Belia Darzu was a female Shi'ido changeling who reigned as a Dark Lord of the Sith during the Sictis Wars. Born on the planet Lao-mon, Darzu lived as a hunter before leaving her homeworld and wandering the fringes of the galaxy. While traveling through the Outer Rim, she was captured by the Sictis Imperium, an interstellar government controlled by the Sith. Upon the discovery that she was Force-sensitive, Darzu was trained at the behest of a Sith cult—the Jen'taral—to harness the power of the dark side.
After Darzu completed her training, a Sith Lord by the name of Darth Wyvorn subjected her to a dark side ritual that forced her to serve him. While doing her master's bidding, the ritual caused Darzu to undergo periods of intense physical anguish, ultimately crippling her ability to shape-shift. As a result, she harbored a murderous hatred towards Wyvorn, which eventually extended towards the Sith in general. After killing Wyvorn and freeing herself from his ritual, Darzu pursued a vendetta against the Jen'taral.
To fulfill her new ambitions, Darzu accumulated knowledge of dark side alchemy, allowing her to turn the Sith's own methods against them. With the techniques gained from her research, she conducted a number of massacres against the Jen'taral, eventually joining a conspiracy against the supreme ruler of the Imperium, the Dark Lord Darth Crucia. Following Crucia's sudden disappearance, Darzu participated in an attempt to kill the Dark Lord before sabotaging the mission at the last minute, saving his life.
Following her sabotage, Darzu exploited Crucia's desperation to restore his rapidly decaying body. By offering the Dark Lord a cure, the Shi'ido was able to employ a Force technique that allowed her to exert control over his mind. Using her influence over Crucia, Darzu tricked him into believing that the Jen'taral had been plotting to usurp control of the Imperium. As a result of Darzu's manipulations, Crucia came to conclusion that—in order to secure his regime—the Sith cult needed to be purged.
A Force-sensitive female Shi'ido, Belia Darzu was born on the planet Lao-mon during the last quarter of the New Sith Wars. Like all members of her species, Darzu was a shape-shifter, an ability that she honed whilst living as a hunter within the rainforests of her homeworld. Although Darzu remained oblivious to the nature of her connection to the Force, she was indirectly influenced by its power throughout her early life. In particular, she often experienced a sense of exhilaration from the perils she met within the forests, as well as the satisfaction from slaying her prey. Unknown to Darzu, these sensations were actually manifestations of the dark side, fueling her desire to hunt and kill.
As she grew older, Darzu aspired to explore other parts of the galaxy in a search for greater challenges. After venturing away from her homeworld, she roamed between planets throughout the Wild Space region while earning money as a contract killer, selling her talents to whoever would pay for them. While undertaking her assignments, Darzu studied her victims intently—learning as much as she could about their species and mannerisms—before assassinating them and using her shape-shifting ability to assume their identities. By maintaining this deception for as long as possible, Darzu hoped to become more adept at blending in amongst the civilizations she encountered.
Throughout her assassin career, Darzu was mostly driven by bloodlust, often undertaking difficult contracts simply for the sheer thrill they provided her. One of Darzu's contracts in the Outer Rim Territories sent her into the domain of the Sictis Imperium, an interplanetary empire controlled by an organization of dark side practitioners called the Sith. This particular contract was deemed a high-risk job due to the turbulent and fanatical reputation of the Imperium's Sith devotees—a cult known as the Jen'taral. Despite Darzu's confidence in her abilities, or perhaps because of it, the Shi'ido was ultimately captured by Imperial forces before she could complete the job.
Following her capture, Belia was incarcerated among several other prisoners whom the Sith intended to force into slavery. The Sith, however, remained unaware of the fact that Darzu was a shape-shifter, which she attempted to use to her advantage. Nonetheless, her connection to the Force was ultimately uncovered, which led to her being singled out among the prisoners. Afterwards, Darzu was taken away to be trained into a servant of the Jen'taral. Against her own misgivings, Darzu was later inducted into an academy where she was taught to harness the power of the dark side. Over the course of her training, the Shi'ido underwent a series of trials that tested her both physically and mentally. Despite the demands of the training, Darzu's previous combat experience allowed her to exceed the expectations of her instructors.
