancient Sith language, and studied by Sith acolytes alongside commentaries hand-selected by the Dark Council. The original Sith text follows:
Shâsotjontû châtsatul nu tyûk.
Tyûkjontû châtsatul nu midwan.
Midwanjontû châtsatul nu asha.
Ashajontû kotswinot itsu nuyak.
Wonoksh Qyâsik nun.
While originally the Code may have been authored and propogated among the Order in Galactic Basic, this Sith language Code with various nuances not present in the Basic tongue is believed by the Dark Council to be more pure despite its likely later origin. The more well-known Sith Code authored in Galactic Basic appears at a glance to be little more than the antithesis of the original Jedi Code; however, the more naunced Sith language version when translated is believed to better reveal the Sith philosophy and way of life:
Peace is false.
Only conflict abides.
Through conflict I truly gain strength.
Through strength I truly gain power.
Through power I truly gain victory.
Through victory my chains shatter.
The Force will free me.
The nuances of the Sith language version of the Code present more than simple diads that contrast the similar diadic structure of the Jedi Code from the the Old Republic period. Rather it presents a series of related statements that equate one tennet as the necessary logical conclusion of the prior one. Peace is false. Why? Because only conflict abides. Strength is logically reasoned to be gained by reaping the benefits of conflict. Power is logically gained from strength thusly, victory the logical conclusion of said power, and the chains of servitude are logically anihilated by victory over one’s masters, real or metaphorical. The Sith Code finally reasons then that rather than be a slave to the Force, the Force must necessarily bend to the Sith’s will, becoming a tool to bring about ultimate freedom of mind, body, and spirit. These deeper insights are thought to be lacking without understanding the nuances of the Sith langauge version of the Code. Thus, this restored Code is believed by the Dark Council to bring their acolytes into a much deeper understanding of the way a Sith approches the teachings, war, death, the Force, and every aspect of Sith life.
After initiation into the teachings of the Sith, the new Sith acolyte spends a great deal of their time learning to truly follow the Code of the Sith. Conflict through competition of mind, body, and spirit are encouraged regularly by their Overseers and they are often given dangerous tasks to complete in order to cull the weak and breed strength into the Sith Order. Many acolytes who are unprepared for this harsh training regimen or lack the drive to push back against their masters and advance often find their time among the Sith – and their lives – short lived.
Those capable of surviving this early environment of learning first-hand the way of the Sith do not go unnoticed, and from these successful acolytes are selected apprentices by the Sith Lords. While apprenticed to a Sith Lord, the apprentice is gifted more in-depth and personal training from their master, and given access to even greater secrets of the teachings. The Sith apprentice learns to read and write ancient Sith language, unlock the power of Force tomes and relics, and truly begin to hone their mastery over the Dark side of the Force. Sith apprentices are also often trusted with important missions far above the capability of an acolyte, but perhaps beneath the vast means of a true and powerful Sith Lord. In completing such missions, the apprentice gains a practical understanding of how to apply the teachings to a variety of situations. However, the path to ascend is a hard road, constantly being blackaded by other students, other Sith Lords, or even the apprentice’s own master, all in order to test the students’ mastery over the Sith ways. Some apprentices waste away underutilized and unable to advace by too scrupulous a master who fears being outshined by their apprentice, and likewise many a master has fallen to the hand of a covetous and overly ambitious apprentice attempting to take the easy path to the higher levels of initiation only to find themselves woefully unprepared to face the machinations of other Sith.
Those who manage to prove their mastery over the Sith Code and amass enough power to overcome their master’s bonds, rise to become Sith Lords in their own right. While Sith Lords themselves are powerful black knights of the Sith Code and thereby capable Dark side Force users able to dominate their adversaries and further their own influence over the Galaxy, it is not necessarily the last phase a Sith will ever achieve. While unified, the various cults that embodied the formation of the new Order of SIth Lords remain mostly intact, and many Sith Lords vie for initiations into their highest ranks to unlock powerful Force sorcery, artifacts, and combat tactics these cults horde in order to maintain their status in the Order. To obtain initiatons among various cults of warlords and prophets not only raises a Sith Lord’s status, but also their influence over the Galaxy and their students. Furthermore, some Sith Lords and their apprentices are assigned special duties as overseers, archivists, inquisitors and the like. While these duties are not seen as prestigious as are the various initiatons members of the cults hold, they do accord a Sith a degree of respect and influence over acolytes and lesser apprentices, and Sith Lords often vie for the favor of those who hold these positions to better obtain worthy apprentices to further their own work.
Finally, those Sith Lords who gain the favor of the Dark Council may be elevated to the title Dark Lord of the Sith and allowed to take the honorific address of Darth as a full apprentice to the highest and most guarded Sith teachings shared only among the Dark Councilors themselves. These apprenticed Dark Lords of the Sith are hand-chosen by Dark Council members for various secret tasks (sometimes intended to weaken the influence of another Dark Councilor) and ultimately there is an expectation that they will one day replace their masters on the Council in the event of their demise or subjugation. Only one Dark Lord of the Sith can truly be master over the Dark Council and is bestowed the title of Sith’ari (the Emperor of all Sith Lords). The current Sith’ari is Darth Veritas, second Galactic Emperor.