- "We are the darkness between the stars; the shadow the light can never catch. We are the Dark Side and we are everywhere."
- — Sivter
The Cult of Shadow is a highly secretive following of Darksiders founded by the Defel Dark Side Master known as Sivter, who managed to grow it from a small organization to a galaxy-spanning threat. Like its leader, the cult is a mixture of Dark Jedi and Sith teachings.
Their primary goal is to plunge the galaxy into chaos and then rebuild it as a place where the Dark Side of the Force reigns supreme. It's based on the planet Arcanix, but cult members are widely dispersed across the galaxy, usually undercover, to carryout Sivter’s will on all manner of objectives.
The Cult of Shadow is often erroneously referred to as the Cult of Shadows and the Cult of the Shadow.
- "The strength of the Cult of Shadow comes from those who contribute to it. My will is to be obeyed, that is certainly true, but I give my followers the freedom to increase the cult’s power in their own ways. Those that succeed are given power themselves, those that fail are punished for their weakness… or destroyed."
- — Sivter
Attaining rank in the Cult of Shadow is based largely on a "survival of the fittest" mentality. Those who are too weak to make it on their own are generally culled from the organization by death (from internal and external factors) while those that prove themselves become quite powerful. There is typically an exponential gap in power from one rank to the next the higher one goes.
- Dark Master
The undisputed leader of the cult.
By necessity, the Dark Master is the strongest and most intelligent member of the Cult of Shadow. Few in the galaxy stand a chance at defeating such a nightmare.
- Inner Circle Dark Lord
Members of the Inner Circle must be Dark Lords. They have greater authority than normal Dark Lords, but only the Dark Master can choose who becomes a member.
There is little to separate an Inner Circle Dark Lord and a regular Dark Lord in terms of power. Inner Circle Dark Lords are usually distinguished by unique traits, skills, or connections that regular Dark Lords lack. This is what makes them more dangerous in a myriad of ways.
- Dark Lord
Only the greatest of Knights are allowed to become Dark Lords. They are typically the overseers and teachers of the cult. Dark Lords are assigned to the most important missions, but are free to undertake any mission they want. Several Dark Lords are easily on the same level of Inner Circle Dark Lords, but remain below them at the whim of the Dark Master.
A Dark Lord in the Cult of Shadow is someone to be feared. They are comparable in power and skill to the greatest Jedi Masters. Dark Lords are rarely killed easily.
- Dark Knight
Analogous to Jedi Knights, Disciples must show that they have considerable power or skill in the Dark Side to be considered a Dark Knight. Knights are put in charge of the bulk of the cult's missions.
By the time a cult member has achieved the rank of Dark Knight, they are easily on par with any Jedi Knight. The strongest of them may even be able to challenge some Jedi Masters. Their mortality rate is roughly a third of the Disciples.
Once Cultists prove themselves to have some skill or power, they become Disciples. They are allowed to leave Arcanix on missions, but are under the authority of a Dark Lord or Knight. The standard way for Cultists to prove that they are worthy of being Disciples is by learning to deal with Arcanix's toxic atmosphere by using Control Poison.
Once they have proven themselves worthy, the Cultists must also submit themselves to a Shadow Keeper before they are allowed to leave Arcanix. This is to ensure that no member can ever divulge the whereabouts of Arcanix (willingly or unwillingly) to an outsider.
Disciples are a mixed bag and have about the same high mortality rate as Cultists. The weakest among them are able to go up against Jedi Padawans, while the strongest can face down the low level Jedi Knights.
The ranking of all beginning initiates into the Cult of Shadow. Cultists are not allowed to leave Arcanix.
The weakest of all ranks. Cultists have the highest mortality rate in the entire cult, however they are also another mixed bag. While the weakest Cultist is about as much of a threat as a cheap mercenary, the most powerful Cultists are able to hold their ground with Jedi Padawans.
There are many divisions within the Cult of Shadow to help it progress in its goals more efficiently. Although it is not required for any member to join one of the divisions, those that do are granted more influence and power within the cult.
Each division is lead by an overseer who has near-complete authority over how it is run. Only the Inner Circle and the Dark Master supersede this authority.