After completing her training and graduating from the academy, Darzu became the apprentice of a Sith Lord known as Darth Wyvorn. Immediately following Dazru's apprenticeship, Wyvorn subjected her to a ritual called the Rite of Binding which—through the power of the Force—effectively bonded the Shi'ido to her new Sith Master. The Rite of Binding was intended to prevent insubordination and desertion, forcing Darzu to remain within close proximity of her master. Leaving this proximity caused her to experience intense pain, while attempting to attack Wyvorn would induce temporary paralysis. This ritual, however, did not work to its full potential, as Darzu still maintained her own will. Hoping to trick Wyvorn, Belia acted completely subservient under the effects of the Rite, believing it would provide an opportunity for her to retaliate.
As an unwilling servant of the Jen'taral, Darzu undertook a number of missions to help further the Imperium's campaign of conquest. Since these tasks forced Darzu away from her master, the effects of the Rite of Binding often caused her to undergo bouts of physical anguish. To mitigate this, Darzu was taught by Wyvorn to embrace her innermost anger and hatred as a way of fueling the power of the dark side within her. This method did not work perfectly, however; it was merely intended to maintain Darzu's ability to complete her given tasks. As such, she still endured a portion of the pain while doing her master's bidding, serving as a constant reminder of her subjection under him.
While enduring the Rite of Binding, Darzu harbored intense resentment towards Wyvorn, though she was unable to directly act against him. Despite being impressed by Darzu's performance, as well as her feigned obedience, Wyvorn took credit for her achievements in order to advance himself, adding to her indignation. During her forced servitude, the Shi'ido's resentment towards Wyvorn evolved into an abiding murderous hatred. As time went by, her hatred extended towards the Jen'taral as a whole, causing her to blame them not only for her intermittent periods of agony, but also because she believed that they had stripped away her free will. Feeling trapped, Darzu began to consider suicide, believing that death was preferable to perpetual servitude. In time, however, Darzu's suicidal thoughts were pushed aside by her desire to kill her master.
Hoping to circumvent the Rite of Binding, Darzu continued feigning obedience, waiting for an opportunity to orchestrate Wyvorn's death. During this time, the Shi'ido took an interest in her master's Sith alchemy research. In particular, she noticed that Wyvorn had been experimenting on a number of Sithspawn creatures—particularly the deadly Tuk'ata—that he kept locked inside a reinforced pen. By adopting Wyvorn's appearance and acquiring a sample of his DNA, Darzu was able to bypass the security mechanisms on the pen. After freeing the Tuk'ata, Darzu assumed the form of the creatures to prevent them from attacking her, allowing her to lure them towards the unsuspecting Wyvorn. In the ensuing trap, she watched with satisfaction as her master was eviscerated by the Tuk'ata, his body ultimately mangled beyond recognition.
Through Wyvorn's death, Darzu severed her connection to the Rite of Binding, effectively freeing herself. As a side-effect, however, Darzu's ability to shape-shift had been crippled, as the process now caused her to experience agonizing pain. Upon realizing this, Darzu grew distressed and infuriated, believing her new-found freedom to be a hollow victory. Overcome by her lingering hatred towards the Sith, Darzu embraced a new desire to bring about their downfall. To achieve this, she sought to accumulate knowledge about her former enslavers, allowing her to use their own methods against them. By doing so, Darzu hoped to find a way of destroying them from the inside.
In the wake of her former master's death, Darzu inherited Wyvorn's position as a Sith Lord and a member of the High Council, granting her enhanced privileges within the Jen'taral. After studying the research notes of her former master, Darzu gained insight into old forms of Sith alchemy, learning of its potential to control and alter the living and the inanimate. In her pursuit for knowledge, she became familiar with mechu-deru, a technique that allowed her to sense the inner-structures of machinery and circuitry. Through her experimentation, Darzu found a way of using this technique on droids, modifying them to operate more effectively than their original designs allowed.
As her research progressed, Darzu began investigating ways of employing the techniques she had learned on living beings. Distrustful of her Sith peers, Darzu undertook a number of excursions outside of the Imperium's territory. By doing this, she hoped to discover locations that were strong with the dark side, allowing her to safely work away from the Jen'taral's scrutiny. During her expeditions, she discovered hyperlane charts that allowed for safe travel into the Deep Core of the galaxy. It was here where Darzu located Tython, a planet that had been largely abandoned due to the region's unstable hyperspace routes. Attracted by the planet's Force nexus, she hoped to use it as a hidden sanctuary to house her experiments. As such, Darzu oversaw the construction of a secret laboratory, renovating an abandoned temple of the Jedi Order.
