|“||Such a generous offer, Count. But our loyalty is reserved for only each other.||„|
|~ Mother Talzin turning down Count Dooku's offer to join the Separatists.|
The Nightsisters were both a clan and an order of Force-wielding witches and mistresses of the dark side of the Force. They were a neutral group acting sometimes as antagonists in the Star Wars Universe and TV show Star Wars The Clone Wars series Season 3-4.
Religion and Philosophy
The Nightsisters lived on Dathomir, a planet bathed in dark arcane energies. Unlike the Jedi, the Dathomir Witches wielded the Force by using hand gestures and chants. By tapping into the magical ichor that flowed from Dathomir's depths, the witches could harness a power they referred to as "magicks." The most powerful of them could use that ichor to summon objects out of the thin air, transform people into ghostly versions of their true forms, or even reanimate the dead. These witches adopted a shamanistic culture that rejected the notion of "good" and "evil", and instead chose to call upon the twin energies of the Winged Goddess and the Fanged God in order to utilize their Magicks and communicate with the spirit realm.
Training female adepts as well as male warriors in its dark ways, Dathomir Witches used their sorcery to imbue their creations with enormous power.
Society and Culture
The Nightsisters lived in the seclusion of a stone fortress that bordered dense swamplands. A matriarchal society, the coven of sisters had the men of Dathomir, the Nightbrothers, living apart from them. Those males were only kept as servants and breeders. They used to mummify their dead before placing them in pods of animal skin decorated with tassels. Those pods were hung to structures made of branches, bones, animal skins and shells. Their graveyards mimicked the configuration of the plant life seen on Dathomir, with its crooked trees burdened by large, cocoon-like fruits.
The Dathomir Witches were originally warring covens that all battled each other for dominance until 31 BBY when a Clan Mother named Zalem united the covens together and appointed herself Queen of Dathomir and had plans of galactic destruction and Nightsister domination until she was defeated by the Jedi and killed by her own daughter, Ros Lai.
Following Zalem's failure, the Nightsisters' clan still continued development on the mysterious planet of Dathomir. Since they were most powerful on their home planet, they rarely ventured off-world during the height of the Galactic Republic. However, that situation changed when a Sister named Talzin became the clan's Mother. The powerful Talzin could speak to the Spirits and conjure objects from another realm. At the time of the Clone Wars, Talzin started to sell her Sisters' services as mercenaries to the galaxy's wealthy citizens, also fulfilling Zalem's dream of spreading the Nightsisters' ways across the universe. At some point prior to the Clone Wars, the clan was forced to give up the young Asajj Ventress to the Siniteen criminal Hal'Sted as protection.
After her betrayal by Count Dooku, Ventress returned to her people and sought their help for revenge against her former master. Mother Talzin healed Ventress in a ritual with her magic which caused her to sleep. The Sisters held bowls of Waters of Life and began chanting causing the water to turn into steam that surrounded Ventress. Upon awakening, she swore an oath of vengeance against her former master. Mother Talzin agreed and loaned two of the finest warriors of the clan Naa’leth and Karis to Ventress in her mission to destroy Dooku.
The Nightsisters performed another chanting ritual around a basin of Life Water and it bubbled emitting fog as all the women started floating. Ventress and her two warriors approached the potion walking through the mist. As Ventress and her compatriots walked through the green fumes, they became spectral and invisible. Talzin then gave Ventress a poisoned dart, to help dull Dooku’s senses. The matriarch then handed them each a lightsaber as if Dooku was to engage them, he must believe that they were Jedi and left for Serenno.
The assassination failed with Ventress and the other two assassins returning to Dathomir. Mother Talzin was content, with this attempt at his life, she foresaw that Dooku would now be more anxious to get himself a new assassin and bodyguard to protect him. Talzin later contacted the Count and told him how she heard he had lost his former apprentice and reminded him that Ventress was once one of her people. She suggested a replacement – a male Zabrak warrior – an offer Dooku decided to take.
Count Dooku traveled to Dathomir and spoke with Mother Talzin where she stated she would provide him a warrior of strength and fierceness and Dooku agreed and left the planet. In reality, the Nightsisters conceived the plan to give Dooku a new apprentice from the Nightbrothers, and his loyalty would belong to the witches. Asajj went to the far side of the planet and held a test of selection from the Nightbrothers to see who was worthy of being her champion.
