|Chronological and political information|
Belia Darzu was a female Shi'ido Dark Lord of the Sith who reigned during the last quarter of the New Sith Wars. Born on Lao-mon in the Unknown Regions of the galaxy, Belia lived as a hunter within the planet's rainforests before leaving her homeworld and becoming a mercenary. Hoping to unravel her potential with the Force, she eventually joined an academy of the Sith Dominion where she was taught to harness the power of the dark side.
After graduating, Belia participated in a conflict called the Great Sith Expansion, earning renown among her peers for her sadistic battlefield tactics. As a result, Belia was eventually bestowed the title of Sith Lord. With the new privileges that this position allowed, she studied the art of Sith alchemy, producing a number of creations that supplemented her military campaigns. Due to her accomplishments, Belia became a prominent servant of the Dark Lord Vermis, the founder and Overlord of the Sith Dominion.
After Vermis suddenly disappeared from the Dominion, Belia planned to overthrow the Dark Lord's second-in-command, Zal Qidan, allowing her to ascend as the new leader of the Sith. While planning her takeover, Belia discovered that Vermis had been desperately searching to restore her rapidly decaying body. Upon learning this, Belia exploited Vermis's desperation by offering her a cure. In the process, the Shi'ido employed a technique that allowed her to exert control over the Dark Lord's mind.
With Vermis now working under her influence, Belia staged a coup against Zal Qidan that ultimately resulted in his death. Afterwards, Belia used Vermis's return to inspire loyalty throughout the Dominion in her favor. As such, Belia declared herself the new Dark Lord of the Sith, also reorganizing the Dominion into the Sictis Imperium. In this new position of power, she initiated a campaign to destabilize the Galactic Republic and Jedi Order called the Sictis Wars.
Belia Darzu was a female Shi'ido who, like all members of her species, possessed the ability to shape-shift. She was raised in the thick rainforests of Lao-mon, a planet in the Unknown Regions, where she lived by hunting for her own food. As Belia grew older, she became more exhilarated by the perils she met within the forests. It was due to this that Belia came to be regarded as an aggressive savage by her fellow Shi'ido, who tended to live less primitively in comparison. At some point in her early life, Belia discovered that she was Force-sensitive; the exhilaration she experienced was in fact the call of the dark side, fuelling her desire to hunt and kill.
In time, Belia aspired to explore other parts of the galaxy, hoping to discover more about her Force potential. As such, she ventured away from her homeworld and traveled into the Wild Space region of the galaxy. While roaming between planets, Belia used her shape-shifting ability to disguise herself among the native civilizations. Despite her attempt to integrate peacefully, she succumbed to her natural hunter's instinct and worked as a mercenary, selling her abilities to whoever would pay for them. As a mercenary, Belia often worked in small cadres who were paid to engage larger forces using guerrilla-style tactics, such as raids, sabotages and assassinations.
Throughout her years of wandering, Belia learned more about her Force-sensitivity, becoming fascinated by the power she felt it could grant her. Despite this, the Shi'ido had a limited understanding of the Force, lacking the means of harnessing its power. Determined to tap into her potential, Belia pursued any sources that could offer her training. This led her into the Outer Rim Territories where she discovered the Sith Dominion, an interstellar state controlled by dark side practitioners called Sith Lords. While the Dominion's turbulent reputation made her hesitant to join, Belia decided it would be worth the risk, hoping to use the Sith to realize her potential with the Force.
Belia joined one of the Sith Dominion's academies on the planet of Ryloth. Like all students there, she became an adherent of the Sith Order, learning to harness the power of the dark side and training to become a lethal force in battle. Despite the late discovery of her Force-sensitivity, Belia's previous combat experience gave her an edge, allowing her to live up to the expectations of her instructors. While being introduced to the Sith doctrines, she also gained an interest in Sith alchemy, learning of its potential to alter the living and the inanimate. Despite Belia's interest, the academy forbade its students from practicing this ancient art, preventing her from studying it in detail.
Although Belia performed acceptably in the eyes of her teachers, the Shi'ido's reclusive nature earned her the ire of one particular instructor, Wyvorn, who perceived her as faint-hearted. As time went by, Belia grew increasingly aggravated by Wyvorn's scornfulness, and on one occasion during a training session, his taunting caused her to swell up with intense anger. In a fit of blind rage, Belia unsheathed a hidden vibrodagger and lunged at Wyvorn, failing to kill him, though still managing to leave a large gash across his face. Overcome by the sudden surge of anger, Belia was momentarily stunned, allowing her to be arrested at the behest of the academy's Headmaster, Jan'di.
For her defiance, Belia was exiled by Jan'di into the sunbaked Bright Lands of Ryloth, presumably where she would die. To keep herself alive during this ordeal, Belia drew upon her raw emotions, using them to fuel the power of the dark side within her. This allowed Belia to endure the blistering heat while navigating the deserts, eventually reaching a populated settlement where she recovered. To her dismay, however, Belia discovered that her dependence on the dark side had unforeseen consequences; her ability to shape-shift now caused her intense pain, making it more difficult to sustain. Infuriated, Belia desired to kill Wyvorn and Jan'di, believing they were responsible for her fate.
