Tenebrae/Vitiate/Valkorion - Devourer of Worlds - Consuming ZIOST (Updated and Expanded in 2021)

S_W_LeGenD blogsTenebrae/Vitiate/Valkorion - Devourer of Worlds - Consuming ZIOST

OBJECTIVE

This blog offers a detailed account of HOW planet ZIOST was devastated and stripped of life:

Ziost has been the capital of the Sith Empire under both King Adas and Jedi Exile Ajunta Pall, as well as their successors. As with most planets of Sith Space, war and the dark side stripped life from the planet until it became a barren ball of lifeless rock.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Core Rulebook)

RELATED

This blog is an extension of the Tenebrae/Vitiate/Valkorion - Character Overview and Respect Thread

LEGAL

This blog is in compliance with (CC BY 4.0): https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

SPOILERS ALERT

Potential readers are CAUTIONED in advance that this blog contain heavy spoilers in its constructs.

TYPE OF WORK

Literature Review with visual content.

NOMENCLATURES

"Valkorion. Tenebrae. Vitiate. Emperor of the Sith. My low-born son has worn many masks." - Lord Dramath

Tenebrae is a long-lived character donning multiple identities and he also EVOLVED over time as a being. This blog conform to following nomenclatures accordingly:

Tenebrae [Original] = Sith Pureblood

Tenebrae [The Sith Emperor] = Life prolonged via Sith Sorcery (Original Body)

Tenebrae [VOICES] = Life prolonged via Transfer Life application in other living beings, and a large number of individuals converted into extensions of his will alongside.

Tenebrae [The Sith Emperor VOICE] (or Tenebrae [TSEV] in short) = a part of Tenebrae [VOICES] and MASK for the reconstituted ancient Sith Empire.

Tenebrae [The Immortal Emperor VOICE] (or Tenebrae [TIEV] in short) = a part of Tenebrae [VOICES] and MASK for The Eternal Empire.

Tenebrae [Vitiate] = Tenebrae [TSEV]'s immortal consciousness (Shadow of Revan; Rise of the Sith Emperor)

Tenebrae [Valkorion] = Tenebrae's immortal consciousness bind to The Outlander for plot convenience (Knights of the Fallen Empire; Knights of the Eternal Throne)

Tenebrae [Consciousness] = a part of Tenebrae's immortal consciousness which infiltrated the mind of Satele Shan in order to reconstruct the entity inside her mind and hollow her out for subsequent takeover (Echoes of Oblivion)

ANOTHER CHARACTER of much significance

The Outlander (who started a rebellion against The Eternal Empire encompassing numerous factions including the Jedi and Sith and became The Alliance Commander subsequently) feature heavily in contents of this blog.

Official portrayal of this character in updates provided by BioWare suggest a HUMAN MALE corresponding to the Jedi Knight background:

In-game portrayal of this character vary as per player choices and tastes nevertheless.

[name] has become the Jedi Order's Battlemaster after saving the Republic from many nefarious plots by the evil Sith Emperor. On countless planets, this champion of the Force is all that stands between helpless innocents and the enemy's conquest. But a terrible new threat has emerged at the galaxy's farthest edge, forcing an unlikely alliance between [name] and old foes....

From (Star Wars The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire: Codex Entry titled "The Jedi Knight.")

The Eternal Empire pushed the Jedi Order to de-centralize itself [a] and the legendary Jedi Knight of the time (alias Hero of Tython) became The Outlander at some point [b].

Revelation [a] below:

Based on the intelligence we’ve gathered, I believe the Jedi recognized the possibility of their order being destroyed by the Eternal Empire and chose to de-centralize themselves to better their chances of long-term survival.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Jedi Under Siege: State of the Galaxy)

Revelation [b] below:

But the immortal Emperor could not be vanquished so easily. He evaded death by infiltrating the mind of the Outlander, his most powerful opponent.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne: Character Profiles)

Acknowledgements

BioWare - First and Foremost for the SWTOR project.

Uploads on YouTube by its member xLetalis.

CONTINUITY

LEGENDS

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Important considerations

1. Valkorion's original name is Tenebrae. After abandoning the Sith, he was identified as Vitiate on ZIOST.

"Valkorion. Tenebrae. Vitiate. Emperor of the Sith. My low-born son has worn many masks."

From (Lord Dramath, Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne; Chapter 7)

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"Vitiate is not our Emperor. Not anymore."

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

2. In this blog, Tenebrae [TSEV]'s consciousness is identified as Tenebrae [Vitiate] in relation to its exploits on ZIOST because Tenebrae [Vitiate] had abandoned the Sith by this point in time (see Tenebrae's exploits on ZIOST were a means to an end section of the blog below).

3. Tenebrae [Vitiate] devastated and/or consumed ZIOST in 3637 BBY, with his own dark side abilities (all sections of the blog converge on this conclusion from different angles).

4. In order to understand some of the dark side abilities demonstrated by Tenebrae [Vitiate] on YAVIN 4 and ZIOST respectively, it is important to take a look at following screenshot:

No Caption Provided

From (Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side)

5. Tenebrae [TSEV]'s consciousness = Tenebrae [Vitiate] = a part of Tenebrae [VOICES]

Tenebrae [TSEV]'s consciousness = intangible presence which manifested as the result of him cheating death on DROMUND KAAS while confronting the legendary Jedi Knight (alias Hero of Tython) and his allies (see Before the DEED section of the blog below); MASKED to the extent that the Jedi and the Sith utterly failed to obtain a FIX on it (see Tenebrae's exploits on ZIOST were a means to an end section of the blog below). Although an explanation is provided in the relevant section, this is something deeper than the theme of Sith Spirits.

It is important to take a look at following screenshot for general knowledge however:

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From (Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side)

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1. Introduction

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.")

No Caption Provided

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.")

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

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2. HISTORY of Tenebrae and his exposure to Drain Force

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Companion blog: Tenebrae - NATHEMA and resulting SCALING

Please check the companion blog for complete information.

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In brief:

Valkorion. Vitiate. The former Emperor of both the Sith Empire and the Eternal Empire has assumed multiple forms over the centuries, but when he was born to a poor farmer's wife and a powerful Sith Lord on the agricultural world of Medriaas, he was "Tenebrae."

Tenebrae's propensity for violence and power was evident from his childhood. When he learned of his true parentage, he murdered his stepfather, tortured his mother, and subjugated the people in his small farming village. By the time he was a teenager, Tenebrae had conquered the entirety of his homeworld after imprisoning his biological father.

After ruling his homeworld for over a century, Tenebrae's desire for immortality only grew. Following the Sith Empire's defeat by the Galactic Republic in the Great Hyperspace War, Tenebrae completed a ritual that wiped out all life on his homeworld, including the thousands of Sith who answered his call for assistance. It was the first vicious step Tenebrae took toward prolonging his life, but it would not be the last...

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Onslaught: Codex entry titled "Tenebrae.")

Tenebrae [Original] had experienced the effects first-hand:

"It is a technique that is almost as old as the Sith themselves…it is a means of severing connections between life, the Force, and feeding upon the death it causes. It cannot be taught…it can only be gained through instinct, through experiencing its effects, first-hand."

From (Darth Traya, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords)

In full view of the Sith Sorcery of such magnitude and Tenebrae's subsequent transformation:

Lord Vitiate takes command of the Sith Empire, now in shambles following the Great Hyperspace War. He executes the Sith Council and consumes the life force of thousands of Sith Lords in a terrifying ritual that extends his life and vastly increases his capacity as a practitioner of the Force. Lord Vitiate declares himself Emperor of the Sith. Under his sovereign rule, the Empire retreats into deep space to rebuild its strength and prepare for vengeance.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

- the remainder of the ancient Sith Empire recognized Tenebrae as Emperor of the Sith, rallied under him, and all disappeared into the Unknown Regions for decades until they found in Dromund Kaas a suitable world to reconstitute the Sith Empire (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia); scores of Sith became master(s) of the dark side of the Force and devised new powers meanwhile (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia). This Empire would be stronger and better organized than ever before with advancements in all aspects of life, but in absolute secrecy (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia).