After a long brutal test and wiping out the selection of men, Ventress chose the Zabrak Nightbrother called Savage Opress and brought him back to the Nightsister fortress. Back in their abbey, Mother Talzin examined Savage and said he was a perfect specimen filled of hate and sear power then she rendered him unconscious and placed him on a altar. The Nightsisters used their mystical powers in a chanting ceremony with green smoke surrounding him. His body began to float and warp increasing Savage's strength and ferocity, lengthening his horns, turning him into a hulking brute, and putting him under Ventress' complete control. The Nightsisters later traveled to Serenno and presented Savage to a very pleased Count Dooku.
When Savage killed two Jedi, Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker went to the planet Dathomir to investigate. They went to the Nightsister village only for them to be disarmed and brought inside the fortress to speak with Mother Talzin. Talzin initially denied she had any knowledge of Savage's whereabouts, but relented after prodding by Kenobi, using her crystal ball to inform the Jedi he was on Toydaria. After they left in earnest, Talzin met with Ventress and told her that the time to put her plot in motion had come—she would have to confront the Count herself with Savage's aid. While Ventress believed Opress needed more training, Talzin assured her that he was indeed ready and they could not keep him secret for much longer. Later a battle-weary Savage returned, having broken away from his loyalty to Ventress and having escaped from both her and the Jedi. Talzin helped him to his feet and told him she would help him obtain the power he needed. She sent him on a quest to find his brother who was hiding in exile in the Outer Rim, with the aid of a special talisman.
Slaughter on Dathomir
Ventress later returned to Dathomir and Talzin and the Nightsisters welcomed her back with opened arms. Talzin recommends that Ventress should cast off her ambitions to become a Sith and fully reintegrate herself in the ranks of the Nightsisters. Ventress agrees and undergoes the initiation ritual, becoming a fully accepted member of the order once again. Unknown to them, Dooku had harbored revenge against the traitor Ventress and the witch Talzin and he commanded General Grievous to proceed to Dathomir and eradicate the Nightsisters. The droid forces descend upon the initiation festivity in full force, and the Nightsisters prepare for battle.
The Nightsisters begin to mount a counterattack under Ventress’ leadership, but as soon as Ventress appears on the battle field, Grievous sends out a group of defoliator tanks to wipe out their opponents with one stroke. Ventress manages to destroy the defoliators and fights her way right up to Grievous, challenging him to single combat, which Grievous readily agrees to.
During the battle, Mother Talzin calls upon her order’s venerable elder, Old Daka, to allow the reviving of the past Nightsisters with their dark magic, thus creating an army of the dead to repel the Separatists. Old Daka casts forth her power, and the remains of the dead rise from their burial pods and join their living sisters. While Talzin used a lock of Dooku’s hair she had previously taken and stashed away in secret; using it to create a magical voodoo figurine likeness of Dooku, she conducts her magic through it to torment him into rescinding his attack or else suffer an agonizing death.
During the duel Ventress defeated Grievous but still ordered his droids to attack. Dooku, feeling the pain of the Nightsister magic, ordered Grievous to kill Talzin and to follow the witch's magic as it appears as green mist. Grievous then tracks down the origin of Talzin and Daka’s magic. He first kills Daka, disrupting the resurrection magic, and without reinforcements the remnants of the Nightsisters are helplessly slaughtered. Before she can be executed by Grievous, Talzin turns into smoke and vanishes.
With the Nightsisters wiped out and their order ruined, Asajj Ventress was left alone and a defeated Talzin was forced to dissolve her physical form and sought refuge in the spirit world, these two being the sole surviving Nightsisters. Mother Talzin still lived to continue on her Nightsister ways. Talzin, who had lived in solitude since the Separatist attack, stayed in the ruins of the Nightsister fortress watching Savage's journey of finding his brother through magic globes made of spirit ichor. She foresaw that he would find his brother and she must make the necessary preparations for their arrival.
Savage returned with his brother, the Sith Lord Darth Maul to Dathomir. Savage saw the carnage of the battle and the dead Nightsisters laying around until Mother Talzin appeared to him in wisps of green mist. Savage questioned what happened to the Sisters and Talzin responded they were wiped out, but she assured him that she and her culture would survive as they always have. Mother Talzin then lured Maul out with her magic and then led to her village. Once there, Talzin used her magicks to restore Maul's mind and rejuvenate his frail body, replacing his crudely-formed arachnid-like appendages with sleek mechanical legs. Her work finished, Talzin vanished once more leaving the Nightbrothers to begin forming an army with which they could rival Talzin's enemy Darth Sidious.
