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|“||My lords, his master was corrupt. He is corrupt. Without Sith tradition, we are nothing!||„|
|~ Darth Thanaton to the Dark Council|
Darth Thanaton, born Teneb Kel, is an antagonist in Star Wars: The Old Republic. He was a Human male and Dark Lord of the Sith who fought in the Great Galactic War. He was a member of the Dark Council and Head of the Sphere of Ancient Knowledge. He is the main antagonist of the Sith Inquisitor Storyline in Star Wars: The Old Republic as well as the main protagonist villain of the tie-in webcomic Blood of the Empire.
He was voiced by Jonathan Cake.
Teneb Kel was originally a slave. He was found by his master, Lord Calypho, who decided to take the slave as his protege and train him in the ways of the dark side as his Sith apprentice. Teneb Kel was then taken to the Sith Academy on Korriban, where he "devoured books like scraps of bread" and learned to master the use of the Force. Before Kel had completed his training, he witnessed his master being captured by Darth Marr and other Sith Lords for crimes against the Sith Empire.
Retaking of Begeren
Later, 25 years before the Treaty of Coruscant, Teneb Kel had apparently risen to prominence. Responsible for providing air-support for the battered down Sith troopers and the retaking of the local palace, he participated in the Invasion of Begeren, a former Sith world forged into a mining station by the Galactic Republic. In the midst of the invasion, Kel unleashed his Sith air-fighters onto the Republic forces and climbed up for a balcony into the Sith palace. There he encountered the Republic Governor of the planet, guarded by two soldiers, whom he slew. He then went on to follow the fleeing Governor into the next room where he impaled the frightened politician with his lightsaber.
With the palace retaken, the Republic forces retreating and the Governor slain, Kel reported the victory back to Imperial Command. His next order of business was to check on his Abyssin slave Maggot, who he had used to keep contact with the main forces during the battle. Finding him passed out and surrounded by dead Republic soldiers, he awakened his friend and commended him for being a fine soldier before departing. On their way, the pair was approached by a Sith major, informing them both of his own personal gratitude, and the gratitude of the Dark Council, as well as of their immediate arrest for the crimes of Kel's master, Lord Calypho. Kel reluctantly surrendered himself and was escorted to the Imperial capital of Dromund Kaas, to face the judgment of the Dark Council.
Facing Lord Calypho
On Dromund Kaas, Kel made way to the Kaas Citadel, the residence of the Dark Council. On his way he witnessed the celebrations of the Imperial victories throughout the galaxy, and the honoring of Lord Nankrang for his triumph over the Jedi in the Mid Rim. Finally, they reached their final destination and, despite the warnings of Maggot, he entered the Citadel, but not before making sure of his companion's safety. Teneb Kel soon reached the heart of the Citadel, where he found his master, weak and helpless, and on his knees. The Dark Council then appeared in front of Teneb Kel, asking him if he loved his master, to which Kel responded that his love to his master was that of a love to his father. The Council then ordered Kel to kill his own master, for crimes against the Empire. Kel complied, encompassing his master in a burst of Force lightning, a burst his master repelled with his lightsaber. After a brief duel Teneb Kel incapacitated his master, but before he could finish him, the Council intervened hoping to use the near-dead Calypho and had him carried away.
After having bested Calypho, Teneb Kel rejected him as his master. Still, the Council saw use and potential in the "masterless apprentice" and they chose him to carry out a most special mission. They told him that in order for him to redeem himself for the crimes of his former master, he would track down and assassinate the Emperor's own apprentice, a female Sith Hybrid by the name of Exal Kressh, who had betrayed the Emperor and fled into Republic Space.
Mission from the Emperor
Darth Marr then escorted Kel to the Sith Emperor himself, where he was informed to go and search for Exal Kressh in the Lenico system. The Emperor then put Kel down into a heavy sleep where he experienced visions of both his past and future, including his training on Korriban, the arrest of Lord Calypho and his future mission ordered by the Dark Council, sending him to his doom, to hunt down Kressh. He was awakened by Maggot a day later, and upon realizing what had transpired, he made immediate haste off Dromund Kaas to the Lenico system to search for the rogue Sith apprentice.
