Cataclysm of planet Ziost

DISCLAIMER: The purpose of this blog is to provide a detailed account of devastation of planet Ziost.

This blog represents a subsection of the Valkorion Respect Thread.

Though you leave us

Your humble subjects on Ziost

We know it is not forever.

Though the distance must be great

Your return is a certainty

We know we will be united once more

Though you are away

Your eye gazes upon us

We know you see our doings

Though we are alone

Your lessons remain

We know our considerable duty

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Emperor: Codex Entry titled "The Emperor's Eye.")

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Introduction

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Situated in the heart of Imperial Space, Ziost has long played a vital role in the intricate history of the Sith. For thousands of years, in fact, the craggy, arid world served as the ancient Sith Empire's capital until infighting splintered its leadership. Today, Ziost remains an important commercial, political and population center of the Empire--this in spite of its shift from a warm climate with dense forests to a bitterly cold tundra. Whether this environmental turnabout is due to geological reasons or eons of dark side influence remains a subject of scholarly consideration.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Emperor: Codex Entry titled "Ziost.")

Ziost was among the greatest population centers of the reconstituted ancient Sith Empire.

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Before the cataclysm

During the era of Great Galactic War, an entity (identified as Valkorion at a later stage) orchestrated a ritual that would grant him unprecedented power but at the expense of the entire galaxy. However, a coalition of heroes (including Barsen'thor III, Hero of Tython and the former Emperor's Wrath) foiled that effort through their exploits; Valkorion suffered a setback from such interference and his Voice was also struck down during a covert operation in Dromund Kaas. At the brink of defeat, Valkorion sought refuge in planet Yavin 4 to recuperate and make a comeback when the time was right. An opportunity came when Revan visited Yavin 4 and attempted to perform a ritual to resurrect Valkorion and deliver a final blow to him but his plan was also foiled by the coalition. However, it was too late; Valkorion recovered enough of his strength (to affect the external environment in profound ways) by feeding on the deaths of a large number of individuals on this planet due to war and teleported to Ziost afterwards.

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“The scores of dead have nourished me. I am awakened. And I bring with me--death!”

From (Emperor Vitiate, Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Emperor)

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However, he did gain power enough to flee the jungle moon and survive.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Emperor: Codex Entry titled "Vitiate")

When Valkorion came to Ziost, he began to possess its inhabitants and utilize them for violent activities.

Unleashed from his sanctuary on Yavin 4, the former Sith Emperor has now struck the Imperial world of Ziost. Using his immense power in the dark side of the Force, he has dominated the minds of the planet’s Imperial troops--as well as an elite cadre of militaristic Jedi--and has set them against the populace, engaging in a bloody slaughter.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Emperor)

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NOTE: Jedi Masters Onok and Landai under possession of Valkorion

Valkorion's plan was to continue to feed on the deaths of other individuals to fuel his power until he would recover his strength and become strong enough to kill the world.

Obsessed with achieving immortality, the Sith Emperor has targeted his own former subjects on the planet Ziost, with every death seemingly extending his dark power.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Emperor)

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Now that he has found in Ziost a suitable target to replenish himself--now that he appears to grow more powerful by the hour--what now?

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Emperor: Codex Entry titled "Vitiate")

In addition to possessing inhabitants and utilizing them for violent activities, Valkorion also created vicious monsters to contribute to bloodshed and violence across the world.

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Given enough intellect, knowledge, fortitude and power, Sith alchemy can be used to achieve the seemingly impossible, such as transforming flesh and bone to form vicious Sithspawn such as the imposing Massassi and the unstoppable Terentatek. But Monoliths are something beyond Sithspawn: they are everlasting monstrosities built not on a foundation of living tissue but of dark side energy itself. Enduring and merciless and quite possibly unkillable, Monoliths plainly illustrate the immeasurable power of their creator and are best avoided at all costs.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Emperor: Codex Entry titled "Monolith.")

The leadership of the Republic established a Joint Task Force to defeat Valkorion after his reemergence and welcomed volunteers from all over the galaxy for the said purpose but such efforts did not yield desirable results since Valkorion proved too powerful.

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In response to the Emperor's return, the Republic Strategic Information Service has begun to assemble a joint task force with the sole purpose of finding the ancient Sith ruler and destroying him at last. Initially proposed by SIS agent Theron Shan, the organization will eventually include representatives from the Jedi Order, Republic Special Forces, "paid consultants" from the underworld--anyone who can contribute to the Emperor's downfall.

As with anything in the Republic, it's possible that politics may play a part in the group's final assembly and resources. But given that its founding members witnessed the return of the Emperor firsthand, it's unlikely that anything will be allowed to impede the task force's progress for long.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan: Codex Entry titled "The Joint Task Force.")

