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|“||My life spans millennia. Legions have risen to test me. My ascendance is inevitable. A day, a year, a millennium—it matters not. I hold the patience of stone and the will of stars. Your striving is insignificant. Let your death be the same.||„|
|~ The Sith Emperor|
Vitiate, also known as The Sith Emperor and to the Eternal Empire as Valkorion, was a Dark Lord of the Sith who reconstituted the Sith Empire after the Great Hyperspace War and went on to rule it for more than a millennium. He is the main antagonist of the Jedi Knight Storyline and the overall primary antagonist of Star Wars: The Old Republic.
According to legend, he was born under the name Tenebrae, the illegitimate son of Lord Dramath of Medriaas and a poor farm woman. After killing them both, he was granted the title of Lord Vitiate by the then-reigning Dark Lord of the Sith, Marka Ragnos.
|“||If you kill everyone in the galaxy, you'll be Emperor of nothing. What's the point of all this?||„|
|~ The Hero of Tython|
|“||You discern a fraction of reality. Beyond these stars exist other galaxies, other worlds, other beings. I will experience or ignore them as I wish. I will spend eternity becoming everything: a farmer, an artist, a simple man. When the last living thing in the universe finally dies, I will enjoy peace and wait for the cycle to begin again.||„|
|~ The Sith Emperor|
While other Sith became feared warriors and conquered new worlds for the glory of the Empire, Vitiate was content to remain on Nathema even when the rest of the Sith Lords went to war against the Republic. However, his public persona of a scholar was merely a sham: by the time he entered the second century of his lifetime, he was calculating, manipulative, and patient enough to sit by while his plans took years to reach completion. When news of Naga Sadow's defeat reached the ears of the people, Vitiate was able to carefully drive the rest of the Empire into a frenzy of panic and herd them as he wished. He also revealed his true persona to the eight thousand Sith Lords who heeded his call on Nathema. The reclusive scholar crushed their minds and bound them to his own indomitable will.
The ritual performed on Nathema affected the Emperor beyond just his strength in the Force; the price of immortality meant that he no longer experienced any of the senses that normal people possessed. Taste, touch, smell, color, and even emotion meant nothing to him, as he lacked the capacity to experience any of them. He did not care, however, as such mortal concerns were now beneath him. His servant Lord Scourge, whom he subjected to a scientific recreation of his immortality ritual, came to realize during his three centuries of service that the Sith ruler had transcended his humanity and mortality even within his own mind. The Emperor sacrificed the ability to feel anything, separating himself from the rest of the universe in the most fundamental ways and convincing himself that he was like a god.
In his search for a way to completely escape death, the one thing he truly feared, the Emperor delved into many arcane and lost techniques of the dark side. Developing ways to link his consciousness with those of other beings, he soon gained a significant number of servants who were fanatically loyal to and intricately linked with their master. As the reach of his consciousness grew ever greater, he became capable of dividing his focus among multiple agents of his will across the galaxy while still maintaining complete possession of his current Voice. Because of that ability, those who received audiences with the Emperor often gained the correct impression that the Sith was listening to other conversations even while speaking.
The Emperor was motivated by the only two emotions he could still feel: hunger for power and fear of losing it. Revan's subconscious manipulations of the Emperor while he was imprisoned further augmented the Sith's fear of death, pushing it to the point of irrationality and fueling his desire to become truly and utterly immortal. As his spirit had been rendered immortal by the ritual, his perception of time and his patience extended as well; something that allowed him to carefully work for centuries toward his goals. The hopes, desires, and concerns of living beings meant nothing to him, and to him all other beings were like ants; his will was utter and absolute. If the Emperor's ritual had been completed, the Sith would have spent eternity fulfilling any desire that he had. Over the course of his life, he came to desire peace for the galaxy, but peace in the form of utter and complete emptiness. When he touched Scourge with his mind, the mental contact drove the Sith Lord nearly insane despite only lasting less than a second. Scourge's perception of the Emperor's mind was one filled with indescribable horrors, with the emptiness of complete annihilation lurking beneath its surface.