Over the course of centuries, Tenebrae became the most powerful Force-user in the galaxy by virtue of his unprecedented applications of Sith Sorcery and immortality:

THE SECRETIVE and supremely powerful Sith Emperor rose from inauspicious beginnings over a thousand years ago. Born to farmers on the planet Medriaas, Tenebrae entered the galaxy without shedding a tear. He regarded his parents with cold pitiless eyes. As years passed Tenebrae manifested Force powers and honed his mastery of the dark side. He soon dominated his homeworld, consumed the lives of thousands of Sith Lords, and took the title of the one true Sith Emperor. Driven by his quest for immortality and fueled by the energy sapped from his victims, the Emperor lived for centuries, amassing insurmountable power, rebuilding his exiled Empire, and plotting his ascension to ultimate rule.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

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The Sith Empire's exile dragged on for centuries. While the military, navy, and Sith grew strong, the Emperor amassed unfathomable power and plotted a vengeful war against the Republic. He ruled from the privacy of his chambers in the Citadel, his life extended to virtual immortality by Sith sorcery.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

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The Emperor was no longer a member of the Sith species; his power and immortality had transformed him into a being unique in the galaxy. When he spoke of life and death, it had far deeper meaning than the mere physical existence of the lesser beings that served him.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan)

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There was something strange about the Emperor’s voice. It didn’t sound like the voice of a single being. It had an unusual echo and resonance, almost as if a great multitude were speaking his words in perfect symphony.

A grim theory passed unbidden through Scourge’s mind: was it possible all those that had been consumed by the ritual on Nathema still existed in some form within the Emperor himself? Nyriss said he’d devoured them, but what if she was only partially correct? What if he had imprisoned their spirits inside his own corporeal form, slowly feeding on their life energy over a thousand years to keep himself young and strong?

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan)

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“He’s quarantined Dromund Kaas,” Meetra said, trying to lead them to the same conclusion. “What if he’s preparing to do the same thing here that he did on Nathema?”

Scourge hadn’t considered that possibility, and it chilled him to his core.

“Is that possible?” he asked. “Nyriss told me the ritual on Nathema took days, if not weeks. And the Emperor had to trick hundreds of other powerful Sith into working with him so he could draw on their power.”

“He’s stronger now,” Revan said. “But even if it’s possible, I don’t think he’ll go that far. At least not yet. He is too patient, too careful. Dromund Kaas is the heart of his Empire and the seat of his power. He has too many valuable resources here to throw it all away.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan)

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The Emperor created his first Voice after the legendary Jedi named Revan attempted to assassinate him on Dromund Kaas. Though Revan's plot failed, he approached within striking distance of the Emperor. To guard against further vulnerability, the Emperor created the Voice to deliver his orders while distancing himself from the forces that conspired against him. Centuries later, this very safeguard would save the Emperor once more.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

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Over the centuries of the Empire's exile, the Emperor continued to develop his power base and guard and unseen threats. In his relentless pursuit of immortality, the Emperor explored the most sinister and uncharted depths of the dark side. The devastating cost of his actions would remain a mystery in years to come.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

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Servants of the Hand share their Master's longevity, living untouched by age for centuries under his command. In return, the Emperor draws on his servant's strength in the Force and body to feed his ever-increasing power, leaving the servants withered and frail. But with no memories of their past lives, the servants have no history and live solely to serve the Emperor.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

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Ultimately, the Emperor came to realize that he could trust no one but himself. By drawing on his incredible dark powers, the Emperor imprinted his consciousness onto unwitting pawns who would serve as vessels for carrying out his will. Through the eyes and ears of these "children," he could uncover threats in both the Empire and Republic while they wore nothing but whispers. And should the need arise, the Emperor could seize control of his children and instruct them to crush any plot that dared defy his will.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

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The Sith Emperor has mastered the dark side's power to become the most dominating Force-user the galaxy has ever seen. His corrupting influence is so complete that none can stand in his presence without succumbing to fear, anger and hatred. The Emperor can wither and ruin even the strongest Jedi’s connection to the light side. Jedi Master Tol Braga’s strike team was not the first group to succumb to the Sith leader’s oppressive influence. Hundreds of years ago, the Jedi Revan and Malak discovered Dromund Kaas and confronted the Emperor. They fell to the dark side and returned to Republic space as Sith Lords. Since then, dozens more Jedi have followed the same path into evil.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Codex Entry titled "The Emperor's Fallen Jedi (Knight).")

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The Sith Emperor is the most powerful Force-user who has ever existed. Unless this implacable enemy can be defeated, the Jedi Order is doomed.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

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Companion blog: Tenebrae - Growth and Evolution - PART 1

Please check the companion blog for complete information.

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3. A series of Setbacks

"My ascendance is inevitable. A day, a year, a millennium-----it matters not." - Tenebrae [VOICES]

Tenebrae [VOICES] commenced his most ambitious ritual in times of the Galactic Cold War that would grant him omnipotence:

No Caption Provided

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

- but at the expense of the entire galaxy.

However, the Jedi and Sith were making moves of their own.

Lord Scourge reveals the Emperor’s true goal for the war: to complete a Sith ritual that will grant him unlimited power and immortality by eradicating all life in the galaxy. First, the Emperor requires a sacrifice to fuel his horrific ritual: the destruction of an entire world and its people. The Sith leader has dispatched his agents of evil across the galaxy to ensure that billions die. Though the Emperor’s servants are unaware of the fate that will befall them when his ritual is complete, Scourge experienced a vision that revealed his Master’s secret plot – and the brave Jedi Knight who would thwart it. Lord Scourge vows to aid the Knight in defeating the Emperor and saving the galaxy.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

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3.1. FIRST SETBACK

Darth Baras - a member of the Dark Council - was the first to sabotage Tenebrae [TSEV] on VOSS:

"Darth Baras plays the old games. He maneuvered me here. Knowing this body could be bound to this place." - Tenebrae [VOICES]

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This was the body of a Voss Mystic who was spellbound to the place identified as the Dark Heart (Sel-Makor):

The ruin the Voss call the Dark Heart lies deep in the twisted Nightmare Lands. The few surviving texts on the Dark Heart describe the complex as a maze of chambers--some sealed, others seemingly broken open from within--and vast underground corridors. It is said to be a place of corrupted monsters and ancient secrets, and based on orbital reconnaissance scans may be the oldest structure on the planet.

The Sith Lord Nerrethel spent two years researching texts concerning the Dark Heart and formulated several theories. He claimed its architecture resembled that of the ancient Sith on Korriban, and made a detailed study of the Dark Heart's orientation relative to Voss's constellations. After attempting to visit the Dark Heart in person, however, Lord Nerrethel was found dead on the border of the Nightmare Lands. His notes from the expedition contained only the words "it sees."

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Codex entry titled "The Dark Heart.")

Tenebrae [TSEV] managed to Transfer Life into this Voss Mystic upon recommendation of Darth Baras but the catch was that he could not get rid of this body until it would die naturally. Tenebrae [TSEV] made Madega-Ru - a powerful Voss Mystic and Guardian of the secrets of Voss - spill the beans and reached the Dark Heart.

"The one you seek forced me to help him unlock the secrets of Voss. I could not defy him. He went to the Dark Heart Chamber in the Nightmare Lands. You must follow." - Madega-Ru

Tenebrae [TSEV] also resisted the influence of Sel-Makor and telepathically reached out to his Hands to arrange for destruction of this body and they did the needful. This was the first setback nevertheless.

The legendary Sith Warrior (alias The Emperor's Wrath) could not make Madega-Ru submit on the other hand and had to fulfill his demands to reach the Dark Heart and do the needful:

"He did not answer my questions. The Dark Heart is a forbidden place. Where Secrets are buried. Your predecessor wrapped himself in the Blessing of Oneness - without it, an outsider cannot even see the gateway to the Dark Heart." - Madega-Ru

Related information in the following LINK.

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3.2. SECOND SETBACK

The legendary Jedi Knight (alias Hero of Tython) confronted the next Tenebrae [TSEV] on DROMUND KAAS to deliver a blow of his own.