Interestingly, Vallorion spared one of the volunteers a horrible fate by warning him to leave the planet before he would commence cataclysm. This volunteer would be recognized as the Outlander later. Relevant statements from a conversation between the two provided below.

"I have already cheated death. I have other plans now as you will see."

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Emperor)

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"When I am finished here -- when every life on this world has been exhausted -- I want you to be alive. To know that I succeeded."

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Emperor)

The Sith Order attempted to get a fix on Valkorion's intangible presence during the course of his exploits on Ziost:

The Empire's highest ranking officers and dignitaries are now in a state of heightened alert, and the Dark Council has assembled a contingent of powerful Sith seers to get a fix on the Emperor's presence. When he makes his move, it is believed he will not distinguish between former friend or foe, as they will all eventually become his food and none will remain.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Emperor: Codex entry titled "The Emperor's Return?.")

- but to no avail. Darth Marr admitted DEFEAT in a message:

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Emphasis mine. Valkorion's proficiency in the Force concealment application is self-explanatory, or his defenses proved too strong.

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Apocalypse

Global cataclysms are not unheard of. Whole worlds teeming with life have been rendered lifeless by meteorites, broken apart by instability in the planet's own core--even atomized by the destructive force of a supernova. But the eerie calm of a world stripped of life yet left otherwise intact is another matter altogether. Whispered rumors have persisted of planets snuffed out through intricate Sith rituals or by way of deadly, arcane machines--such as the device Revan sought to employ on Yavin 4--but Ziost represents a clear display of the corrosive power of the dark side of the Force taken to its extreme.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Sith Emperor: Codex Entry titled "Death of a World.")

After acquiring unfathomable power, Valkorion channeled it into an attack and unleashed a tsunami of dark side energy of apocalyptic proportions on Ziost; this expression of Force Drain disintegrated life-forms, ravaged fauna, consumed oceans, corrupted the planet's atmosphere, and also caused seismic activity across the planet (leading to further destruction).

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Post-apocalyptic scenes

Valkorion reduced Ziost to a barren wasteland. The planet's atmosphere suffered extensive harm, oceans disappeared, flora and fauna perished, and violent tremors disfigured the planet's surface and collapsed structures/buildings in many places.

Before:

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After:

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Surface:

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Evidence of destruction of structures.

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The planet's post-apocalyptic conditions created anomalies.

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Dead Pulse - The wreckage of a crashed GSI transport indicates the organization was studying geomagnetic pulses beneath the surface of Ziost. Because the pulses travel at great speed, GSI provided their researchers with prototype speeders designed to deploy subsurface probes into fissures along the lifeless world.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Emperor)

Ziost's post-apocalyptic conditions resemble those of Medriaas (Nathema); another world that suffered a similar fate centuries ago.

Scourge was well acquainted with death. He had no trouble understanding massacres and mass slaughter. Death and destruction unleashed powerful emotions like fear, suffering, and hatred; they fueled the power of the dark side. But what had happened on Nathema was different, and it disturbed him in a deep and profound way.

The Emperor had consumed everything. Life, sound, color, even the Force—nothing remained. This wasn’t about conquest or domination or destroying an enemy—all concepts Scourge embraced.

Everything on Nathema had simply been snuffed out, extinguished so completely that it ceased to have any meaning or purpose. It was a vacuum of existence; a blight on the natural order.

Taken from (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan)

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Among the victims

Members of ZLF (Ziost Liberation Front)

No society is devoid of the potential for raucous dissent from its people, and tightly controlled populations are the most prone to opposition being expressed through horrific acts of violence. Through the centuries, Ziost has been the focus of many attempts at bloody revolution. Though no uprising has been successful to date, their cost in lives, property and stability have taken a toll on the one-time Sith capital.

The most recent revolt came in the form of vicious attacks from the Ziost Liberation Front, a group of guerrilla fighters officially recognized by the Sith Empire as a terrorist organization. The ZLF did not discern between military and civilian targets in their desperate campaign to overthrow the Empire, making the group feared even by those they claimed to be fighting for. They were eventually snuffed out, but not before causing severe damage to New Adasta's infrastructure. As a result of the ZLF's actions, the Empire has taken considerable steps to ensure they can obstruct the acts of a hostile populace in New Adasta with ease and haste, should the need arise.

Taken from (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Emperor: Codex Entry titled "Revolt on Ziost.")

A Survey Team of GSI (Galactic Solutions Industries)

A GSI Survey Team was compiling archaeological data to reconstruct a holographic approximation of the nearby temple ruins when they perished in the catastrophic event that ended all life on Ziost.

Taken from (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Emperor)

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