At the academy, Belia discovered that Jan'di had already been killed and overthrown by Wyvorn, his apprentice. As such, she devised a plan to assassinate the new Headmaster quickly and silently. To fulfil her goal, Belia covertly infiltrated the academy and assumed the appearance of Eva'sa, a student who had formed a close relationship with Wyvorn. In order to cope with the pain caused by her shape-shifting, Belia used the power of the dark side to marginalize it, channeling her hate and anger by focusing on her desire for retribution. By masquerading as Eva'sa, Belia successfully lured Wyvorn alone into a combat training room where she ultimately managed to kill him.
With Wyvorn dead and Belia's lust for vengeance sated, she re-entered the academy to complete her Sith training. Upon her return, Belia was questioned by the instructors regarding Wyvorn's death, though she claimed to have had no involvement. Although they still suspected that Belia had murdered Wyvorn, most at the academy viewed the Headmaster with contempt, seeing his death as inevitable. Although Belia refused to divulge the details of her survival, her return nonetheless earned her the respect of the academy's instructors, and also gained her a feared reputation among her fellow students. Belia ultimately completed her training and graduated from the academy.
Rise to prominenceEdit
After graduating from the academy, Belia took part in the Sith Dominion's campaign against the Galactic Republic, eventually earning a leadership role. Still reeling from her ordeal in the Ryloth Bright Lands, Belia endeavored to keep the pain of her shape-shifting ability at bay. To do so, Belia learned to embrace what she saw as her negative emotions, using them to maintain her dark side power. Instead of relying on her own emotions, however, Belia began to revel in the suffering of her opponents. To achieve this end, she often deliberately employed tactics that singled-out civilian targets, usually involving their capture and exploitation as hostages.
Through these tactics, Belia's intent was to incite fear, confusion and desperation in her enemies, allowing her to feed off these emotions to sustain her own power. Due to the nature of her methods, Belia earned a reputation among her peers and superiors as a ruthless and sadistic commander in battle. While Belia's strategy was often slow, it also kept her opponents stuck in drawn-out bouts of attrition, often allowing her to overcome forces that outnumbered her own. It was because of this that Belia came to be valued by her superiors for her cunning and patience. As such, she was eventually bestowed the title of Sith Lord, increasing her eminence within the Dominion.
As a Sith Lord, Belia was given access to new privileges and resources, allowing her to indulge her interest in Sith alchemy. To achieve this end, she consulted the Dominion's archives of ancient Sith writings. It was from these writings that Belia gained insight into old forms of Sith magic, learning to infuse objects with the power of the Force. In her pursuit for knowledge in this area, she also became familiar with mechu-deru, a rare ability that allowed her to sense the complex inner-structures of machinery and circuitry. By combining this newly-gained knowledge, Belia learned to strip-down and upgrade technology to perform beyond its intended capabilities.
In time, Belia's experiments with mechu-deru spawned numerous creations. Among them included a suit of battle armor imbued with dark side powers, granting her enhanced physical abilities. In addition, Belia found a way of using this technique on droids, modifying them to operate more effectively than their original designs allowed. While Belia was pleased with these creations, she endeavored to keep her research hidden from her peers within the Dominion. Distrustful of her Sith allies, Belia undertook a number of excursions outside of the Dominion's territory. By doing this, she hoped to discover locations that were strong with the dark side, allowing her to work in secret.
During her expeditions, Belia discovered hyperlane charts that allowed for safe travel into the Deep Core of the galaxy. It was here where she located Tython, a planet that had been largely abandoned due to the region's unstable hyperspace routes. Attracted by the planet's remoteness and potency with the Force, Belia hoped to use it as a hidden sanctuary to house her creations. Using her droids, Belia oversaw the construction of her fortress in a deserted area, converting an abandoned academy of the Jedi Order. With her fortress complete, Belia began investigating ways of employing the techniques she had learned on living beings.
To supply live subjects for her new experiments, Belia abducted prisoners who had been captured during the campaigns she participated in. As a result of these experiments, Belia devised a technique, called mechu-deru vitae, that allowed her to exert control over organic beings by transmuting living tissue into cybernetics. Seeing this as a breakthrough in her research, Belia developed a nanogene virus capable of spreading this affect, transforming organics into Sithspawn called metacrons. Having realized the potential of such a virus, Belia kept its existence hidden, hoping to utilize it as a contingency plan in case her power was ever threatened.
During her time with the Sith, Belia's exploits in battle eventually earned her the attention of the Dark Lord Vermis, the Overlord and founder of the Dominion. In time, Belia became one of the most valued servants of the Dark Lord, who respected her brutal methods against Republic forces. Despite Belia's rise to prominence, her secretive nature also fostered distrust and suspicion among some of her peers. In particular, Belia earned the animosity of Zal Qidan, the Dark Lord's second-in-command, who believed that she was more concerned with furthering her own agendas, as opposed to furthering the Dominion's conquest.