[a] This TSEV was compromised by earlier developments such as the FIRST SETBACK (see 3.4 below), and disruption of the galaxy-devouring ritual in addition:

You've learned that the Emperor is on Dromund Kaas, temporarily weakened by your efforts thwarting his plan for galactic annihilation. Striking at him now is your best chance to defeat him once and for all.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Jedi Knight: Chapter 3: Disclaimer)

[b] The legendary Jedi Knight (alias Hero of Tython) was more powerful than ever before on the other hand, and his companion droid T7-O1 could assist him from a distance (see [c] below).

Due to [a], Tenebrae [TSEV] was not able to fight effectively.

CONFRONTATION

In a final apocalyptic duel, the Knight battles the Sith Emperor for the fate of the galaxy – and changes it forever.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

Doppleganger

Esoteric application

Tenebrae [TSEV] created Dopplegangers to have a measure of his opponents.

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This is one of the most difficult applications to employ in combat situations, and it must be "kept up."

This power creates a doppelganger of the Force-user. Though the doppelganger is merely an illusion, but it will interact with people and appear to be real. The user can sense all normal senses through the doppelganger, including a “feel” of normal substances. Doppelgangers also register normally on all droids’ audio and video sensors. Those with the doppelganger believe it to be a real person. The doppelganger acts with half the skill dice of the person that created it. Every five minutes, the user must roll again to maintain the doppelganger. If the user stops using the doppelganger or it is fatally injured, it simply fades into nonexistence.

From (Star Wars - D6 - Force Powers)

CONTROL difficulty = Very Difficult

SENSE difficulty = Very Difficult

ALTER difficulty = Heroic

Force powers required to execute successfully:

Control pain - Emptiness; Hibernation trance - Life detection - Life sense - Magnify senses; Receptive telepathy - sense Force; Telekinesis - Projective telepath - Control Another's pain - Transfer Force - Affect mind - Dim another's senses

From (Star Wars - D6 - Force Powers)

Although compromised, Tenebrae [TSEV] was radiating palpatine waves of energy and was unfazed by Lightsaber drawn to his face. Given the Lightsaber dueling credentials of the legendary Jedi Knight (alias Hero of Tython), Tenebrae [TESV] is impossible to "blitz."

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Tenebrae [TSEV] created Dopplegangers in this duel to create a diversion or distraction while he attempted to overwhelm the Jedi with additional applications in the mix.

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[c] The Jedi Knight's companion droid T7-O1 proved useful in fighting off Dopplegangers in the mix. Although Tenebrae [TSEV] did not achieve a breakthrough with this tactic in the duel, this is a significant demonstration of raw power nevertheless.

Tenebrae [TSEV] was wounded and enclosed himself in a Protection Bubble:

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- but changed his mind and allowed his opponent to strike him down:

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This was the second time Tenebrae [TSEV] was struck down in a row and a significant blow to Tenebrae [VOICES] by extension. That he allowed the legendary Jedi Knight (alias Hero of Tython) to strike him down makes sense because he no longer had the strength to Transfer Life into another living being (see 3.4 below). He never felt the need to create a supply of clones for the needful but he could cheat death.

DETAILS in the following LINK.

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3.3. THIRD SETBACK

The legendary Jedi Consular (alias Barsen'thor) defeated the First Son in a head-turning confrontation:

In a climactic final battle with the galaxy at stake, these two masters of the Force cross sabers. The Consular ultimately defeats the First Son and emerges victorious.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

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From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

This setback also exposed the remainder of Children planted in other organizations for further course of action.

Details in the following LINK.

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3.4. SWTOR PROJECT CONTRIBUTOR INSIGHTS

The ritual wasn't that complex. Valkorion was simply working multiple fuel angles at once. The Hero of Tython disrupted the entire ritual and forced the Emperor to halt the Eternal Fleet rampage, at which point he had to re-evaluate his plans. - Hall Hood

Details in the following LINK.

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Senya tells us that Valkorion started becoming colder and more distant as the children grew up, so we can surmise that he's splitting his attention again during this period. The assault of Sel-Makor and the final attack by the Jedi Knight take a lot out of him. His ritual is thwarted, and he is too weak to dominate another body or risk Valkorion until he's reinvigorated by Revan's plot in SoR - otherwise, he would've surely done so. - Charles Boyd

Details in the following LINK.

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3.4. Cheating death

Tenebrae [TSEV]'s consciousness emerged from the bisected body (making itself VISIBLE) and proceeded to breach the Dark Temple:

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The Dark Temple was particularly designed to trap Force spirits within:

Burial place, prison, and reliquary, the Dark Temple was built on the orders of the Emperor to seal away powerful artifacts and the Emperor's enemies, both alive and dead. The temple became a nexus of dark side energy as the Emperor performed rituals within, drawing strength and knowledge from his captives. The temple's twisted, grotesque architecture was specifically designed to focus and contain such corrupt darkness.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

- but could not prevent Tenebrae [TSEV]'s consciousness from breaching it - a remarkable display of raw power under the circumstances in view of the fact that Tenebrae [VOICES] had suffered a series of setbacks and lost much of its strength by now.

The most interesting revelation came from Servant One however:

While you silenced Darth Baras, the Jedi attempted the impossible feat of destroying the Emperor. Instead, they merely defeated the Emperor's true Voice.

The unexpected blow was a shock. The Emperor's consciousness was wrenched from his Voice. He now slumbers, gathering his strength.

From (Message from Servant One of the Emperor's Hand)

Tenebrae [TSEV]'s consciousness shifted to YAVIN 4 whereas The Immortal Emperor VOICE remained active to attend to the matters of The Eternal Empire. First hint came from the Servant One who remarked that "they merely defeated the Emperor's true Voice." Second hint came from the revelation that Vaylin realized her abilities at this point in time:

Her father's control curbed her tendencies toward violence and anarchy, but beneath her upbeat and lighthearted exterior lurked a restless hunter, hungry and ambitious. When most of the Emperor's power was locked away on Yavin 4, he was no longer able to hide Vaylin's strength from her, and she finally got a taste of her full capabilities.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire: Codex entry titled "Vaylin.")

Vaylin could no longer be restrained in the Sanitarium on NATHEMA and she arrived on The Eternal Throne to meet her father (Tenebrae [TIEV]). The Alliance Commander glimpsed this meeting.

"The bond between us is growing stronger. You are glimpsing my memories." - Tenebrae [Valkorion]

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Instead of striking back, however, she decided to bide her time, like a predator studying her prey. She formed a close bond with her brother Arcann as they both detest the idea of destiny. However, Vaylin isn't one to stay in the shadows forever.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire: Codex entry titled "Vaylin.")

Tenebrae [Valkorion] explain to The Alliance Commander what he did to the original living being named Valkorion <- CLICK to CHECK

Valkorion might be the FIRST:

The Emperor created his first Voice after the legendary Jedi named Revan attempted to assassinate him on Dromund Kaas. Though Revan's plot failed, he approached within striking distance of the Emperor. To guard against further vulnerability, the Emperor created the Voice to deliver his orders while distancing himself from the forces that conspired against him. Centuries later, this very safeguard would save the Emperor once more.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

The dots are connected and revelations are in SYNC with each other.

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4. RECOVERY

4.1. The Revanites and the Battle for YAVIN 4

Tenebrae [TSEV]'s consciousness was clouding Jedi senses and making ORICON feel tame in comparison to YAVIN 4. Exchange of dialogue in a meeting for reference:

"Revan is here as well. And another presence, if you wish to believe the Grand Master." - Darth Marr

"The other presence--it's unclear. The dark side permeates everything here. Saturates it. I've been to Oricon, this is another level entirely." - Satele Shan

"Oricon was affected by the Dread Masters. Even their combined power was insignificant compared to the Emperor." - the legendary Jedi Knight (alias Hero of Tython)

"The Order of Revan is garrisoned inside an old Massassi temple. That is where the dark side is most prevalent." - Darth Marr

See SECTION 3 of the following companion blog: Tenebrae - ENDNOTES

The other presence was the Force spirit of Revan. His body was reanimated and driven by its own WILL at the time (entity).