Kel traveled to Lenico Colony Blue, a medical treatment facility, and made his way to the suites of the Colony's Baron-Surgeon Ybann the Hutt. After defeating Ybann's guards, Kel was able to obtain information from Ybann that Kressh had come to Lenico Colony Blue some weeks before. After searching four of the other colonies circling Lenico IV, Kel eventually found Kressh in stasis within a secure medical area on Lenico Colony Blue. After Kressh awoke from stasis, they commenced a duel. However, the inexperienced apprentice was easily beaten, and Kel was forced to flee for his life. In an attempt to finish Kel off, Kressh destroyed the colony's orbiting system, sending the colony crashing into Lenico IV. Kel was able to escape however, and was flown away from the planet by Maggot.
Severely injured, Teneb Kel requested Maggot to find shelter. With the ship damaged, Maggot was forced to land upon the surface of Lenico IV. Although still grievously wounded, Kel left the safety of the ship to try and salvage some of the wrecked pieces of Lenico Colony Blue to repair their ship. After defeating a large Lenico Gargantuan, Kel began to weaken from his wounds and made camp to rest. While meditating Kel had a Force vision of Exal Kressh accompanied by Darth Thanaton, a masked Sith who was to guide him in his Force vision. The two led him through an Ortolan colony as Kressh recounted to Kel her history with the Emperor and hinted at the Emperor's plans. Kel saw that Kressh was one of many Children of the Emperor, silent agents mentally linked to their Master's will. After Kressh's image dissolved, Thanaton's vision confronted Kel and destroyed him.
Kel awoke from his vision only to be confronted by Jedi Master Jerbhen Hulis. After a brief duel, Hulis revealed to Kel that he was also on Lenico Colony Blue to search for Exal Kressh. Hulis convinced Kel to aid him in rescuing the surviving colonists on Lenico IV's surface. After aiding the colonists, Kel traveled back to his ship. Upon ascending the ship's entry ramp, Kel impaled Hulis' Padawan, who had been talking with Maggot. Kel then commenced travel to Korriban as he realized the Kressh had traveled there to disrupt the Emperor's plans.
Confrontation on Korriban
Kel arrived in the Horuset system, to find Korriban under attack by Republic forces. After skilfully making his way through the battle, Maggot piloted Kel to the Sith Academy. While Republic drop teams were battling the Academy guard, Kel entered through a secondary entrance into the Academy. In the Academy's tombs, Kel located Exal Kressh who was planning to destroy the Academy. Kressh revealed to Kel the Emperor's plans to develop a number of initiates which the Emperor could use as an extension of his will.
Kel and Kressh then again crossed lightsabers. Over the course of the duel, Kressh demonstrated her superior dueling skill and outmaneuvered Kel towards the Academy walls. Maggot then appeared and blasted Kressh, distracting and wounding her. Kressh responded by unleashing a burst of Force lightning upon Maggot. Kressh then refocused her attention upon Kel and attacked him with lightning, which destroyed Kel's lightsaber. Now disarmed, Kel was paralyzed by a Force choke from Kressh. Before Kressh could deliver the fatal blow, Kel used his telekinetic powers to summon a fallen Sith's lightsaber, with which he stabbed the unwary Kressh from behind, completing his mission.
