As one of the ships used during the Clone Wars, the Hammer of Darkness has seen many battles under the banner of the Republic and later the Empire. Built shortly after the Battle of Coruscant, the ship saw use during the war and after the New Order was created was renamed from its Pro-Jedi name to Gladiator, a fitting name for a scrapping ship. Put through refits during the years, the ship ended up under the command of Jakeston Alarni, then a Commodore in the Empire. It was the flagship of his taskforce which hunted down pirates.
When Emperor Damascus fell at the Battle of Corellia, along with a sizable portion of the Imperial navy, the CO of the ship knew that the new leader, Grand Admiral Thrawn, wouldn't think of the crew and their families of small individual taskforces as he pitted them against this new alien menace (Xen'Chi). Alarni, against his better judgement, went rogue with the Gladiator.
Some time would pass as they managed to stay alive, until they came across a certain Dark Jedi named Ilan Garuda. Realizing that Garuda would be able to protect the lives of his crew and their families, Alarni gave the ship to Garuda, and he acted as his proxy. Renamed Hammer of Darkness, the ship became Garuda's flagship.
The Hammer of Darkness was the key component to Ilan capturing the Jedi Knight Kal Norr and turning him to the Dark Side. It later accompanied the rising-in-power Sith Lord to Shadow Imperium space, where Ilan forged an alliance with Keldon Tyfus. The ship and its crew played a significant part in the Corporate Sector Rebellion, designed to bring about the a puppet government in the Corporate Sector from which the Sith Brotherhood and Shadow Imperium could stage their next move. In recognition for Jakeston's efforts, he was promoted to Vice Admiral within the Imperium's ranks.