"The brooding monster inside those temple walls, he is not Revan. He is an abomination." - the Force spirit of Revan

A view of the setting:

No Caption Provided

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Force Storm

Esoteric combination of applications

When war came to YAVIN 4 courtesy of Revan who had cheated death in a battle fought on The Foundry much earlier (now a reanimated corpse driven by seething hatred for Tenebrae [The Sith Emperor] and a source of great disturbance in the Force at this stage), the Republic and the Empire suspended their clashes on a temporary basis and joined hands to foil Revan's agenda on this planet:

One of the most profound developments of recent times will not be shared. It will not be celebrated, and only in the softest of voices in the most secure locations will it be discussed. Acting largely on their own, the Dark Council's Darth Marr and Jedi Grand Master Satele Shan have agreed to a temporary truce amongst their forces, going so far as to plan and act in concert against their common foe, the Revanites.

If these coalition forces are successful--if they can put aside their differences long and well enough to stop Revan's mad scheme--it could be seen as a bridge to a more permanent agreement. While some might welcome such a scenario, others are all too content to see their differences worked through on the battlefield. They would never compromise their ideologies, even if doing so could spare the lives of millions.

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

When war came to YAVIN 4 courtesy of Revan who had cheated death in a battle fought on The Foundry much earlier but was driven to defeat on this planet, Tenebrae [TSEV]'s consciousness was able to feed on numerous deaths on the planet:

The deaths you've caused. The war you've fueled. It is all mine."

- - and accumulated sufficient strength to transmigrate to ZIOST in what appears to be a blend of Alter Environment and Fold Space applications:

"Impossible... the ritual haven't even begun..."

From (Revan, Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan)

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This transmigration effort was considerably violent - it shook the entire setting and produced a thunderstorm in combination, and the final explosion of energy gives the impression of twisting the space-time continuum to reach the desired destination. This expression of raw power inflicted many casualties on the forces of the reconstituted ancient Sith Empire given the fact that they were stationed on and above both YAVIN 4 and ZIOST respectively.

"He did not assume a physical form or possess a body. And he left as soon as he appeared. None of it makes sense." - Darth Marr

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The man now called Vitiate by those who once served him was not strong enough to usurp all life on Yavin 4 after his reawakening. However, he did gain power enough to flee the jungle moon and survive. 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.")

+

"We suffered many casualties upon the Emperor's return, though nothing insurmountable." - Darth Marr

-----

No Caption Provided

Tenebrae [VOICES] decided to part ways with the Sith by now.

The Sith Emperor stalks the galaxy once more. Whether his return from the brink of oblivion is the result of the Emperor's own dark manipulations or merely the result of a terrible convergence of events, his ultimate goal remains the same--to consume all life in the galaxy as fuel for his own immortality.

Despite this chilling turn of events, hope remains. The Emperor's plans have been stopped before, and the Republic is in a stronger position than ever. But the future is always in motion, and the manipulations of the Sith are never predictable....

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan: Codex Entry titled "An Omen Most Dire.")

NOTE: Since Tenebrae [VOICES] was attempting to replenish himself (or itself) and chose to transmigrate Tenebrae [TSEV]'s consciousness from YAVIN 4 to ZIOST for the needful, his (or its) true demonstration of raw power would be on ZIOST where he (or it) was able to replenish himself (or itself) irrespective of the efforts to stop him (or it) in the process. What happened on YAVIN 4 was but a token of what he (or it) could do.

----------

4.2. Tenebrae's exploits on ZIOST were a means to an end

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

Now identified as Vitiate by the Sith, Tenebrae [TSEV]'s consciousness was no longer looking forward to rejoin the Sith and they suspected as much:

"Vitiate is not our Emperor. Not anymore." - Lana Beniko

+

In another time, it might have been cause for celebration. It might have emboldened the Empire, breathing new life into their efforts to crush the Republic. But with the Sith Emperor's apparent reawakening comes the common knowledge that he is no longer interested in ruling over the galaxy. Instead, he seeks to consume it.

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?.")

NOTE:

Tenebrae [TSEV]'s consciousness = Tenebrae [Vitiate] = a part of Tenebrae [VOICES]

-----

Tenebrae [VOICES] saw in ZIOST a suitable target to replenish himself (or itself):

A past shrouded in secrets. A future clouded by uncertainty. It was believed that the once-and-former Sith Emperor sought to consume all life in the galaxy to grant him the dark power required to attain immortality... but is that still the case? Was it ever? Did he actually have another plan all along?

The man now called Vitiate by those who once served him was not strong enough to usurp all life on Yavin 4 after his reawakening. However, he did gain power enough to flee the jungle moon and survive. 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? When will his unforgiving depletion of Ziost end? And when it does end, what fate will befall the rest of the galaxy?

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

-----

Telepathy

Spectrum of applications

Tenebrae [Vitiate] began to possess inhabitants of ZIOST and caused mass killings:

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: Community News titled "Welcome to Game Update 3.2: Rise of the Emperor.")

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Separate views of The Sixth Line Jedi Masters Onok and Landai under possession of Tenebrae [Vitiate] for reference.

Some of the most powerful Jedi were unable to resist telepathic shroud of Tenebrae [Vitiate] on ZIOST including the leader of The Sixth Line movement Jedi Master Surro who had distinguished herself from the others in the battlefield of Balmora years earlier:

"There is no contemplation, there is only duty."

It is a declaration more in line with a rank-and-file soldier than a Jedi, and yet it is a guiding principle of the squad known as the Sixth Line. Their commander, Master Surro, is said to have made the phrase her personal mantra as she waged war against the Empire on the front lines of Balmorra, where her unwavering resolve to accomplish whatever her commanding officers asked of her set her apart from other Jedi.

Details of the formation of the Sixth Line and how they came to work with SIS Agent Theron Shan are sparse. Scattered reports in recent years do suggest that a group of "Jedi commandos" have been involved in raids and strikes not officially sanctioned by the Republic, though the validity of such reportage is typically seen as unreliable.

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

+

Speaking through those he’s possessed, he controls powerful pawns like Master Surro, the leader of a team of elite militarized Jedi known as the Sixth Line.

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

-----

Drain Life Essence

Related to Force Drain

No Caption Provided

From (Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side)

The agenda of Tenebrae [Vitiate] was to create CONFLICT and expand it across the breath of ZIOST, and FEED on the resultant deaths to increase his strength:

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: Community News titled "Welcome to Game Update 3.2: Rise of the Emperor.")

+

Known as the “Gateway to the Empire,” the planet Ziost is in a state of chaos as innocent civilians are targeted by possessed pawns of the Sith Emperor. From the menacing “People’s Tower” in the city’s center to massive armored walkers patrolling for fresh targets, the Sith Emperor’s presence is overwhelming, his power growing with every death… Only you have the strength to stand against him.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Community News titled "Welcome to Game Update 3.2: Rise of the Emperor.")

No Caption Provided

-----

The Republic Strikes Back

The Republic Strategic Information Service established a Joint Task Force to defeat Tenebrae [Vitiate] on ZIOST after his reemergence and welcomed volunteers from all over the galaxy for the said purpose:

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.")

+

As the Sith Emperor gradually dominates the free will of everyone on Ziost, both Lana Beniko, Minister of the newly formed Sith Intelligence, and Theron Shan, a spy for the Galactic Republic, are trying to stop the chaos.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Community News titled "Welcome to Game Update 3.2: Rise of the Emperor.")

+

The Emperor escaped destruction on Yavin 4, and now his presence has been felt on the planet Ziost, once powerful throne world of the Sith Empire. You are called upon again to face this galactic menace when your allies realize that the entire planet’s inhabitants have been mind-controlled. And while the Emperor’s ultimate plan is still unknown, you do know he must be stopped.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Community News titled "Welcome to Game Update 3.2: Rise of the Emperor.")