Extinction of the Nightsisters
While Asajj Ventress' path lead her to becoming a bounty hunter, Mother Talzin sought far greater powers than she'd ever possess by orchestrating a plot to kidnap the Force-sensitive Bardottans and their Queen to become even more powerful than the Jedi or Sith, with aid from the bloodthirsty Frangawl Cult. But was thwarted when Jedi Master Mace Windu and Jar Jar Binks foiled her plans after which she vanished once more into the spirit world.
Though she was heavily wounded, Talzin still had hope. Maul, her lost son, returned to Dathomir with a captive Count Dooku where they performed a ritual that stole Dooku's living energies to return her to the physical world. Once she regained her bodily form, she confronted Darth Sidious exchanging blasts of Force and Magick lightning with the Sith Lord who had betrayed her. Talzin was eventually defeated and impaled by General Grievous slaying the Nightsister matriarch. With his mother gone, Maul fled into the unknown regions.
Asajj Ventress still remained after her sisters and now clan mother were massacred now she traveled around the galaxy as a bounty hunter. She returned to a desolate Dathomir to train Quinlan Vos in the ways of Nightsister magicks but unfortunately was killed by Count Dooku while saving Vos. A grieving Quinlan laid her to rest on her homeworld of Dathomir alongside her sisters. The Nightsister order was now lost and forgotten.
Powers and Abilities
The Nightsisters had strange traditions for tapping into the Force. Their magic was called Spirit ichor and was the base for all magic employed by the Nightsisters of Dathomir during the Clone Wars. According to Mother Talzin, it came from channeling the Winged Goddess and was manifested as green smoke. Spirit ichor could be manipulated in a large variety of ways by a shaman. A shaman could manipulate spirit ichor into physical objects such as a goblet of blackroot, as Mother Talzin did for Count Dooku when he visited Dathomir during the Clone Wars. Mother Talzin was also seen later to conjure a Lightsaber in order to combat Jedi Master Mace Windu. Spirit ichor could also be used for divination; for mesmerism, to induce a victim into a trancelike state; for totem magic; or to conjure the Water of Life for healing purposes and other uses.
As Mother Talzin did for Asajj Ventress, Naa'leth, and Karis, spirit ichor could be manipulated to produce a luminescent green mist that allowed assassins to operate "midway" between the physical and spirit realms, cloaking them with near-invisibility. Savage Opress was also transformed into an avatar of primal anger by Talzin and a coven of spellcasters via spirit ichor. The Nightsister clan had used their magicks to enhance Savage Opress's features: longer horns, taller, and larger physique, turning him into an avatar of primal anger. Talzin later used her magicks to cure Darth Maul of his insanity and grant him prosthetic legs.
The Witches also used a magical potion called the Water of Life, or the waters of life, and it was an employment of spirit ichor that was used by the Nightsisters of Dathomir in their spells. It was used primarily for healing purposes but could also be used to render someone near-invisible.
The Nightisisters also used a type of hypnotic spell called Mesmerism and it was a Nightsister technique, provided by spirit ichor. This power allowed a shaman to override the thought of those weaker than oneself, particularly men and offworlders. A tap of the fingertip to the victim's forehead would induce a trancelike state and make the victim powerless to refuse commands.
The Sisters could do divination by using a Nightsister crystal ball. The crystal ball was owned by the Nightsisters. The crystal ball could predict and give glimpses of the future and locate people and objects. Talzin used it to help Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker locate Savage Opress. It was later used by Talzin to help Opress locate Darth Maul.
One final act of magic that could only be used by an experienced elder Nightsister was called the Chant of Resurrection. The Chant of Resurrection was a powerful dark spell of Dathomir Magic that could temporarily resurrect the dead, so long as the caster remained active. Old Daka, the oldest of the Nightsisters, used this spell to reanimate the mummified corpses of deceased Nightsisters to bolster Asajj Ventress's army during the Battle of Dathomir. Once Daka was killed by General Grievous, the spell wore off immediately, and the dead returned to their natural state.
Like all Nightsister magicks, the spell appeared as a green mist.
The Nightsisters were not just trained in the art of spell-casting but also the form of sword fighting and warrior training.
The Nightsisters were trained in archery and used bows called Nightsister Energy Bows. They were ranged weapons used by the Nightsisters of Dathomir. The bowstrings and arrows of the weapon were made of pure plasma, and emitted a bright pink glow. In the middle of the bowstring was a grip, so that the weapon could be fired without harming the user. When running out of plasma arrows, the string could be used as a bludgeon, to blind or burn the enemy.
The Nightsisters also used special blades. A Nightsister Dagger was a traditional, bladed weapon of the Nightsisters of Dathomir. It was commonly used by the clan led by Mother Talzin during the Clone Wars.