The lingering hostility between Belia and Zal Qidan escalated after Vermis, along with a portion of her forces, suddenly disappeared from the Dominion. This led to widespread disagreement among the Sith regarding the Dominion's future leadership, which Belia endeavored to take advantage of. Hoping to use Zal's own followers against him, Belia searched for any potential weaknesses among his forces. During this search, she learned that Zal had sired a son, Orin Qidan, whom he intended to inherit his current position while he became the Dominion's new leader. Seeing this as a viable weakness, Belia planned to overthrow Zal by exploiting his relationship with his son.
To gain leverage for her takeover, Belia undertook a search for Vermis, and after locating her, the Shi'ido discovered the reason for the Dark Lord's disappearance; Vermis's immersion in the dark side had caused her body to rapidly decay, threatening her life. Seeking to exploit her desperation for a cure, Belia convinced Vermis that she could use her mastery of Sith alchemy to keep her alive. To accomplish this, Belia subjected Vermis to a modified version of her metacron virus, forming cybernetic implants inside her body. By employing the technique that she had devised, Belia used these implants to exert control over Vermis, influencing her into joining the Shi'ido's campaign.
In order to eliminate Zal Qidan without resorting to full-fledged civil war, Belia sought to lure him into a trap. To achieve this, she covertly assassinated Zal's son, Orin, and afterwards, she used her shape-shifting ability to assume his appearance. By doing this, the Shi'ido aimed to exploit the trust Zal held in his son, allowing Belia to draw him out and leave him exposed. Hoping to attract Zal's attention, Belia took advantage of a recent major loss the Dominion had sustained against the Republic. As such, Belia leaked fabricated evidence implicating numerous Sith officials of incompetence that led to the Republic's victory.
Under the guise of Orin, Belia arrested these individuals for treason, and immediately after, she informed Zal of her success. As a result, she was ordered by Zal to bring them aboard his personal flagship, the Harrower, to be tried and executed. Unknown to Zal, Belia had secretly infected these prisoners with her metacron virus. Once aboard the Harrower, as she intended, the prisoners were gradually transformed into Sithspawn creatures. After their transformation had reached its peak, Belia signaled Vermis, now under the Shi'ido's influence, to commence her part of the trap. In conjunction with Belia's outbreak, Vermis intercepted Zal's forces with her own armada of warships.
The unexpected onslaught from Vermis triggered a bout of chaos on the Harrower, which Belia used as a chance to free the infected prisoners from their cells. The prisoners, now transformed into metacrons, sprawled throughout the ship under Belia's control, killing numerous personnel and infecting others with the virus. With Belia's metacrons slaughtering the Harrower's crew, the rest of Zal's forces were thrown into chaos, allowing them to be overwhelmed by Vermis's assault. In the midst of the bloodshed, Belia eventually encountered Zal, alone and mortally wounded. With Zal unable to defend himself, Belia took the opportunity to complete her objective, ending his life.
In the wake of Zal Qidan's death and Vermis's reappearance, Belia used these events as a way of inspiring loyalty among the Sith in her favor. With the backing of Vermis, now working under the Shi'ido's influence, Belia ensured that she was accepted as the new leader of the Dominion, declaring herself the Dark Lord of the Sith. To signify the Dominion's change in leadership, Belia rechristened it the Sictis Imperium, also assuming the title of Empress. From this point, Belia set into motion her plan to debilitate the Galactic Republic and Jedi Order, beginning a conflict called the Sictis Wars. To begin her campaign, Belia orchestrated an attack against the Republic-held world of Caamas.
Rather than attempting to seize Caamas, Belia's intention was to demonstrate the new weapon of the Sictis Imperium: the metacron virus. In accordance with Belia's plan, the Imperium conducted a hit-and-run engagement, dispatching groups of metacrons into densely populated areas. As the Republic forces held off the attack, the Sith withdrew, leaving Belia's metacrons to spread the virus. As Belia intended, hundreds of thousands of beings were eventually transformed into the Sithspawn creatures. With Belia's virus spread on such a large scale, the resulting horde swarmed across the planet, continuously infecting and slaughtering even more citizens of Caamas.
Despite not conquering the planet, the aftermath of the Imperium's invasion had the impact that Belia hoped to achieve. By subjecting Camaas to this ordeal, Belia managed to frighten many faltering worlds within the Imperium into submission, particularly those who were still loyal to Zal Qidan. In the years that followed, Belia's strategy precluded a focused invasion of the Republic's home territory. Instead of committing her forces, Belia's regime focused on subjugating new worlds, allowing the Sictis Imperium to exploit new resources. At the same time, she sought to slowly destabilize the Republic through obstruction of trade, proxy wars, and outbreaks of her metacron virus.
As the ruler of the Sictis Imperium, Belia promoted the idea among Sith-held planets that she was all-powerful and divine, hoping to solidify her powerbase. Using her changeling talent to her advantage, Belia kept her true species a secret and avoided appearing to her subjects in person. Instead, Belia preferred to communicate holographically, or simply by sending her new enforcer, Vermis, to speak on her behalf. By keeping herself veiled in secrecy, Belia hoped to provoke rumors of her supposed power among the Imperium’s citizens. At the same time, she wished to create uncertainty among the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order regarding her plans and motives.