No Caption Provided

---

Members of the Joint Task Force come to understand that Tenebrae [Vitiate] was using his (or its) powers to POSSESS all manner of living beings and utilizing them for violent ends in order to increase his (or its) strength from resultant deaths (multitasking with Telepathy and Drain Life Essence implied):

"As you've witnessed, Vitiate is taking hold of an increasing number of soldiers and Sith. His goal continues to be the accumulation of power. Agent?" - Lord Lana Beniko

+

"Each time a pawn is killed, Vitiate gets a little bit stronger. Not as much as when they kill, but.... That's what Minister Beniko says, anyway." - Agent Rane Kovach

+

"The more powerful he becomes, the more people he can control. He will keep on killing until nothing's left." - Agent Rane Kovach

-----

Monoliths

Beings pure dark side energy

Putting the aforementioned revelations into perspective, A DARK CYCLE OF GROWTH IN STRENGTH was in effect: Tenebrae [Vitiate] was making use of his (or its) immense power in the dark side of the Force to possess all manner of living beings and create CONFLICT across ZIOST in order to feed on resultant deaths by his (or its) unwitting pawns (multitasking with Telepathy and Drain Life Essence implied), and as his (or its) strength continued to increase due to each death, he (or it) began to conjure nigh-omnipotent beings of pure dark side energy across the world to facilitate his agenda (Sith Sorcery implied - another addition in the mix of dark side abilities to the benefit of the wielder):

No Caption Provided

"We've seen several of those creatures appearing throughout New Adasta. They're made of Sith alchemy. A sign of Vitiate's growing power. Extremely strong, next to impossible to kill. The one which you just defeated is the smallest we've came across." - Lord Lana Beniko

+

Its power's already returned" - The legendary Jedi Knight (alias Hero of Tython)

"I'm afraid so." - Lord Lana Beniko

In reality:

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.")

---

Members of the Joint Task Force were exploring ways to reduce violence on ZIOST on the other hand. For example:

"You feed on all the deaths you cause. I'm doing everything I can to take that away from you." - The legendary Jedi Knight (alias Hero of Tython)

Evacuation possibilities were particularly under consideration:

"I can confirm it: the defenses are down. Between those weapons and the armory, a lot of their killing power's out of their hands now.

Should be able to start evacuation efforts as well. The fewer potential targets on Ziost, the better." - Rane Kovach

-----

Reinforcements arrive

The supreme chancellor of the Republic Leontyne Saresh dispatched a FLEET of the Republic to invade ZIOST and aid the Jedi and members of the Joint Task Force operating on the surface in their fight against Tenebrae [Vitiate] on the surface:

No Caption Provided

-----

Electrostatic Equipment

In addition to disabling automated defenses, members of the Joint Task Force discovered and considered using electrostatic equipment to pave way for potential evacuations.

No Caption Provided

"Should be enough to Zap anyone in range into a nice, long, involuntary nap." - Theron Shan

Massive electrostatic gun in view for reference.

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Members of the Joint Task Force also goaded Tenebrae [Vitiate] into dispatching a force of his (or its) possessed subjects including Jedi Master Surro to confront them at the spot of the massive electrostatic gun and the latter obliged:

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Followed by:

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Jedi Master Surro proved immune to such firepower by virtue of relatively stronger link between her and Tenebrae [Vitiate] in comparison to other subjects.

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"Let's just hope we got all of them. We should call Lana now, see if she has a plan for what's next." - Theron Shan

However:

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Followed by:

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Followed by:

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The legendary Jedi Knight (alias Hero of Tython) was able to defeat Jedi Master Surro in single combat and help her break free from telepathic influence of Tenebrae [Vitiate] by extension.

"I saw it. I saw everything. Every life he took--I took. It's all I can see anymore." - Jedi Master Surro

Both Theron Shan*** and Lord Lana Beniko had regained conscious by now and each sought custody of Jedi Master Surro next. It is unclear what decision the legendary Jedi Knight (alias Hero of Tython) took in the face of such requests but it is learned later that said Jedi Master did not survive. Evacuation efforts had commenced nevertheless.

"We got a break from the Emperor, but that may only last until all the trained killing machines we zapped get on their feet again." - Theron Shan

-----

Electronic Manipulation

Esoteric application

The legendary Jedi Knight (alias Hero of Tython) attempted to communicate with the supreme chancellor of the Republic Leontyne Saresh only to be interrupted by Tenebrae [Vitiate] in the process:

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"I'm curious: Do you really believe you've accomplished anything here? What do you think you've stopped? - Tenebrae [VOICES]

Tenebrae [VOICES] notified his opponent that he (or it) is planning to do something different than wiping out the galaxy:

"I have already cheated death. I have other plans now--as you will see." - Tenebrae [VOICES]

+

"I have decided that life is more interesting with you in it. If you wish to keep railing against me, then so be it. Your interference changes nothing." - Tenebrae [VOICES]

- and granted him the opportunity to escape from ZIOST by issuing a warning to him in advance:

"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." - Tenebrae [VOICES]

-----

FIX on the Emperor's presence****

The Empire's effort to get a FIX on Tenebrae [Vitiate] 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?.")

- did not yield desired result, and Darth Marr admitted DEFEAT in the following message:

No Caption Provided

NOTE: Tenebrae [VOICES] had demonstrated incredible proficiency in the application of a Force Concealment technique years earlier:

The Jedi remained blind to the Emperor's children due to the presence of the First Son, the being who was first imprinted with the Emperor's power. While the First Son lived, the Emperor's secret army remained hidden and undetected beneath the Republic's nose. By the time of the Great War, hundreds of the Emperor's Children were embedded within the Republic. Devoted Jedi, loyal soldiers, and influential politicians all unknowingly served as the Emperor's spies and, when the Emperor willed it, acted to tear down the Republic they held so dear.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

That ability coupled with Tenebrae's seemingly unparalleled power in the dark side of the Force, proved too much for the Jedi and Sith to address on ZIOST.

---

Since members of the Joint Task Force were making evacuations possible, Tenebrae [VOICES] was left with no choice but to consume ZIOST in one go in order to replenish himself (or itself):

Ziost Transportation Terminal:

[You notice a warning that orbital sensors detect a "planetary anomaly". A widespread crisis may be imminent. If you choose to investigate, further travel to Ziost's surface may become impossible, leaving any open concerns there unresolved.]

The impression given is that nobody could experience that "planetary anomaly" first-hand and live to tell the tale afterwards...

----------------------------------

5. Tenebrae [Vitiate] consumes ZIOST

"Saresh finally saw reason before things got too bad, got a bunch of our troops out of there--still, we lost so many, never mind the rest of Ziost...."

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

BEFORE

No Caption Provided

-----

Drain Force

Related to Force Drain

Since members of the Joint Task Force were making evacuations possible, Tenebrae [VOICES] was left with no choice but to consume ZIOST in one go in order to replenish himself (or itself):

Ziost Transportation Terminal:

[You notice a warning that orbital sensors detect a "planetary anomaly". A widespread crisis may be imminent. If you choose to investigate, further travel to Ziost's surface may become impossible, leaving any open concerns there unresolved.]

No Caption Provided
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The Space Station shook and its lights flickered:

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A tsunami of dark side energy was spreading on the surface resembling Death Field in its look and literally vaporized living beings in the process:

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The tsunami of dark side energy left a dried-up husk in its wake:

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The planet's environment suffered extensive harm with loss of oceans and diminished atmospheric conditions:

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Members of the Joint Task Force watched in vain and called it a day:

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-----

AFTER:

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The level of investment in this capacity should be roughly equivalent to this (or worse).

A clear distinction is made in the LORE in regards to what happened in the end:

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.")

Use of word but indicate following:

"used to introduce a phrase or clause contrasting with what has already been mentioned." - GOOGLE

"used to introduce an added statement, usually something that is different from what you have said before." - Cambridge English Dictionary (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/but)

-----

More powerful than ever before

Following revelations are self-explanatory.

Tenebrae [VOICES] was able to feed on the resultant extinction event and draw that energy into himself, revitalizing himself as well as emerging stronger than ever before in the aftermath:

"It was a blur. We tried to evacuate as many as we could. Considering so much was out of control, I'd say we did alright...

...but Vitiate is stronger now. Sith Intelligence is in complete disarray. It's all coming apart."

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

+

"Especially after Ziost, putting an end to Vitiate's threat seems like an impossible task. I don't believe it truly is impossible. Even if it is were, we have to try."

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

+

It is a time of chaos. A mysterious army led by twin conquerors has carved a path of destruction across the worlds of the warring Galactic Republic and Sith Empire, then disappeared into uncharted space.

Meanwhile, an older threat still looms: the former SITH EMPEROR, revitalized after annihilating all life on the planet Ziost, has similarly vanished without a trace.

Determined to hunt down these dangerous foes at any cost, Imperial leader DARTH MARR gather allies from both factions to join his incusion into the far reaches of Wild Space....