To supply live subjects for her new experiments, Darzu seized a number of prisoners who had been held by the Sictis Imperium. Through her experiments, Darzu combined her knowledge of mechu-deru with Wyvorn's research on the Rite of Binding, devising a new technique called mechu-deru vitae. This technique allowed her to exert control over organic beings that possessed cybernetic implants, only without the limitations of the Rite of Binding. Seeing this as a major breakthrough, Darzu sought for a means of using this technique on a larger scale. To help accomplish this, the Shi'ido travelled to the homeworld of the Arkanians, hoping that their scientific expertise would further her cause.
During her search, Darzu encountered Vius Prallum, an Arkanian scientist who harbored intense enmity towards the Sith for the enslavement and presumed killing of his wife. Sharing his desire for vengeance, Darzu convinced the scientist to support her secret campaign against the Jen'taral. As such, the pair joined forces, combing Prallum's expertise as a geneticist with Belia's understanding of Sith alchemy. Darzu's partnership with Prallum led to the development the metacron virus, which was capable of transmuting living tissue into mechanical cybernetics. Realizing the potential of this virus, Darzu intended to utilize it in her plans to subvert the Jen'taral.
To take her plans to a new level, Darzu returned to her homeworld—Lao-mon—where she began abducting members of her own species. Following their abduction, she implanted the Shi'ido with cybernetics, allowing her to exert control over them through mechu-deru vitae. By indoctrinating the Shi'ido, Darzu's intention was to use them to conduct suicide attacks against the strongholds of the Jen'taral. To commence this plan, she instructed the Shi'ido to infiltrate her first target—a Jen'taral academy on the planet Dathomir—while using their shape-shifting abilities to hide in plain sight. Under Darzu's command, these infiltrators then seeded an outbreak of the metacron virus.
The resulting outbreak infected many Sith who were present at the academy. Those infected by the virus were quickly transformed into Sithspawn mutants called metacrons, allowing Darzu to control them through mechu-deru vitae. The metacrons flocked throughout the academy under Darzu's control, slaughtering its occupants and infecting others with the virus. Only a small fraction of the inhabitants escaped Belia's massacre, of who were unable to discern whether it was an attack or simply an experiment gone horribly awry. Hoping to use this uncertainty to her advantage, Darzu planned to strike against the Jen'taral once again, her new target being the Sith leaders.
In response to the incident on Dathomir, the Shadow Hand of the Jen'taral—Darth Rivan—convened meeting between the High Council, which Darzu saw as an opportunity to make her next move. Among those who perished in her attack was Darth Signus, a Sith Lord who held a seat on the Council. Since the rest of the Sith were unware that Signus was actually dead, Darzu used one of her agents to assume his identity and unleash another outbreak of the metacron virus in the middle of the meeting. Four other members of the Council were slain during Darzu's second attack, leading to a period of turmoil in which several power-hungry successors vied to take their places.
The chaos triggered by Darzu's actions was exacerbated by the decline of the Sictis Imperium's campaign against the Galactic Republic. The heavy losses faced by the Sith, combined with Darzu's attacks, caused some of the remaining Council members to grow disillusioned with the leadership of Darth Crucia, the Dark Lord and supreme ruler of the Imperium. As a result, a conspiracy against the Dark Lord was initiated by Darzu and two other Sith Lords—Darth Noctus and Darth Raxis—with the goal of overthrowing him. While conducting espionage on the Dark Lord's activities, the conspirators learned that Crucia had been left severely weakened by his immersion in the dark side.
Realizing that Crucia was no longer worthy of leading the Sith, Darzu and the conspirators intended to kill the Dark Lord while he was vulnerable. Despite her cooperation, Darzu's intention was not to replace Crucia with new leadership, but rather to find a way of turning the Sith against one another. Following the sudden death of the Shadow Hand and Crucia's subsequent disappearance from the Imperium, Darzu and the conspirators enacted their plan to end his life once and for all. To commence their mission, the death squad tracked Crucia's movements to the remote world of Tund and bombarded his approximate position using a hijacked battleship, the Hecatomb.
After descending on the bombed area and discovering that Crucia had survived, Darzu and the other two Lords hoped to overwhelm him with superior numbers. The surprise attack left Crucia on the brink of death, at which point Darzu made a last-minute decision to save the Dark Lord's life, realizing that she could make use of him. With her fellow conspirators focusing on Crucia, Darzu exposed Raxis to a sample of her metacron virus. The resulting infection lobotomized the Sith Lord's brain, allowing Darzu to drive him into a rabid frenzy against Noctus. In the ensuing confusion, Noctus's attention was briefly diverted as he defended himself, which Darzu used an opportunity to kill him.
