Know your lore: Darth Sion

Darth Sion, the Lord of Pain, was a Sith Lord who lived in the time of the Old Sith Wars. As a Sith Marauder in the Great Sith War, Sion fought for Exar Kun’s Sith Empire until the day he was struck down. Rather than die, though, Sion found that by calling on his pain, anger, and hatred, he could rise from certain death and achieve immortality, at the cost of all-consuming agony. With a body fractured and decomposing, but held together by the dark side of the Force, Sion survived the Great Sith War.

Sion allied himself with the next Sith Empire to arise in the galaxy, that of Darth Revan and Darth Malak. Those Sith, too, fell, and he watched from the Sith Academy on Korriban as the Empire tore itself apart. Sion soon found new purpose with Darth Traya and Darth Nihilus, a pair of Sith Lords who together with Sion formed the Sith Triumvirate, dedicated to restoring the Sith and eliminating the Jedi. In their headquarters on Malachor V, Sion served as Traya’s disciple. Eventually, frustrated with her teachings, he and Nihilus stripped her of the Force and cast her out. The two ruling Sith Lords went on to reunite most of the surviving Sith remnants and continue their war on the Jedi, with great success.

With the Jedi all but eliminated, Sion took notice of a new Jedi returning to known space, the Jedi Exile of the Mandalorian Wars. His attempt to kill her was thwarted by Traya, who managed to get the Exile to Peragus II. Sion followed in a captured Republic ship, the Harbinger, but the Exile and her companions escaped once more. He encountered her again at Korriban, but beginning to feel strange new feelings for her, he let her escape. Traya eventually betrayed the Exile and returned to take command of the Sith and Sion. Sion awaited the Exile on Malachor V; in their final battle he was struck down again and again, but rose each time. The Exile showed Sion the price he paid for immortality, convincing him to let go, and the Sith Lord at last allowed himself to die.

Biography

Rise of a Sith Lord
The Human who would become Darth Sion lived in the time around 4,000 BBY. Sion—which may have been his given name—was for a long time susceptible to infirmity and pain much the same as any other person. Combined together, they were intolerable to him, and he lived a life steeped in hatred. Rather than suffer in silence, Sion chose to embody his pain as his uniqueness, becoming Darth Sion, Lord of Pain.

In the Great Sith War of 3,996 BBY, Sion served as a Sith Marauder in Exar Kun’s Sith Empire. Seeking death, Sion went into battle against the Jedi but continued to survive the encounters. He became convinced he was immortal as he built up a greater and greater tolerance for pain. Eventually, Sion was struck down, but he did not die. Instead, the pain within him welled up to agonizing levels, driving Sion to rise once more and strike down his would-be killer with all his anger and hate. Sion found that he could hold his own decomposing body together with the dark side of the Force. Though this process brought him excruciating pain and forced him to continuously concentrate on his rage, Sion considered it a worthy price for immortality. Kun ultimately lost the war, but Sion survived the fall of the Sith Empire. In 3,963 BBY, the Sith Acolyte Haazen prophesied that the Jedi Guardian Lucien Draay would teach Haazen’s new Sith, suggesting “Darth Sion” as a possible name he could take; Haazen was later defeated and Draay turned away from the path of the Lord of Pain.

In time, the Mandalorian Wars fell across the galaxy as the clans of the Mandalorians invaded the Galactic Republic. Sion was shaped in these wars; when they ended and a new Sith Empire was formed by Darth Revan, the new Dark Lord of the Sith, and his apprentice Darth Malak, Sion became a Sith Lord of the Empire. Yet this one was not to last either; Sion was shocked, as Revan, redeemed by the Jedi Council, succumbed to what Sion saw as weakness and betrayed the Sith. Malak was killed by his old master and, with his death, the Empire came apart. Sion was at the Sith Academy on Korriban in its final days, and he watched as the Sith turned on each other. Sion survived this bout of backstabbing, though. With the disintegration of the Empire, a number of Sith Lords declared themselves to be warlords of their own domains, while other remnants fled for the Unknown Regions.

The Sith Triumvirate
There were other Sith Lords at work in the galaxy with their own plans. One was Revan’s former Jedi Master, Kreia, who had taken the name Darth Traya. Traya, searching for “wounds” in the Force, found Sion and another Sith Lord: Darth Nihilus, the Lord of Hunger. Sion, Traya, and Nihilus allied into the secretive Sith Triumvirate, based out of Malachor V, their goal the annihilation of the Jedi Order and restoration of the Sith to power. Traya became the master of both Sith Lords, and Sion learned much from her. At Trayus Academy, a hidden Sith stronghold on Malachor V, Sion learned more of pain.