From (Epilogue, Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire, Chapter 1)

Tenebrae [Vitiate] vanished without a trace because it merged with The Immortal Emperor Voice and this being (or entity) became WHOLE again as well as stronger than ever before:

With each rebirth, he grew stronger. His machinations became grander. The pain and suffering he unleashed became greater. Some believed his ultimate goal was conquest: the complete subjugation of every world, known and unknown. Others believed he sought annihilation: the consumption of every living being in the galaxy, until he alone remained.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne: Codex Entry titled "The Fall of Valkorion.")

----------------------------------

6. Post-apocalyptic scenes

Tenebrae [Vitiate] reduced ZIOST into a barren wasteland devoid of life with his own dark side abilities. The planet's atmosphere suffered extensive harm albeit remained breathable, life and life-giving properties were extinguished nevertheless, violent tremors disfigured the planet's surface causing numerous structures to collapse around the world, and anomalies were also recorded on the surface. These post-apocalyptic conditions suggest a "Wound in the Force."

BEFORE

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AFTER:

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SURFACE

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An ancient temple destroyed by violent tremors (game-play scenario):

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The planet's post-apocalyptic conditions featured anomalies (game-play scenario):

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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 resembled those of NATHEMA for a time - another planet 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.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan)

Tenebrae's second apparent demise circa 3630 BBY paved way for the ecological recovery of NATHEMA:

The ecological revitalization of Nathema has been nothing short of miraculous. Vibrant plant life has not only taken root but flourished, dramatically altering the planet's once-desolate landscape.

Force-users no longer experience the unsettling "wrongness" that they once felt whenever setting foot on the planet. The air has become fresher, and the weather more dynamic.

That this has all occurred since the death of Valkorion cannot be a coincidence, though experts cannot agree on any precise environmental mechanism that could have brought about such an abrupt change.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Nathema Conspiracy: Codex Entry titled "Zildrog.")

Conditions on ZIOST might also have improved over time but it remained a barren wasteland in the future as was noted in times of Palpatine [Original Trilogy]:

Ziost has been the capital of the Sith Empire under both King Adas and Jedi Exile Ajunta Pall, as well as their successors. As with most planets of Sith Space, war and the dark side stripped life from the planet until it became a barren ball of lifeless rock.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Core Rulebook)

-----

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.

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

-----

Colossal Monolith(s)

Even the smallest of all Monoliths:

No Caption Provided

- was found to be virtually unstoppable in battles:

"We've seen several of those creatures appearing throughout New Adasta. They're made of Sith alchemy. A sign of Vitiate's growing power. Extremely strong, next to impossible to kill. The one which you just defeated is the smallest we've came across." - Lord Lana Beniko

Its power's already returned" - Chief protagonist

"I'm afraid so."

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

It was tearing through heavy structures (usually made of duracrete and durasteel) like tissue paper and forced even the chief protagonist to abandon an important sector:

"Plan's over. Scrapped. Some giant thing tore through a junction, caused an electrical surge. Dampeners are shot."

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

NOTE: Sith Lord Lana Beniko originally mistook these monsters for living creatures (works of Sith alchemy; Sithspawn); but these were rather beings or manifestations of pure dark side energy, conjured by Tenebrae [Vitiate] - a sign of the former Emperor's growing power indeed:

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.")

Some of the Monoliths conjured by Tenebrae [Vitiate], were absolutely gigantic (could swallow humans whole), and had considerable powers of their own. These were identified as Colossal Monoliths.

No Caption Provided

Tenebrae [Vitiate] left at least one Colossal Monolith to haunt post-apocalyptic ZIOST to remind potential visitors of the horrors he had unleashed on this world and the consequences of trespassing:

No Caption Provided

Glimpse of a Colossal Monolith lurking near a gigantic temple in post-apocalyptic ZIOST. Besides being huge and virtually indestructible, it also had the ability to siphon life-force of potential trespassers [1].

[1] Evidence in the following link: https://swtor.jedipedia.net/en/abl/syphon-energy

----------------------------------

7. Historical Significance

"The demands of the dark side can ravage flesh, but fortunately it is possible to balance the scales by siphoning life from another to bolster your own."

From (Darth Bane, Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side)

Although Force Drain represents a spectrum of applications which allow the wielder to draw energy from the subject(s) - all are extremely difficult to employ in combat.

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NOTE: Inherent risks of employing Death Field in single combat notwithstanding, Darth Bane also had to draw from a nexus of dark side energy for the needful:

Bane extinguished his weapon and stood perfectly still, allowing the swarming horde to close in on him as he gathered his strength. He called upon the power of the temple itself, feeding on it to bolster his own abilities as he created a deadly field around his body. It began as a tight circle, but quickly spread outward until it extended to a radius of ten meters, with the Sith Lord at the center. The air within the circumference of the field suddenly became darker, as if the light from the red sun above had been suddenly dimmed. Cloaked in the shadowy gloom, Bane simply held his ground against the enemy assault. The front ranks of onrushing cultists shrieked in agony as they entered the field, their life essence violently sucked out of their bodies, aging them a thousand years in only a few seconds. Muscles and tendons atrophied instantaneously; their skin withered and shrank, pulling tight across their bones. Eyes and tongues shriveled, turning them into mummified husks before their desiccated flesh crumbled away, leaving only skeletal remains and a few strands of hair.

The effort of creating an aura of pure dark side energy would have quickly exhausted even Bane.

However, as his enemies fell he was able to draw their essence into himself, feeding on their energies to revitalize his fading strength and reinforcing the field in preparation for the next wave of victims.

The mass of cultists continued to charge forward. Those in the middle ranks had seen the fate of their companions and tried desperately to stop. But the momentum of those behind swept them forward into the field to suffer the same agonizing death as those who had already fallen.

Only those at the very rear of the crowd were able to see the danger and pull up in time to save themselves. Of the more than twenty cultists who had attacked him, only a handful were able to save themselves. They stood at a safe distance, hovering on the edge of the deadly field with weapons raised, uncertain how to proceed.

Bane ended their confusion by letting the field drop and drawing his lightsaber. His opponents were too slow and too few to challenge him, and their crude vibro-weapons couldn't even parry his glowing blade. Completely helpless against a superior foe, their mindless devotion to Andeddu still compelled them to attack the invader of the sacred temple. Bane cut them down like dogs.

From (Star Wars: Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil)

Due to these applications being exceedingly difficult to employ in offensive capacity as well as the inherent risks involved in their use (see above), the pool of Force-users who were able to employ these applications in offensive capacity is very small by extension - documented examples are from Darth Traya, Darth Nihilus, Lord Draahg, Tenebrae [VOICES], Darth Bane, Mother Talzin and Darth Krayt respectively. Some utilized these applications in relatively PASSIVE ways such as to replenish themselves during the course of a battle such as Darth Malak, Lord Kherus and Darth Ikoral, or to fuel their strength such as Tulak Hord, Tenebrae, Palpatine and Abeloth. When it comes to employing these applications to AFFECT a world, the pool of Force-users shrinks further to Darth Nihilus, Tenebrae [VOICES], Palpatine and Abeloth respectively. Among these, only two Force-users were able to demonstrate a technique to KILL a world and these are/were Darth Nihilus and Tenebrae [VOICES] respectively.

Sith Lords of the ancient Sith Empire are pioneers of Sith Lightning and draining applications nevertheless:

The Sith have developed terrifying powers, such as the ability to drain a being of its life force, or unleash their hatred as crackling bolts of energy. The Sith Emperor, history's most powerful dark side master, performed a ritual of incredible scope to consume the life energy of every being on his homeworld. Ancient Sith were also masters of these arts.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

Darth Traya also commented to that end while coaching Meetra Surik.

Tulak Hord applied Drain Life Essence on a mass scale for instance:

In his time as Dark Lord of the Sith, Tulak Hord was known as a master of the mystical dark arts of the Force, using his powers to plumb the depths of life and death. In the battles of Yn and Chabosh, Tulak Hord is believed to have used a ritual to draw the strength of his enemies to himself, growing his power and vitality. One ritual of Tulak Hord’s gets only a scant mention in the histories, but is the subject of myth and legend–a ritual rumored to grant eternal life. No one has ever managed to uncover this mythical ritual, let alone perform it. - SWTOR: Codex Entry: The Ritual of Tulak Hord

- followed by:

“Together, Tulak Hord and I devoured our enemies at the battles of Yn and Chabosh and brought the entire Dromund system to its knees. And now I await his return.” - Khem Val

Tenebrae [Original] adopted a ritualistic technique to consume a world nevertheless - the most ambitious move of its kind among the ancients. By consuming other living beings on such a scale, he could prolong his LIFE for a very long time (Sith Sorcery in effect).