The Alchemists, as might be surmised from their name, are dedicated to the study and practice of Sith Alchemy. Their division is unique in that it is divided up into two distinct sections: the Material Alchemists and the Biological Alchemists. However, members are free to learn and study in both fields if they choose.
Overseer: Arksis Nan
The Material Alchemists are concerned only with the non-biological side of Sith Alchemy, such as metalworking and infusing the power of the Dark Side into inanimate objects. Their division supplies the cult with Sith weapons like swords or armor.
Overseer: Uvon Okdoro
The Biological Alchemists handle the other side of Sith Alchemy; the living side. They are skilled in altering genetics and creating creatures of the Dark Side. Some of their more notable accomplishments have been the terencors and the Dark Knight Lotak.
Overseer: Teshran Lor
The Instructors and Scholars of the Cult of Shadow fall under one division. This is partly due to the similarity of their duties and partly due to the fact that both jobs fall into the minority on Arcanix. While there are Instructors to teach new recruits the basics, they don't go any further than that since members of the Cult of Shadow are expected to increase their powers and skills on their own.
In the same vein, there are only a handful of dedicated Scholars in the cult since most of the ancient and forgotten lore they pore through doesn't have any immediate applications; few take an interest in it.
Overseer: Nelar Rel’ot
The Seers are another small division and are entirely beholden to the Dark Master alone. Their job is to try and divine the future for threats to the cult or the Dark Master, or for signs of how successful the cult will be in its endeavors.
Overseer: Siriss Cortann
The Shadow Keepers are essentially the secret police of the Cult of Shadow. They are extraordinarily skilled in stealth and mental powers, particularly the Mind Twist. Every Cultist is expected to submit themselves to a Shadow Keeper before they can be considered a full Disciple and be allowed to leave the planet.
The reasoning behind this is the need to keep Arcanix an absolute secret. The mind twist every cult member undergoes is put into place to make sure that if they try to speak of the location of Arcanix or the cult's secrets to anyone outside of the organization, they will suffer massive organ failure (brain, heart, lungs, etc) and die within a minute. This is all supplanted into the deep subconscious, making the reaction as automatic as breathing. They also erect mental barriers around this information that, if breached, will result in the same reaction.
Sivter's zeal to protect the secrecy of the cult is without limits. Not only will the mind twist kill any disloyal member of the cult who tries to utter these secrets, it is designed to wipe clean that information if it is ever triggered. This is to prevent the possibility of someone keeping a cult member alive through machines, or the possibility of them divulging everything they know as a spirit.
It has proven to be a very effective means of counterintelligence, much to the frustration of the cult's enemies.
Overseer: Raii Meriaz
A division created by Raii Meriaz; Teroch’dha, translated from Raii's native Mando’a, means “pitiless dark” and could not be a more apt description of its duties. They are a small elite group of Darksider assassins trained to be silent and undetectable killers. Few even know that the division exists. In keeping with Raii's own preferences, the Teroch’dha don't use lightsabers, relying instead on alchemically treated blades like Sith swords. This allows them to kill their targets without undue noise if they so desire.
Inner Circle Dark Lords
- Arien Garix
- Artavion Seval
- Sov Noved
- Teshran Lor
- Uvon Okdoro
- Siriss Cortann
- Mogon Kor
- Jethro Varik
- Nix Munroe
- Raii Meriaz
- Ravus Crayven
- The Lost Twenty
- Mareth van Vorse
- Inan Affbar - Inner Circle Dark Lord
- Setheus Goran - Inner Circle Dark Lord
- Saanru Irsolee - Inner Circle Dark Lord
- Vok Ruvege - Inner Circle Dark Lord
- Aron Byrin - Dark Knight
- Henai - Dark Knight
- Sariv-Cren - Dark Knight
- Tavos Bren’than - Dark Knight
- Kilenka - Dark Knight
- Madlo Iktar - Dark Knight
- Six members of the Lost Twenty - Dark Knights and Disciples
Risen from the Ashes
Much of the cult was initially formed out of the remains of another cult that the Sivter had been a member of: the Cult of Dragon Masque. As the new leader of the cult after the death of Dragon Masque, Sivter eventually ended up abandoning it after he suffered a costly defeat on the planet Chisas. Always a loner, Sivter felt the cult's usefulness to him was now over and didn't look back as it was torn apart by internal power struggles.