There was discontent among the Triumvirate, though. Sion and Nihilus had ambition beyond that of Traya, and their fragile alliance, united solely by a hatred of the Jedi, grew strained. Sion, furthermore, grew tired of Traya’s instruction, the abstractness of her teachings and the way her words seemed to echo in his skull. Eventually he and Nihilus conspired to remove her. While Traya meditated in the academy’s core, Sion and Nihilus closed in on her. Sion beat her mercilessly, Nihilus stripped her of the Force, and Traya was cast out.

Now in sole command, Sion and Nihilus continued their work. Relying heavily on the Malachor-based Sith assassins, originally founded by Revan, Sion went on a spree of Jedi assassination. He was killed a number of times over the course of it, but he continued to rise again and slaughter many Jedi in return. By the end of Sion’s campaign, the Jedi were almost entirely extinct. In 3,954 BBY, Sion and Nihilus united the majority of the Sith Empire remnants, becoming the most unified force of Sith in their time. In 3,952 BBY Nihilus attacked a Jedi conclave on Katarr, killing many of the surviving Jedi. The Order publicly disbanded, the remaining Jedi going underground to escape Sion’s assassins. Lonna Vash, a Master of the Jedi Council, came to Korriban in search of Sion, but she fell into a trap of his and was captured. Sion imprisoned Vash in the abandoned Sith Academy.

The last of the Jedi
As the Jedi fell, one remained outside known space, a Jedi Exile who had been cast out of the Order for following Revan in the Mandalorian Wars. Atris, a surviving Jedi Master, sought to draw the Sith out of hiding, and so she arranged for the Exile to return to the known galaxy, while at the same time leaking information of the Exile’s past. Rumor that the Exile was the last of the Jedi was enough to draw the Sith out of hiding; Sion studied her, where she had gone in her exile, and the battles she had fought in the war. When the Exile returned from the Outer Rim, she had transportation secured for her aboard the Republic vessel Harbinger, and Sion and his assassins came after her in a Sith warship. But he was not the only one; Kreia, now in possession of Revan’s former ship, the Ebon Hawk, was also heading to recover the Exile. Sion’s warship intercepted the Hawk and opened fire on it, but the Hawk managed to send out a distress signal. The Harbinger picked up the signal and arrived to engage Sion. The warship, however, played dead, and the Harbinger connected an umbilical to it. The crew found Sion’s body, and believing him to be a corpse, took him back to their vessel. Meanwhile, Sion’s cloaked assassins infiltrated their way into the Harbinger.

Sion was taken to the medical bay, where the medical officer studied him. Seeing the innumerable fractures and scars that covered him, she was unable to determine if he was alive or dead and placed him in a kolto tank. As this was taking place, Sion’s assassins were moving throughout the ship, secretly eliminating some crew members and watching the others. Sion at last awoke and, after tormenting the mind of a passing crew member, burst from his kolto tank and announced that he had come for the Exile. His assassins materialized around him, and they quickly killed the security team sent to medbay. Sion set off to find the rest of the crew. He would not get the Exile, though. Kreia reached her first, took her aboard the Hawk, and escaped. Sion at last seized control of the ship, which due to the sabotage of one of its passengers was experiencing a system failure, and opened fire on the Hawk as it fled, hitting it as it leapt into hyperspace.

Sion followed them to the mining world of Peragus II, controlling the Harbinger from a meditative pose on its bridge. He would not let those who had escaped him do so again without blood being shed. The Harbinger docked with the Peragus Mining Facility, and some of his assassins moved into the facility to watch their prey. Kreia, the Exile, and Atton Rand, a prisoner they had found in the facility, came aboard the Harbinger in their search for an escape route, and Sion caught up with them in the vessel’s stern. Brandishing a sword, Kreia moved to fight him as her companions fled. Sion was surprised she was still alive, and mocked her belief that a Jedi could stop the Sith from achieving dominion. Kreia, hiding, leapt out to attack, and Sion wheeled on her and cut off her hand. She escaped him and rejoined the Exile and Rand aboard the Ebon Hawk, which proceeded to take off. Sion pursued in the Harbinger, and the ensuing firefight set off the volatile asteroids around Peragus, consuming the Harbinger in an explosion. Sion survived.

Encounter on Korriban
Enraged that Kreia would sacrifice herself for the Exile when she was so much weaker than himself, Sion grew determined to destroy all Kreia held dear, including the Exile. He got his chance to catch her when she came to Korriban in search of Lonna Vash. Shortly after the Exile arrived on Korriban, Sion killed the imprisoned Jedi Master. Within the hour, the Exile had entered the ruins of the Sith Academy; Sion sensed her arrival and had the doors to the Academy sealed behind her, as he sent his assassins in pursuit of her and her companions. Eventually the Exile’s party found Vash and unlocked the Academy entrance, but Sion moved to block their escape, at last coming face to face with her.