In the aftermath of the fight, Darzu discovered that Crucia—while alive—had been left grievously wounded, effectively leaving the Dark Lord at her mercy. Having realized Crucia's desperation to cure his decaying body, Darzu took the Dark Lord away in a nearby shuttle. Through the ship's medical facilities and her own alchemical skill, Belia stabilized Crucia's condition and kept him incapacitated while traveling to her laboratory on Tython. Once there, Darzu implanted Crucia with a number of cybernetics, successfully restoring him to full strength. By employing mechu-deru vitae, Darzu was able to use these implants to gradually exert her influence over Crucia's mind.
With Crucia now under her influence, Belia intended to use him in her bid to destroy the Sith. To help fulfil her ultimate objective, she deceived Crucia into believing that the Jen'taral had been plotting to usurp control of the Imperium. In an effort to gain Crucia's trust, Darzu operated under the pretext of maintaining his rule over the Imperium. As a result of Darzu's manipulations, Crucia decided that the Jen'taral—having grown dangerously power-hungry—needed to be eradicated to protect his regime. For her alleged loyalty to him, Crucia bestowed upon Darzu the title of Shadow Hand, making the Shi'ido his second-in-command and an extension of his will as a Dark Lord of the Sith.
In her new position of power, Darzu hoped to make use of the Imperium's resources to fuel her secret campaign against the Sith. Using her influence over Crucia, Darzu indirectly controlled the forces under his command. By acting in a seemingly subservient position, she hoped to give the impression that Crucia was truly in charge. This was merely a smokescreen, however; a calculated sign of Darzu's cooperation that was intended to draw attention towards Crucia, allowing the Shi'ido to hide her true intentions.
Personality and traitsEdit
Throughout her life, Belia avoided showing her true physical form, preferring instead to disguise herself as a member of a different species. By doing so, she hoped to blend in with the galaxy's inhabitants rather than stand out. In Darzu's mind, this gave her complete control over any individual she encountered. It was because of this mentality that she enjoyed deceiving, manipulating and meddling in the affairs of others. In the aftermath of her subjugation under the Rite of Binding, Darzu was unable to shape-shift beyond limited periods of time. Unnerved by the prospect of being seen in her true form, she often concealed her appearance behind a set of robes with a cowl and a mask.
Having spent years living as a hunter, Darzu became instilled with a bloodthirsty, predatory instinct. As such, she willingly embraced the role of a freelance assassin, enjoying the thrill of pursuing and slaying her prey, and taking pride in her ability to do so. During her time with the Sith, Darzu developed a sadistic streak while being molded into a servant of the Jen'taral. In particular, she was taught by her master to embrace her negative emotions, causing her to develop a bitter resentment towards him, eventually evolving into an abiding murderous hatred. To satisfy her repressed wrath, Darzu often derived pleasure from the suffering of others, feeding off their pain and misery.
In the aftermath of Wyvorn's death, Darzu came to believe that the Sith had stripped away any aspirations or dreams she may have once had. Although she had freed herself from her master's control, Darzu was unable to let go of the anger and hatred that Wyvorn had fostered within her. This—along with the lingering agony that Darzu experienced from the Rite of Binding—served as a constant reminder of her subjection under the Jen'taral. As a result, the Shi'ido grew despondent upon the realization that her past ordeals would remain with her for the rest of her days. Driven by her disdain towards the Sith, Darzu dedicated her life to bringing about their destruction.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
As a Shi'ido, Belia was capable of altering her physical form, allowing her to impersonate other living beings. While she typically assumed the appearance of a humanoid, she was also capable of morphing her body into non-humanoid shapes. Due to the residual effects from the Rite of Binding, shape-shifting caused Darzu to experience agonizing pain, making the process more difficult. As a way of coping, she was able to use the power of the dark side—channeling her innermost hatred and anger—to mitigate the pain to some degree, though only for limited periods of time. Years of immersion in the dark side took its toll on Darzu's body, leaving her physical figure decayed and malformed.
After becoming a Sith Lord, Darzu spent much of her time experimenting with the Force, discovering a number of new techniques and even developing some of her own. In particular, she became familiar with mechu-deru, a power which allowed her to sense the inner structures of machinery and circuitry. Through this technique, Darzu gained an intuitive awareness of how mechanical structures—no matter how simple or complex—fit together and operated. Using mechu-deru, Darzu was able to disassemble and rebuild different types of machinery, upgrading them to perform beyond their original functions.