After the duel, Kel found Maggot alive, but killed him when he learned that his slave had overheard Exal Kressh talking of the Emperor's plans during the duel. The young Sith then returned to Dromund Kaas to meet with the Dark Council: at the meeting, he refused to kneel before the Dark Council, demanding instead that they confer on him the title of Dark Lord of the Sith in exchange for information regarding the Emperor's plan: a plan that doubtlessly involved preparing the members of the Dark Council as the Emperor's vessels. He demanded that hereafter he be known as Darth Thanaton, Teneb Kel identified himself as the mysterious Sith he had seen in a vision on Lenico IV. In the end, the Dark Council consented to his demands.
|“||Tradition. Principles. History. The threads that compose our society. Zash refused to acknowledge how one little tug could ruin the whole tapestry.||„|
|~ Darth Thanaton to Lord Kallig|
Since the Treaty of Coruscant, Thanaton rose from a lowly apprentice to an intermediary Sith Lord. However, he only used the Sith teachings for his own purposes, and looked down upon disrespectful lower-ranked Sith with contempt.
As he was set for his ascension to the Dark Council, Thanaton's underling, Darth Skotia, wound up murdered. He accused his other servant, Lord Zash, of the deed, unaware that it was in fact her new apprentice, an aspiring Sith Inquisitor (and, unknown at the time, heir to the legacy of Sith Lord Aloysius Kallig), who was responsible on Zash's orders. Zash denied any involvement, as she was at a party in the Nexus Room Cantina. When she walked into a reprimand, Zash emerged a Darth, though Thanaton confined her to Dromund Kaas.
As Zash's apprentice ventured out into the galaxy to acquire the artifacts of Tulak Hord, Thanaton contacted them via holo, warning that Zash was on a crash course and that Kallig should not go down with her. He gave his advice that Kallig must build their own legacy, revealing he was aware of Kallig acquiring the allegiance of the Cult of the Screaming Blade, but warned that a Sith could survive in the Empire without a power base.
Sometime later, Zash ended up dead, killed by her own apprentice, but not before becoming a Lord of the Sith. Displeased that a mere slave rose to prominence so quickly, Thanaton invited Kallig to the tomb of Darth Andru to discuss their position in his power base. Upon meeting, Thanaton started preaching the importance of upholding tradition in the Empire. He then sent the Inquisitor to collect some of Andru's writings, expecting his foe to become the deceased Dark Lord's latest victim like all the others he despised. What he didn't count on was Kallig's ancestor Aloysius Kallig intervening and showing his descendant the Force walk, which could enable them to bind a Force ghost and take their power.
When Kallig returned to Thanaton to take revenge, the latter expressed disappointment that his foe did not die as intended. Kallig refused his false pity and prepared to fight. Rather than fight the Sith Lord himself, Thanaton ordered his apprentices to attack, but they were all slaughtered. Deciding to take matters into his own hands, Thanaton conjured a Force ritual but Kallig withstood it with a Force Shield, forcing him to use a stronger ritual that seemingly killed his foe. He then departed for Malachor III, ordering a servant to dispose of Kallig's body. But as soon as Thanaton was out of sight, Corrin and Kaal, Zash's, now Kallig's apprentices, saved their master. It was then that Kallig revived, the two ghosts bound to the Sith Lord kept them from dying. As Zash in Khem Val's body explained it, Thanaton would have needed to purge the ghosts in order to kill Kallig.
Later learning of Kallig's survival, Thanaton begin to systematically obliterate Kallig's power base, including Zash's other apprentices, but not before they gave their master the key to Thanaton's private meditation chamber. Eventually, after gaining control of four ghosts, Kallig did come to face Thanaton back on Dromund Kaas.
In his meditation chamber, Thanaton criticized Kallig's obvious attempt to kill him and take his position. Instead of engaging his nemesis immediately, he meditated and left the task to his apprentice, Rolan, who was killed by Kallig. Unfortunately, the power of four ghosts proved too much to handle. Kallig was surrounded in a Force storm. Thanaton activated his lightsaber and tried to put a stop to this, but an unconscious burst of Force lighting sent him flying across the wall and hitting a wall. He was forced to flee, grasping what happened during the confrontation and had the journals of Darth Vilus and Darth Iratus hidden in his private library and replaced with duplicates, as those Darths too suffered similar problems. Zash realized the switch upon noticing that two entries in Vilus' journal were the same. Kallig stole those journals and left to find a cure on both Belsavis and Voss. By then, Thanaton had taken his superior Darth Arctis's seat on the Dark Council after he died under unknown circumstances.