He wouldn't return to pick up the pieces until after he was handed another decisive defeat on the planet Juoi. Determined to increase his power, Sivter returned and greatly restructured Masque's old cult to better suit his goals, forming the Cult of Shadow. He then set out to find other individuals worthy enough to help him administer and run the cult. A select few of these people would soon become his Inner Circle.
Thanks to Sivter's keen mind and incredible knowledge of the Dark Side, the cult's resources continued to grow as they slowly extended their shadowy grip to all corners of the galaxy.
Missing in Action
A series of events saw the cult lose three of its valued Inner Circle Dark Lords within a short amount of time. Two of them, Inan Affbar and Setheus Goran, were secretly removed by Sivter himself, using the Dark Lord Arien Garix as his proxy by implanting commands into Garix’s mind that forced him to move against them. Garix was successful, sabotaging their transport’s hyperdrive to neatly and effectively remove the two. Although the cult officially labled them as missing in action, it was presumed by all that they were dead.
Sivter’s reasons for removing the two Inner Circle Dark Lords were simple: neither Dark Lord had done anything to contribute to the cult since their promotion to the Inner Circle and thus were deemed a detriment to the cult. Garix, who had been guilty of the same thing and thusly used as the proxy, managed to redeem himself by promising to use his connections to improve the cult forthwith.
A short few weeks after Affbar and Goran were eliminated, one of the most productive Inner Circle Dark Lords, Kishkumen, went missing while inside the Jade Worlds. Garix and the Dark Lord Crix were dispatched to try and recover him without success. Since no definitive proof could be found of Kishkumen’s demise, he was also considered missing in action by the cult.
The loss of three within the Inner Circle left only two members, a situation which threatened to destabilize the Cult of Shadow. Rather than rush in some replacements, Sivter decided instead to step up operations for his grand plan against the galaxy, planning to promote those who would impress him along the way.
For Sivter's vision to become a reality, several pieces needed to come together. Towards that end, cult members were ordered to drastically increase their raids to acquire knowledge and other artifacts or creatures that were connected in some way with the Dark Side.
Few were allowed to pursue other agendas during this time and even Sivter himself left Arcanix in search of more knowledge. Other successful members included Crix, Jethro Varik, and Nix Munroe. It would turn out to be Munroe who would end up discovering the first piece that Sivter was looking for.
This piece would lead into one of the largest offensives the cult had ever been involved with by that point: the Battle of Onderon.
Battle of Onderon
Although Sivter had almost all the information he needed to begin the next phase of his plan, one vital thing was still missing: the location of where to find it. On Onderon, in the Jedi Archives, was where it waited for him. Rather than launch an all out attack right away, Sivter remained patient as he slipped cult agents under the noses of the Jedi so as to sabotage key systems when the time was right.
Once the right people were in place, the attack began.
The Jedi has little warning as the cult launched a multiple-prong assault. Although the Jedi suffered numerous causalities, the entire battle was merely a ruse perpetrated by Sivter so as to distract them while he slipped in to the archives and stole what he wanted. Only three Jedi realized that this was the real purpose, and by the time it was over, one of them, Jedi Master and High Council member Faarel Blackthorne, would be dead by Sivter’s hand.
The battle was an enormous success for the Cult of Shadow, every one of their objectives was met and Sivter was able to acquire the location for where he had to go next.
Ancient Army, New Master
The place turned out to be the jungle moon of Mar’row, which had served as the location for an RSA Jedi Praxeum, and thousands of years earlier, was used by Sith alchemists to create the deadly race known as the Schrai. Although the Schrai had been sealed away before they could be unleashed on the galaxy, they were still active.
Relying more on trickery and guile, Sivter was able to use Sov Noved, a clone of Devon Vos, to infiltrate the RSA’s defenses and sabotage them so he could move without interference. Sivter managed to break the seal that kept the Schrai locked away and thus gained their loyalty, as well the loyalty of the Sith tuk'ata guardian, Taral.
Once again, the forces that would oppose the Cult of Shadow were helpless to stop Sivter from accomplishing his goals and could only watch as his transports took the Schrai away to Arcanix.
Cult of Shadow: Darkness Spreads (Main Thread)