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Belia Darzu was a female Shi'ido who reigned as a Dark Lord of the Sith during the waning centuries of the Draggulch Period. A disciple of the dark side-worshipping Sith Empire, Darzu partook in a campaign to destroy the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order. Rising to the rank of Sith Lord, she researched the discipline of Sith alchemy alongside an obscure Force technique known as mechu-deru. The fall of the reigning Dark Lord—Darth Rivan—impelled Darzu to recreate an ancient superweapon in a plot to reinvigorate the Empire's crusade. This scheme prompted the enemies of the Sith to enact an attempt on her life. Narrowly evading death, Darzu used the power of mechu-deru to repair her body with cybernetics.
Inspired by her self-transformation, Lord Darzu sought to bring about the return of the mythical technobeasts—part-machine, part organic Sithspawn mutants. Entering a period of exile, she travelled to the abandoned world of Tython, unearthing remnants of the microscopic nanogene droids. Using this technology, Darzu created a virus capable of transforming organic victims into her own brand of mutated cyborgs—the Metanecrons. Using a dark side ritual, she bound the Metanecrons to her will, mobilizing them into an obedient army. Confident in her alchemical creations, Darzu assumed the mantle of Dark Lord and set out to assume dominion over the Sith, intent on spearheading a new campaign of terror.
A Force-sensitive female Shi'ido, Belia Darzu lived centuries before the end of the Draggulch Period, an era distinguished by a tumultuous conflict known as the New Sith Wars. An experienced warrior, Darzu harbored a yearning for danger and a fervent curiosity, leading her to travel the galactic frontier of Wild Space as a freelance mercenary. Like all of her species, she was a natural-born shape-shifter, driving her to mimic the different civilizations she encountered. While attempting to do so, the Shi'ido fell victim to various forms of discrimination; some distrusted or reviled her abilities, while others attempted to exploit or enslave her to meet their own ends.
Over time, Darzu learned to avoid negative treatment by concealing her changeling heritage, disguising herself as a humanoid woman. Regardless, these early experiences instilled her with a resentful outlook on other sentient species. At some point during her mercenary career, Darzu unearthed her latent connection with the Force, though she possessed only a rudimentary understanding of its potential at the time. The Shi'ido nonetheless derived a sense of empowerment from the thrill of her often bloody exploits in battle; this empowerment was actually the call of the dark side, causing her to unknowingly fall under its intoxicating influence.
Journeying through the Outer Rim, Darzu eventually entered the employ of the Sith Empire, an interstellar domain ruled by the Sith Order. Impressed by the mercenary's brutal efficiency and raw potential with the Force, the Sith offered Darzu a place among their Order as a fellow darksider. Allured by promises of greater power and dominance over the galaxy's inhabitants, she eagerly accepted. Becoming a Sith Acolyte, Darzu learned to properly harness the power of the dark side by drawing upon her innermost hatred and fear. Due to her extensive prior battle experience, she came to specialize in the combat-focused role of the Sith Marauder.
Upon completing her Sith training, Darzu became a servant of the Dark Lord of the Sith—Darth Rivan—and partook in the Empire's campaign to destroy the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order. When given command over Sith ground units, Darzu achieved infamy for her ability to demoralize enemy forces through terror tactics. An inquisitive being, she began to delve into the secrets of Sith alchemy, allowing her to create a heavily modified battle armor suit. The armor not only amplified Darzu's combat prowess, but also obscured the Shi'ido's appearance from her peers and adversaries alike. Despite her secretive nature, she eventually earned the title of Sith Lord.
Lord of the SithEdit
Using the resources granted by her new position of authority, Lord Darzu began to secretly recruit members of her species to the way of the Sith, hoping to elevate their place within the galaxy. In particular, Darzu sought out fellow Shi'ido who, like her, feared persecution due to the common galactic fear surrounding changelings. While these sympathizers initially joined voluntarily, Darzu's lust for power drove her to conscript and exploit her underlings against their will. Through the power of the dark side, Darzu twisted the minds of her targets and brainwashed them into serving her cause, forming a network of agents, spies and advisors to do her bidding.
Coveting a greater understanding of the dark side, Lord Darzu spent years gathering ancient manuscripts written by the sorcerers and alchemists of the old Sith Empire. Studying the documents in earnest, she unearthed a number of arcane and alchemical techniques, most notably mechu-deru, an obscure Sith power allowing the manipulation of mechanical constructs. These writings included information regarding the technobeasts, mutated cyborgs capable of self-replication by rewriting a victim's genetic code. The documents, however, lacked specific details on how the technobeasts were created, leading Darzu to disregard the mutants as a myth.
