Disclaimer: I do not own Star Wars or any characters that are a part of that franchise. This is a fan work and no money is being made from it.
Author's Note: The events in this part follow on from Rediscovery of the Power and take place around the same time as those at the start of Revelations of the Grid

A Schism in the Force

A distant galaxy, A very long time ago

The teachings of the Holy Order of Suna and the darker forbidden knowledge of the Xylons had spread far beyond their origin. That the wisdom of its founders continued to be passed down spoke of how powerful its practitioners had become. Along the way, there were changes to names and events as those in authority tried to mask the mistakes of the past while presenting their order in the best possible light. The Holy Order of Suna had been reborn as the Holy Order of the Je'daii, an organisation that tried to balance the teachings of light and dark philosophies to maintain the delicate balance between good and evil. Instead of casting out the Xylons, they attempted to embrace their beliefs and curb their excesses instead of banishing them. They even relabelled the philosophies in an attempt to prevent the previous actions of either side from affecting future relationships. Upon the planet Typhon the Je'daii built their temples, borrowing the names of the planet's moons for the differing philosophies. The light aspect of the Power was named for the moon of Ashla. The dark aspect took its name from the twin moon of Bogan. The Je'daii taught that just as both moons were needed to sustain Typhon so students need to preserve the balance of light and dark within themselves. The Power was officially labelled the Force.

Years passed before the arrival of an outsider ignited the tensions between the Ashla and the Bogan. In the aftermath the Bogan fled the planet, pursued by the Ashla forces. A large group of Ashla departed the Je'daii order, considering its attempts to accept and understand the Bogan a failure. They chased the Bogan, seeking to eliminate them before settling on a distant world named Ossus. In time the Je'daii would fade into obscurity and knowledge of Typhon would be lost for generations.

The Ashla however thrived in their new home. They changed their name to the Order of the Jedi and established themselves as allies of the fledgling republic. The Jedi protected the people of the galaxy, having rejected the ways of Bogan. However, despite their attempts to erase the dark ways of the past, they could not prevent the experimentation with the Force that would lead to new darker knowledge. The Way of Bogan or Dark Side as some referred to it, was extremely tempting, offering knowledge that would taint the souls of those that followed its methods. They delved into the nature of life and death, learning ways to use the Force to alter living beings or animate the dead. When they shared this knowledge with their fellow Jedi, they were rejected and triggered a second schism.

The followers of the new techniques were considered dangerous rogues and ordered to end their studies. They refused and were exiled from the Jedi, an event that caused the rogues to see the Jedi as enemies. It was that event that triggered a war lasting over one hundred years. During that time the rogue Jedi turned their knowledge against their former allies, unleashing beasts corrupted by their powers. With animalistic abominations and xenological zombies at their command, the rogues sought to crush the Jedi.

After a century the Jedi finally defeated the rogues. Although they accepted the surrender, they were not prepared to forgive their dark enemies. They stripped them of their weapons, ranks and technology before placing them aboard unarmed galleons. They were sent forth into space with no means of navigation and no way to return. The Jedi lacked the conviction to execute the surviving rogues but took the view that they would not do anything to aid their survival. Many hoped that the rogues, now exiles, would perish during their voyage.

With the second great war in their history over, the Jedi sought to enjoy a period of peace, unaware that their exiles had survived and found a planet where they could plan their revenge.

When the galleon completed its journey, the exiles were shocked at their survival. They later decided that their fate had been placed in the hands of the Force and that they had been deemed worthy of saving. They emerged to find themselves in orbit around an uncharted planet. Upon landing they discovered a humanoid species that called itself the Sith. They were welcomed by the Sith'ari, the rightful ruler of the Sith, as their powers and technology made them appear as gods to his people. The Sith'ari was betrayed by his Shadow Hand, his highest-ranking servant who aided the exiles in their claims to be gods. Through his actions the strongest of the exiles was handed the throne, becoming the first Dark Lord of the Sith.

But dark lords do not work well together. The Dark Side was as divisive among its followers as it was to its opponents. The traits of ambition and hatred fuelled the desire of some of the exiles to return and crush the Jedi with their overwhelming power. Their attempt failed and their forces were destroyed. As an additional price for their failure, the secret that the exiles had survived their journey became known to the Jedi, losing them the element of surprise.

In the time before the inevitable clash between the Jedi and the Sith Empire, the exiles used their knowledge and power to accelerate the evolution of the natives of their new home, a world they learned to call Korriban. Interbreeding between the native Sith and the exiles extended the title of Sith to not only the natives of Korriban but also their fallen Jedi rulers. The Sith race developed and built temples for their rulers. In the Valley of the Dark Lords of the Sith now buried their dead, allowing the darkness of their people to merge.

As the Sith Empire grew more evolved, it expanded to other worlds. The exiles passed on having grown too old to survive and their successors followed in their footsteps, seeking to expand the Sith Empire further into space, preparing for the day, two thousand years later, when they would encounter the Jedi.

More than two thousand years later.

The Jedi had gone to war with the Sith and the Jedi had triumphed. The Sith had attacked first, but it had been the Jedi counterattack that had defeated their enemies. In the aftermath, the Jedi had not held back in eliminating the threat to the known galaxy. They had obliterated the Sith worlds and believed them to be gone for good.

But the Sith had survived. In the aftermath of the war with the Jedi, they fled into exile. For decades they fled into the unknown parts of the galaxy, seeking refuge. They eventually settled on the world of Dromund Kaas and began the long process of rebuilding. Under the leadership of Vitiate, the most powerful Sith in recorded history, they spent centuries rebuilding and preparing for their revenge.

Vitiate was a powerful Sith Lord, possessing powers and abilities that exceeded his predecessors, his rivals and those that would come after him. Vitiate proclaimed himself to be the new Dark Lord of the Sith and the Emperor of his people. He ruled over his Dark Council of Sith Lords. Through the guidance of the Dark Side, the council held twelve seats, which were hotly contested by the ambitious Sith Lords. Each seat held control of a sphere of Sith knowledge, with some overlapping to encourage the infighting that drove the Dark Side onwards.

At times the Dark Council tried to eliminate the Sith Emperor, proclaiming themselves rulers of the Sith Empire. Each time they failed as the Vitiate proved to be more than they anticipated. His ability to survive despite the certainty of death guaranteed his power. He was so powerful in the ways of the Dark Side that he managed to turn two powerful Jedi to his will; although they would slip his control, the corruption remained. After leading the Sith Empire for generations, evading death and claiming victory after victory, Vitiate finally revealed his true plan: to destroy the galaxy and feed upon the darkness such destruction unleashed.

The Emperor's plans led to his empire turning against him and siding with the enemy. It was the cooperation between the Republic and the Empire that would bring about his downfall and supposed destruction. With the death of his final body, Vitiate's power was severed and a period of peace returned to the galaxy as the Sith retreated.

In truth, Vitiate was not as dead as many hoped. He had taken steps to survive far that his enemies had not considered. And while it would be the last time that he was seen, his evil and influence would still be felt in the galaxy and beyond.

And for the Jedi, a time of peace returned to the galaxy. There would be further wars as the Jedi allowed themselves to believe that the threat had passed. Their failure to grasp the nature of the Dark Side meant that the threat never truly vanished. The ignorance of their elders meant that Jedi students could not protect themselves. Those who believed that they could dip into the Dark Side and not be altered by its power grossly underestimated a power that grew stronger as the universe continued to expand.

But for now, the galaxy would know the closest thing to peace for a time. Until the next threat emerged, which would bring the Jedi Order to its knees.

End of Part

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