Sith Lords of the reconstituted ancient Sith Empire rediscovered draining applications among others at some point as apparent from examples of Lord Draahg, Lord Kherus and Darth Ikoral in SWTOR times.

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8. Comparison with Darth Nihilus (Drain Force)

"It is a technique that is almost as old as the Sith themselves…it is a means of severing connections between life, the Force, and feeding upon the death it causes. It cannot be taught…it can only be gained through instinct, through experiencing its effects, first-hand." - Darth Traya

Please keep in mind the fact that Tenebrae [Original] had experienced the effects of Force Drain on his homeworld planet MEDRIAAS back in 4999 BBY:

The Sith Emperor, history's most powerful dark side master, performed a ritual of incredible scope to consume the life energy of every being on his homeworld.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

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The ritual lasted ten days. Lord Vitiate orchestrated the sorcery and the planet Mediraas was consumed by the largest dark side nexus the galaxy would ever see. When the ritual ended, Lord Vitiate emerged as the only survivor. The pain, energy, and suffering of every living entity on the planet fueled his power and would prolong his life for centuries. The lifeless planet of Mediraas became a void in the Force and was erased from history. From that moment forward, the world would forever be known as Nathema, birthplace of the one and only Sith Emperor.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

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The ancient mechanical entity known as Zildrog has always operated from behind the scenes. Unlike the other "machine gods" of Iokath, Zildrog permanently functions in two forms. The first is a central computer that specializes in the transfer of life energies. Given this device's presence on Nathema, it is likely that Zildrog was a key element of the original ritual Tenebrae used to empower himself at the cost of all life on the planet. Beyond that first atrocity, however, Zildrog's central mind appears to have played no role in Tenebrae's dual life as Vitiate and Valkorion, and slumbered in stasis mode until Vinn Atrius discovered it many years later.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Nathema Conspiracy: Codex Entry titled "Zildrog.")

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Tenebrae [VOICES] released a tsunami of dark side energy that was spreading on the surface resembling Death Field in its look and literally vaporized living beings in the process:

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The tsunami of dark side energy left a dried-up husk in its wake:

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Darth Nihilus blanketed the surface of KATARR with an expression of Drain Force which materialized in the form of Dark Clouds and produced choking-effect on living beings while the Dark Clouds passed above:

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Only Visas Marr was found unconscious on the surface:

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- which also suggest that Darth Nihilus's expression of Drain Force produced choking-effect on living beings.

Therefore, following statement:

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.")

- is substantiated.

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9. Difference between Tenebrae [VOICES] and Tenebrae [Valkorion]

Tenebrae [VOICES] was in the process of replenishing himself (YAVIN 4 to ZIOST) and he devastated the latter world after replenishing himself. During the course of these developments, The Immortal Emperor VOICE was active for The Eternal Empire - the same VOICE that Tenebrae [VOICES] created in the body of the original living being Valkorion centuries ago. The Tenebrae [TSEV]'s consciousness proved impossible to obtain a FIX on:

No Caption Provided

- and vanished without a trace:

Meanwhile, an older threat still looms: the former SITH EMPEROR, revitalized after annihilating all life on the planet Ziost, has similarly vanished without a trace.

Determined to hunt down these dangerous foes at any cost, Imperial leader DARTH MARR gather allies from both factions to join his incusion into the far reaches of Wild Space....

From (Epilogue, Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire, Chapter 1)

So what happened? Tenebrae [TSEV]'s consciousness merged with The Immortal Emperor VOICE and the being (or entity) Tenebrae [VOICES] became WHOLE again as well as stronger than ever before:

With each rebirth, he grew stronger. His machinations became grander. The pain and suffering he unleashed became greater. Some believed his ultimate goal was conquest: the complete subjugation of every world, known and unknown. Others believed he sought annihilation: the consumption of every living being in the galaxy, until he alone remained.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne: Codex Entry titled "The Fall of Valkorion.")

It is possible to affect and/or destroy lingering Force spirits of the Sith:

No Caption Provided

From (Star Wars - D20 - The Darkside Sourcebook)

And the reconstituted ancient Sith Empire certainly knew how to neutralize such threats:

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?.")

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In her address to the Galactic Republic, Supreme Chancellor Leontyne Saresh mourned the loss of life, vowing to "stop the mad Sith Emperor at any cost." Similarly, word has filtered through the Sith Empire that the Dark Council is actively hunting their former Emperor while also working with renowned Sith alchemists on a plan to destroy the one they call Vitiate for good.

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

However, they were not dealing with a Force spirit of the Sith but Tenebrae [VOICES] - a being of unfathomable power - whose Tenebrae [TSEV]'s consciousness on ZIOST was utterly formless and proved impossible to affect and The Immortal Emperor VOICE was active in the far reaches of the Wild Space - first disclosed to the Jedi and Sith circa 3637 BBY (CHAPTER 1 of the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion set).

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An author's perspective and recap:

"Then, Vitiate abruptly stops the war, proposes a treaty claiming seemingly-random planets, and starts the Cold War. An obscure step in his plan to complete the ritual? Makes sense, though if we look at how old Valkorion's children appear to be, they'd be getting born right around this time... coincidence?

Senya tells us that Valkorion started becoming colder and more distant as the children grew up, so we can surmise that he's splitting his attention again during this period. The assault of Sel-Makor and the final attack by the Jedi Knight take a lot out of him. His ritual is thwarted, and he is too weak to dominate another body or risk Valkorion until he's reinvigorated by Revan's plot in SoR - otherwise, he would've surely done so. He could've used the Fleet to cause the necessary deaths, but he wasn't ready to reveal its power to the galaxy yet - more on that shortly.

The events of Shadow of Revan give him the boost he needs to become active again - and he does so in spectacular fashion on Ziost, all while playing up his "evil destroyer of everything" Vitiate persona to the max. He's greatly reinvigorated, he's dealt a significant blow to the Sith Empire (which had been rapidly increasing in strength after Rise of the Hutt Cartel), and he's baited the player and their allies in one fell swoop. All of which leads inexorably to the confrontation in the throne room in the beginning of KOTFE - but why?" - Charles Boyd

Details in the following LINK.

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Tenebrae [VOICES] allowed this VOICE to be struck down in a battle and infiltrated the mind of The Outlander to cheat death again (refer back to the TABLE of the Cheating Death subsection above for details) - this particular manifestation is Tenebrae [Valkorion] because it takes the appearance of the original Valkorion:

Valkorion has lived for millennia, using his dark mastery of the Force to assume many forms. His latest incarnation is Valkorion, the Immortal Emperor of the Eternal Empire. After ruling for centuries, he was struck down in an act of treachery engineered by his son, Arcann. But the Immortal Emperor could not be vanquished so easily. He evaded death by infiltrating the mind of the Outlander, his most powerful opponent. He now appears to the Outlander as an apparition, offering guidance and harsh lessons while carrying out a master plan that remains shrouded in secrecy.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne: Character Profiles)

The Outlander and Tenebrae [Valkorion] had an exchange of dialogue in relation to ZIOST when the former was frozen in carbonite and the latter was making the former relive through significant developments in the past and also in the present through a combination of Flow-walking and Force Illusion applications.

"Ziost. The world where everything changed. For me, you... the galaxy." - Tenebrae [Valkorion]

"You killed every living being here." - The Outlander

"They died opening my eyes to the truth. I have passed beyond death's reach." - Tenebrae [Valkorion]

"Everything dies. Even you." - The Outlander

"Our flesh is not who we are. Voices... Hands... Children... I no longer require those crude vessels. At long last I am truly free." - Tenebrae [Valkorion]

"Your freedom cost millions of innocent lives. You're nothing but a monster." - The Outlander

Tenebrae [Valkorion] was COMPROMISED inside The Outlander - this was still a being of unfathomable power had the capacity to do more than kill a world - further discussion is covered in the following blog.