Some time following Darzu's ascension to Lordship, the crusade of Darth Rivan entered a phase of decline; the Jedi sabotaged the Force bonds that were used to control his army of Battlelords, sowing an unexpected wave of chaos among the Dark Lord's forces. In the wake of this downturn, Darzu—anticipating Rivan's impending doom—saw an opportunity to renew the Sith offensive on her own terms, allowing the Shi'ido to seize the mantle of Dark Lord. To fulfil this goal, she channelled her alchemical expertise into a project to recreate the Dark Reaper, an ancient superweapon capable of harvesting the essence of Force-sensitive beings.
Keeping her project veiled in secrecy, Darzu constructed the Dark Reaper on the Sith stronghold of Rhen Var, using the planet as a staging ground for her planned counteroffensive. The Shi'ido's plan abruptly fell apart, however, when Darth Rivan died in a Jedi-led surprise attack, leading to a concentrated assault against the Empire's strongholds—including Rhen Var—in an effort to throw the Sith into disarray. Refusing to accept failure, Darzu nonetheless persisted with her plans, hell-bent on using the Dark Reaper to wipe out the interlopers. This backfired and caused the unfinished device to grow unstable, trapping her in a cataclysmic inferno.
The ensuing devastation incinerated all living beings within the vicinity, leaving Darzu herself grievously injured and on the brink of death. Invoking the power of the dark side, Darzu managed to keep herself alive, buying time to enact a desperate survival plan. Using mechu-deru, she proceeded to repair her body with cybernetics, formed from nearby pieces of metallic debris. While escaping with her life, Darzu discovered that her ability to shape-shift had been crippled by the damage inflicted on her body. Enraged and embittered, she maintained her goal to reinvigorate the Sith crusade, now intent on imposing vengeance upon the Republic and the Jedi.
Growing obsessed with her transformation, Darzu gained a new perspective on the potential of mechu-deru; no longer viewing the technobeasts as a mere Sith legend, she adopted a new goal to bring the creatures into existence, providing a means to enact her planned vengeance. Hiding her activities, Darzu continued her research in self-imposed exile. While doing so, she learned that the Jedi—many years before her time—had once harnessed the power of mechu-deru, creating nanogene droids capable of manipulating living tissue on a cellular level. Remnants of this work were rumored to have existed on Tython, a long-abandoned Jedi stronghold.
Seeking Tython's whereabouts, Darzu used her Shi'ido agents to steal hyperlane coordinates from the Jedi archives on Coruscant, leading her to the planet's location in the Deep Core. Upon her arrival on Tython, she scoured the dilapidated ancient Jedi Temple, searching for the remnants of mechu-deru. Deep inside the temple's storehouses, she eventually uncovered the nanogene seeds—microscopic droids capable of cellular alteration. Fascinated by this technology, Darzu believed she had uncovered the key to realizing the Sith technobeasts. Using the temple as a laboratory, the Shi'ido drew upon Tython's Force nexus to amplify her experiments.
Inside her facility of research, Darzu tested the nanogene technology on living subjects, of whom she had abducted amongst Tython's scattered inhabitants. With her combined knowledge of mechu-deru and Sith alchemy, she reverse-engineered the microscopic droids into a technovirus called the nanogene spore. According to Darzu's design, the virus transmuted living tissue into metallic tumors, ultimately transforming its subjects into a new brand of Sithspawn mutants—the Metanecrons. To complete this process, she devised a variant of mechu-deru called mechu-deru vitae, using it to bind the Metanecrons to her will through the dark side.
With the nanogene spore at her disposal, Darzu intended to bring a new age of terror upon the Republic and the Jedi, ensuring the dominance of the Sith. For her first source of living templates to create legions of cyborg warriors, she infected the scattered inhabitants of Tython with the nanogene spore. Corralling them towards the abandoned Jedi temple, Darzu mobilized her subservient Metanecrons into an army. Over time, the Shi'ido's machinations corrupted the Force nexus of Tython, turning the planet into a bastion of dark side energy. Commanding her slaves, Darzu renovated the Jedi temple into a fortress, making Tython her secret seat of power.
Rise to powerEdit
During her self-imposed exile, Lord Darzu kept acquainted with galactic affairs through her network of Shi'ido agents. To this end, she learned that the Sith crusade had been heavily impeded in the years following the vanquishing of Darth Rivan; discord ensued amongst the Sith, with many surviving Lords ruling over their own territories as warlords. With the Empire now fragmented, Darzu concluded that the Sith would need to be reunited under a new banner—her own. Few remembered Darzu, however, since her disappearance, prompting her to seek a powerful figurehead that would allow her to inspire dominance over the Sith holdouts.