|“||This ends now. I declare a Kaggath. A contest of mutual annihilation pitting power base against power base. Whoever sheds the most blood wins. To the victor, eternal glory. To the loser, death and shame.||„|
|~ Darth Thanaton declaring a Kaggath|
Kallig gained allies within the Imperial military after successfully testing the Silencer weapons project, which obliterated an entire Republic fleet, allowing Kallig to build a power base to rival Thanaton's. Thanaton called a Kaggath on Corellia to finally settle things once and for all.
Once the Kaggath began, Thanaton made every effort to decimate Kallig's power base. When Kallig first landed, Thanaton cut off all transportation via rocket trams in and out of Incorporation Islands. However, Kallig managed to restart the trams with the aid of Darth Charnus, as well as forcing Thanaton's apprentice, Lord Skar, to reveal his Master's plans.
Kallig managed to stop Thanaton from blowing up a fuel refinery in Labor Valley, required for the former's fleet just arriving at Corellia. It was Thanaton's intention to discredit his rival, as a Sith who cannot protect his or her own resources is easily despised. Even though his plan failed, Thanaton mocked Kallig for letting him get away, triggering explosives to cover his escape.
In retaliation, Kallig prepared to launch an attack on Thanaton's base of operations in Axial Park, based on a former Republic military base. After disabling the shield generators was the base obliterated via orbital bombardment. But while Kallig was preoccupied, Thanaton launched an attack on Kallig's ally, Moff Valion Pyron, which the Moff barely survived. Thanaton called via holo, mocking Kallig for being unable to defend their own allies. He invited his nemesis to come to Capitol Square, where they could settle their dispute once an for all.
The Kaggath culminated in a final showdown in the government plaza, where Thanaton planned to finally kill Kallig in front of a mixed audience of Sith and Imperials. He announced to all assembled crowd that Kallig was slave to a corrupt Master, who is now dead and all who served Zash must die as well. Kallig refuted his claims, encouraging the crowd to rise against Thanaton and his kind who expect them to fall in line if the Empire is to conquer the galaxy. With no more to be said, Thanaton first dispatched Darth Kallous and then his two cyborg guards to kill Kallig but they all fell before his rival. With no allies or pawns to throw at Kallig, Thanaton recited the Sith code before finally engaging Kallig in fair combat. When it would appear that he would lose, Thanaton fled to Korriban to seek the Dark Council's aid in killing Kallig; it had always been his plan, in case he failed.
Final Battle and Death
|“||No... I won't be defeated. I can't be!||„|
|~ Darth Thanaton's last words|
Thanaton had Darth Enraj wait outside the Dark Council chamber to kill or at least delay Kallig, but that failed, as Kallig interrupted Thanaton's appeal. The Dark Council refused to aid Thanaton against a mere lord who seemed impossible for him to kill. Seeing his status threatened, Thanaton used his full power to subdue his rival.
Using the dark side and with the aid of the powerful spirits from the deceased Sith Lords, Kallig overpowered Thanaton and the Dark Lord was left to die. Close to death, he slowly crawled to his fellow Council Members. Seeing that Thanaton lost the Kaggath, Darth Mortis used the Force to break Thanaton's neck, killing him.
Moments after Thanaton's death, Kallig took his place on the Dark Council and head of the Sphere of Ancient Knowledge and was named Darth Nox.
Teneb Kel was a loyal servant of the Sith Empire and prideful of his Sith status, as shown with his open disgust for the miners who he felt had desecrated the Sith world Begeren with their quarry. He was very knowledgeable of Sith history, and the politics of the Empire. He despised those who were rich or greedy, and even more so if they tried to make a profit off the Empire.