When the Hero of Tython began to oppose him, the Emperor professed a lack of concern for the Knight's successes against his agents, but over the course of his service, Scourge had come to recognize what little emotion remained in his master, and that the emotions that the Emperor was feeling were fear and hatred. Using the powers of Revan and his Voss host to gaze into the future, the Emperor saw the possibility of his own death at the hands of that Jedi. That threat terrified the immortal ruler, and he became more and more anxious to complete the dark ritual again to ensure his survival, but the Hero was ultimately able to strike down the Emperor in battle just as he had foreseen. Even then, the Emperor clung to life as a spirit of the dark side and took control of a new host, but he eventually died a final death some time over the course of the next three thousand years.
Powers and Abilities
|“||There is no death; there is only the Force. And I am its master.||„|
|~ The Sith Emperor|
Even as a child, the Sith Emperor possessed immense strength in the Force, and his abilities began to manifest themselves at the age of six. He used his newfound powers to snap his adoptive father's neck with a thought, and tortured his mother with the Force for months while feeding on her fear and pain. As his powers grew, Tenebrae continued to gorge himself on the fear and suffering of those whom he tortured in public executions. When he confronted his real father, the Sith Lord Dramath, at the age of ten, Tenebrae was able to strip the man of both his sanity and his power in the Force.
Tenebrae's power at the age of thirteen was great enough for Marka Ragnos, the current Dark Lord of the Sith, to acknowledge the teenager's strength and grant him the title of Lord Vitiate. Vitiate soon gained a reputation as a scholar, spending much of the next century studying the secrets of the dark side. He soon gained an immense knowledge of Sith sorcery, becoming one of the most powerful practitioners of both Sith magic and alchemy throughout history, and devised complex rituals to warp reality and life itself. Another one of Vitiate's specialties was in the domination of his opponent's minds, as he was able to dominate the minds of eight thousand Sith Lords and bind them to his will. He then used their combined power to perform the most complex ritual of Sith magic ever performed, ripping the Force from the entire planet of Nathema and absorbing the combined life force of every living thing on the surface. Lord Scourge suspected that the Emperor had not only absorbed the lives of those who had died in the ritual, but was in fact feeding off their spirits to sustain his own throughout the centuries that followed.
As Emperor, he spent much of his rule experimenting even further with the dark side, discovering many lost techniques and increasing his immense power even more. While his body was harmed by the ravaging effects of the dark side, the technique of transfer essence allowed him to move his consciousness, which had been made immortal as a result of the ritual on Nathema, between bodies and sustain his life indefinitely. By combining various Force techniques, the Emperor was also able to imbue portions of his consciousness into infants, transforming those Children of the Emperor into extensions of his will. He could suppress his Children's personas and even their Force-sensitivity, making them the ultimate covert operatives, and further possess them like puppets.
The Emperor's rituals on Dromund Kaas warped the planet's very atmosphere, creating perpetual lightning storms, and he became a master of manipulating objects and the environment with the Force. He was easily able to block T3-M4's flamethrower by wrapping the Force around himself, and could send Revan flying across his throne room with barely an effort. The Emperor could conjure storms of Force lightning, and he disintegrated T3-M4 with just a thought by blasting the astromech droid into shrapnel. The Emperor was able to summon Sith magic, which enabled him to create physical duplicates of himself while battling the Hero of Tython. When necessary, the Emperor would utilize his red-bladed lightsaber in combat. By the time of his defeat at the hands of the Hero of Tython, the Emperor was considered to be the most dominating Force-user ever seen in the galaxy; his very presence inspired fear, anger, and hatred in those around him.
- He is one of the vilest and darkest Sith ever, alongside Emperor Palpatine, Darth Bane, Darth Jadus, Darth Zannah and Darth Krayt (among others).
- Valkorion's birth name, Tenebrae, means "Darkness" in Latin.
- Valkorion is similar to Fire Lord Ozai from Avatar: The Last Airbender: They were very cruel overlords and even worse fathers to their children. Eventually, karma caught up with them when they were defeated.
- Valkorion's methods for gaining immortality bear similarities to Lord Voldemort, particularly in the fact that he is so vile some of his own enforcers stand against him.