Sion warned the Exile that Kreia would in time destroy her, as he felt his former master had done to him. They fought, but even as the Exile injured Sion, he called upon the Force to restore his health. Kreia at last called to the Exile in the Force, telling her that it was not a battle she could win. The Exile fled the Academy, and Sion, feeling a measure of respect for her, let her go, ordering his assassins not to harm her. He expected they would meet again. Sion soon began to feel a new emotion for the Exile beyond respect or admiration, one that he could not tolerat The Sith Lord found her beautiful, but he saw in these feelings weakness that would only lead to death. As she continued to dominate his thoughts, Sion grew to hate her for it.

The final death
After Sion returned to Malachor V, he was soon joined on that world by Kreia, who had betrayed the Exile, reclaimed her title of Darth Traya, and led Darth Nihilus to his death. After eliminating Sion’s assassins, Traya found him in the Trayus Core. Sion threatened to kill her, but Traya, claiming that she had returned because she now understood the Exile’s choices, bent him to her will and made him prepare for the arrival of the Exile. Traya commanded that when the Exile arrive at the Trayus Academy, Sion show her every measure of respect.

Eventually she came to Malachor in search of Kreia, and after fighting her way through the Sith forces of the academy, the Exile at last came face to face with Sion. He cautioned her to leave, warning her that Traya would break her as she had Sion. Believing that Traya could not be defeated, Sion concluded that if the Exile were to deny herself to Traya, Traya would have no choice but to accept Sion’s loyalty again. He considered himself to have come further than any of her former apprentices, including Revan, and had decided that his initial betrayal was a test that he had passed. With words exhausted, the Exile and Sion at last fought.

The Exile struck down Sion, but with the power of Malachor flowing through him, he rose again. Once more they fought, and once more he fell; the Exile tried to persuade Sion that Kreia did not respect him and was using him as a tool, but Sion claimed that if he killed the Exile Traya would have to complete his training as her true apprentice. As they continued their fight, Sion saw the strength of the Exile, but still believed himself capable of defeating her. As she struck him down a fourth time, Sion remained defiant. The Exile told him that he had already been defeated, and she explained that Kreia had only respected those who could let go of the Force, not those like Sion who relied on it. Sion, who had not thought it possible to walk away from it, was forced by the Exile’s words to realize that the life he had given himself was a life only of pain. In his last moments, Sion warned the Exile that Traya would break her, and he told her that she was Traya’s weakness, just as she had been his. At last, glad to leave the living world behind him, Sion allowed himself to die.

Personality and traits

From his very beginning, Darth Sion filled himself with hatred, ultimately giving him the power to overcome death. He chose to embody his pain rather than tolerate it as a normal part of existence, turning it into something far greater. Sion fed upon his pain for sustenance, and he sought to spread it to all Jedi across the galaxy. As the Force gave him his power, Sion felt it called on him to continue to fight; the Force was all he was, and the dark side was his identity. And yet, Sion also had a desire to heal; the galaxy, he felt, was fractured, and he could not understand those who had the power to fix it and did not, like Revan.

Sion was tenacious; when he cornered his prey on Peragus II, the Sith Lord would not let them go without bloodshed. He was cunning; though Jedi Master Lonna Vash considered him volatile and thought him an easily-influenced brute, Sion would ultimately trap and kill her. Ambitious and power-hungry as well, Sion would not forever bend to the will of his Sith Master, Darth Traya, and he and Darth Nihilus eventually turned on her, using Nihilus’ special techniques in the Force to tear down her defenses and then beating her mercilessly. Sion and Nihilus differed from prior Sith in that the death of the Jedi Order was their sole objective; the manner in which they fought the Jedi differed too, lying in hiding and striking from darkness.

In his years as a Sith Marauder, Sion regularly fought on the front lines of the Great Sith War, and in surviving, he built up a tolerance to pain. When at last he achieved his method of immortality, every centimeter of Sion’s body crawled with agony. Sion’s flesh was decomposing, covered in cracks and scars, and his body existed in a state of undeath. His skeleton was fractured in thousands of places, as every bone in his body had been splintered repeatedly and then reassembled. The Force was all that held him together.

Powers and abilities
Sion was at Revan‘s Sith Academy on Korriban, and later learned of the ways of pain at Trayus Academy on Malachor V. With the dark side, he could hold together his decaying body. Though excruciatingly painful, and requiring endless concentration on the anger within him, it gave him his powers of immortality. When struck down, Sion could call upon his anger, hate, and pain to come alive again. In places strong in the dark side, like Korriban and Malachor V, the Force flowing through Sion made him nigh-undefeatable. Jedi Master Lonna Vash considered him “a perversion of the dark side.”

Sion needed hatred to hold onto his power; he grew threatened when his feelings for the Exile seemed to diminish this and erode his ability to hold onto life. Ultimately, she would convince him to give up his hatred and, in doing so, submit to death. The Sith Lord was glad when he could finally lay down his life.

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