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10. What happened on ZIOST is NOT a Sith ritual

The Sith Emperor is the most powerful Force-user who has ever existed. Unless this implacable enemy can be defeated, the Jedi Order is doomed.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Encyclopedia)

Some people have attempted to advance the notion that the Devastation of ZIOST was the outcome of a SITH RITUAL but this is ERRONEOUS ASSUMPTION. Related discussion in the SWTOR official forum only added to the confusion with select members being guilty of advancing unsubstantiated perspectives in the mix.

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All it took me was to check the publication Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side to understand what happened on ZIOST and what kind of powers Tenebrae [Vitiate] put to use on there.

FORCE POWERS - The primary means by which a Force user manipulates the Force is not unconscious. A true Force user can deliberately tap into the Force to change and manipulate himself and his surroundings. The Force can allow someone to do things others may see as fantastic or unbelievable: levitating items, blocking blaster shots with one's hands, controlling the minds of others, and even predicting the future.

From (Star Wars: Force and Destiny: Core Rulebook)

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ZIDROG had two components in total:

The ancient mechanical entity known as Zildrog has always operated from behind the scenes. Unlike the other "machine gods" of Iokath, Zildrog permanently functions in two forms.

The first is a central computer that specializes in the transfer of life energies. Given this device's presence on Nathema, it is likely that Zildrog was a key element of the original ritual Tenebrae used to empower himself at the cost of all life on the planet. Beyond that first atrocity, however, Zildrog's central mind appears to have played no role in Tenebrae's dual life as Vitiate and Valkorion, and slumbered in stasis mode until Vinn Atrius discovered it many years later.

The second of Zildrog's forms is the ancient warship known as the Gravestone. Though it can be operated by an organic crew when required, the vessel's Dark Heart functions as a remote command core that allows Zildrog to control the ship as an extension of itself.

Ancient Zakuulan myths often confuse or conflate Zildrog and Izax, likely because both entities are aerial platforms employing omnicannon technology. Given the many differences in their construction and operation, it seems likely that they were actually built entirely separately--perhaps even as rival projects carried out in Iokath's endless pursuit of better and deadlier weapons.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Nathema Conspiracy: Codex Entry titled "Zildrog.")

ZILDROG did not exist on ZIOST, and no arcane machine is officially identified which was supposedly put to good use by Tenebrae [Vitiate] to his benefit after he invaded ZIOST to REPLENISH himself:

The man now called Vitiate by those who once served him was not strong enough to usurp all life on Yavin 4 after his reawakening. However, he did gain power enough to flee the jungle moon and survive. 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? When will his unforgiving depletion of Ziost end? And when it does end, what fate will befall the rest of the galaxy?

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

Towards that end, Tenebrae's strategy was to use his own immense power in the dark side of the Force to create CONFLICT and expand it across the breath of the planet (Telepathy implied):

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: Community News titled "Welcome to Game Update 3.2: Rise of the Emperor.")

Tenebrae [Vitiate] was able to feed on the resultant deaths to increase his strength by the hour (Drain Life Essence implied):

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")

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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: Community News titled "Welcome to Game Update 3.2: Rise of the Emperor.")

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Known as the “Gateway to the Empire,” the planet Ziost is in a state of chaos as innocent civilians are targeted by possessed pawns of the Sith Emperor. From the menacing “People’s Tower” in the city’s center to massive armored walkers patrolling for fresh targets, the Sith Emperor’s presence is overwhelming, his power growing with every death… Only you have the strength to stand against him.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Community News titled "Welcome to Game Update 3.2: Rise of the Emperor.")

In-game dialogues (i.e. communications between the protagonists) reinforce aforementioned revelations (refer back to information in the 4.2. subsection above).

As Tenebrae [Vitiate] became more powerful by the hour, he was able to conjure monsters and unleash them across ZIOST to facilitate his agenda (Sith Sorcery implied):

"We've seen several of those creatures appearing throughout New Adasta. They're made of Sith alchemy. A sign of Vitiate's growing power. Extremely strong, next to impossible to kill. The one which you just defeated is the smallest we've came across." - Lord Lana Beniko

Although:

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.")

Putting the aforementioned into perspective:-

A DARK CYCLE OF GROWTH IN STRENGTH is apparent: Tenebrae [Vitiate] was making use of his immense power in the dark side of the Force to possess all manner of living beings and create CONFLICT across ZIOST in order to feed on resultant deaths by his unwitting pawns (multitasking with Telepathy and Drain Life Essence implied), and as his strength continued to increase due to each death, he began to conjure nigh-omnipotent beings of pure dark side energy across the world to facilitate his agenda (Sith Sorcery implied - another addition in the ongoing multitasking effort of dark side abilities to the benefit of the wielder). Tenebrae (Vitiate) adopted this strategy to grow in power at a fast pace on Ziost - this was the point all along.

The protagonists were exploring ways to reduce violence on ZIOST on the other hand. For example:

"You feed on all the deaths you cause. I'm doing everything I can to take that away from you." - Sith Warrior class

Since the protagonists were making evacuations from ZIOST possible by employing arcane electrostatic weapons to break Tenebrae's telepathic hold on his possessed subjects:

No Caption Provided

Therefore, Tenebrae [Vitiate] was left with no choice but to consume ZIOST in one go, and a clear distinction is made in regards to HOW this happened:

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.")

Use of word but indicate following:

"used to introduce a phrase or clause contrasting with what has already been mentioned." - GOOGLE

"used to introduce an added statement, usually something that is different from what you have said before." - Cambridge English Dictionary (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/but)

Tenebrae's demonstration of consuming ZIOST is clearly distinguished from the intricate Sith rituals and/or by the way of deadly (arcane) machines such as Zildrog (MEDRIAAS) and The Machine Core (YAVIN 4) in writing; Tenebrae's demonstration of consuming ZIOST is a clear display of the corrosive power of the dark side of the Force taken to its extreme (Drain Force implied), with no peer in scale and potency throughout the Star Wars lore.

Tenebrae [Vitiate] was able to feed on the resultant extinction event and draw that energy into himself, revitalizing himself as well as emerging stronger than ever before in the aftermath:

"It was a blur. We tried to evacuate as many as we could. Considering so much was out of control, I'd say we did alright...

...but Vitiate is stronger now. Sith Intelligence is in complete disarray. It's all coming apart."

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

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"Especially after Ziost, putting an end to Vitiate's threat seems like an impossible task. I don't believe it truly is impossible. Even if it is were, we have to try."

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

And this being (or entity) became a WHOLE again:

Meanwhile, an older threat still looms: the former SITH EMPEROR, revitalized after annihilating all life on the planet Ziost, has similarly vanished without a trace.

From (Epilogue, Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire, Chapter 1)

+

With each rebirth, he grew stronger. His machinations became grander. The pain and suffering he unleashed became greater. Some believed his ultimate goal was conquest: the complete subjugation of every world, known and unknown. Others believed he sought annihilation: the consumption of every living being in the galaxy, until he alone remained.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne: Codex Entry titled "The Fall of Valkorion.")

As a reminder;

Tenebrae [TSEV]'s consciousness = Tenebrae [Vitiate] = a part of Tenebrae [VOICES]

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ZIDROG wasn't responsibile for Tenebrae's dual life as Vitiate and Valkorion either:

The first is a central computer that specializes in the transfer of life energies. Given this device's presence on Nathema, it is likely that Zildrog was a key element of the original ritual Tenebrae used to empower himself at the cost of all life on the planet. Beyond that first atrocity, however, Zildrog's central mind appears to have played no role in Tenebrae's dual life as Vitiate and Valkorion, and slumbered in stasis mode until Vinn Atrius discovered it many years later.

From (Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Nathema Conspiracy: Codex Entry titled "Zildrog.")

The dots are connected once again.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Tenebrae's exploits on ZIOST are not a Sith ritual and Zildrog have nothing to do with these developments as well as his dual life as Vitiate and Valkorion made possible in the phase of VOICES. This being (or entity) chose ZIOST to replenish itself and devastated this planet in the process - using its immense power in the dark side of the Force - to emerge stronger than ever before.

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