He was very loyal to the Sith; when he was arrested for the crimes of Calypho, even though he felt tempted to resist, Kel surrendered himself without defiance. Yet he did have a softer side, displayed when he congratulated and protected his slave, Maggot, from his fellow Sith, even whispering a pained apology when he felt it necessary to kill the faithful Abyssin. The only relationship he ever had, other than his friendship with Maggot, was with his master, Calypho, who he fought without hesitation when ordered to.
When Kel became Darth Thanaton, he took it upon himself to keep lower Sith in their place, Darth Zash in particular. He was a strong traditionalist and anyone who disregarded tradition was beneath his contempt, deserving only of death. Mostly, he relied on his servants and allies to perform his tasks for him, only desiring to take direct action as a last resort. However, just before his battle with Darth Nox on Corellia, he expressed regret that it had come to conflict after Nox showed the same reverence for the Sith Code that he did.
Thanaton used "tradition" as a way to hold onto his power but was in fact afraid of powerful upstarts. He set out to destroy Darth Zash's powerbase, which included Kallig. He continued to argue about tradition to the Council as he tried to avoid facing a superior opponent.
Powers and Abilities
|“||Ah, you've come prepared. By now, I should have expected it of you. Unfortunately for you, I am older and wiser and studied in rituals you can't even imagine.||„|
|~ Darth Thanaton to Lord Kallig|
Before becoming Darth Thanaton, Teneb Kel was a clever young apprentice, considered by many to be destined to be a great Sith. He first started out as a Sith assassin. He was proficient in the use of a lightsaber, utilizing a double-bladed one in combat. His prowess with his lightsaber allowed him to temporarily hold his own against the likes of Jedi Master Jerbhen Hulis and Exal Kressh. However, Kel's style was not enough to best either of these combatants. He relied on his wits rather than pure aggression, as demonstrated by the immediacy in which he "measured up" Master Hulis in their encounter. But in his final duel with Kressh, his skill matched his resolve; he also had to rely on his cunning to defeat the seasoned Sith apprentice.
Kel was also a noticeably capable Force-user. Remarkably skilled in the use of telekinesis, he could use it to, among other things, choke, push and levitate his enemies as well as to disarm them. He also showed himself capable of throwing his lightsaber great lengths toward his enemies on Begeren.
On Lenico IV, Kel displayed the ability to not only be able to Force Jump his way across the Baron-Surgeon Ybann's suite to avoid the blaster shots of the Hutt's guard droids, but also to render the droids in question hostile towards one another while doing this, using only the Force. In addition to that Kel managed to mind trick a guard to let him through the secure area. Kel has also shown himself capable of producing Force lightning. In his first duel with Exal Kressh, Kel utilized Force Throw to toss crystalline permaglass at Kressh even though the attack was deflected by the renegade Sith apprentice. In his final duel with the Emperor's apprentice, he ultimately defeated Exal Kressh by using Force Pull to skewer her through the chest with a lightsaber.
By embracing his former Master's teaching that "vision becomes clearest as death draws near", Kel was able to see vivid Force visions, which was demonstrated during the time he spent on Lenico IV's surface. It is possible that this vision drew Kel deeper into the dark side since his eyes briefly turned sulfurous yellow when he awoke. This deep immersion in the dark side also appeared when he asked the Dark Council to name him Darth Thanaton.
During his time as a Sith Master, Thanaton shifted to the application of Sith sorcerer, gaining more power. He was more powerful than his master ever was. During his last stand against Kallig, he showed his most powerful Force lightning, which was capable of subduing a Sith on a level like his fellow Council Members. He was also capable of forming a sphere out of lightning to protect himself, with the additional effect that the sphere caused pain to anyone who touches it. Thanaton also displayed the ability of Force Flight which he used to move through the air quickly.
- Thanaton's name most likely come from Thanatos, the Greek god of death.