While searching for an individual to aid her rise to power, Darzu grew intrigued by Teitan Kaarv, a prominent warlord who—as the self-proclaimed "vanguard of the true Sith"—led a growing Sith faction called the Chosen Legion. Despite valuing Kaarv as a potentially powerful asset, Darzu overheard rumors surrounding the warlord's apparent mental instability; at random intervals, Kaarv was known to undergo violent periods of psychosis, seeding doubts about his suitability to rule the Sith. Using her spies to investigate Kaarv's past, Darzu learned that he once lived under the identity of "Daleth" as a member of Darth Rivan's alchemically-created Battlelords.
Through careful study of Kaarv's mannerisms, as well as her own alchemical knowledge, Darzu eventually came to understand the cause behind his psychological instability; it was a side effect of Rivan's infamously harrowing Battlelord transformation, which had fractured Kaarv's mind and formed the alternate persona of an obedient, malleable slave—"Daleth". Upon realizing Kaarv's mental vulnerability, Darzu devised a plan that would ultimately allow her to coerce the warlord into serving her. To accomplish such a feat, she called upon the power of Tython's Force nexus, using it to project a series of powerful telepathic illusions into Kaarv's mind.
Personality and traitsEdit
A Shi'ido changeling, Darzu made a painstaking effort to conceal her shape-shifting ability, often assuming the appearance of a gray-skinned humanoid woman. This avoidant attitude stemmed from the discrimination she faced during her early life; these experiences soured Darzu's outlook on the galaxy, instilling her with a cynical distrust of other species. Despite her paranoia, Darzu was still willing to work alongside other species, if only to study their mannerisms and find ways of surpassing them. In this pursuit, she developed a sense of superiority, as well as the belief that she could control any individual she desired through deception. To this end, Darzu frequently buried her emotions behind a cold, dispassionate facade, ensuring that no one possessed an accurate picture of her innermost feelings or intentions.
Inspired by the Sith doctrines, Darzu sought to use conspiracy and tyranny to elevate her species, an ideal that she propagated among other Shi'ido throughout the galaxy. Over time, however, she began to lose sight of this goal, becoming more consumed by a desire to steep herself into the mysteries of the Force—the dark side in particular. This desire originated from her deep-seated curiosity to explore the unknown, causing her to develop an obsessive fascination with the dark side. To this end, Darzu willingly subjected herself to its corruptive influence, driven to see how its power could bend the very fabric of reality to her will. These experiments eroded the remnants of Darzu's sanity, leading her to regard other living beings—including her own species—as mere tools to help satisfy her growing lust for power.
After sustaining life-threatening wounds in her attempt to engineer the Dark Reaper, Darzu replaced much of her body with cybernetics. Due to the desperate nature of her transformation, some of the implants became disproportionate with the rest of her body. Furthermore, the remnants of Darzu's organic self were left in a ravaged state, an affliction exacerbated by her frequent immersion in the dark side. These combined factors virtually crippled her shape-shifting talent, making the process extremely painful. While initially grief-stricken over her impairment, Darzu came to view it as a necessary sacrifice; by embracing her pain and grief, as well as her hatred for the Republic and the Jedi, the Shi'ido aspired to strengthen her attunement with the dark side even further, paving the path to greater depths of power.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Like all members of the Shi'ido race, Darzu was capable of altering her physical form, allowing her to assume a variety of humanoid and non-humanoid shapes. Additionally, she possessed inborn telepathic powers allowing her to project false impressions onto the minds of others, tricking them into believing she was someone—or something—else entirely. In the aftermath of her cybernetic transformation, however, Darzu's shape-shifting talent began to cause her a significant amount of pain, leaving the Shi'ido virtually unable to alter most of her body beyond her facial features. Furthermore, the malformed nature of the prosthetics—combined with Darzu's bodily injuries—left her physically vulnerable. As such, she came to rely heavily on her illusive talents to conceal and compensate for these weaknesses.
After joining the Sith, Darzu was trained as frontline combatant in the New Sith Wars, specializing in the role of the Sith Marauder. Wielding a single-bladed lightsaber, she relied on the power of the dark side to amplify her combat prowess. For extra protection against multiple opponents in battle, Darzu wore a self-crafted, alchemically-enhanced battle armor suit. The suit not only supplemented her physical strength, but also harbored a personal cloaking device to catch her foes by surprise. A learned and powerful practitioner of the dark side, Darzu—following years of tireless research, experimentation and application—ultimately achieved mastery in the discipline of Sith alchemy alongside mechu-deru, an obscure Sith technique allowing the manipulation of mechanical structures through the Force.