Darth Ariss was born Ilya Quarn in 171 ABY to unknown parents. Little is known about her past except that she was adopted by a gangster on Nar Shaddaa around 175 ABY after living on the streets for four years. When the girl was about sixteen, she was forced to live on her own as a street-smart gangster in her own right, and she was able to form her own small band, known as the Beast Riders. At about seventeen, one of the members of her gang stumbled across some genealogy, which, surprisingly, traced Quarn (indirectly) to be a descendant of Exar Kun. Intrigued, Quarn began to wonder if she herself had inherited abilities with the Force, and with the help of some of her gang members, she was able to hitch a ride to Ossus, and the Jedi Council, where she was tested for Force-sensitivity. Although she was found to have inherited abilities with the Force, she was turned away from training due to her age. Annoyed, but not angry, Quarn returned to Nar Shaddaa.
A fatal turning pointEdit
Upon her return to Nar Shaddaa, Quarn found that her gang was trapped in a war with a rival group. Quarn quickly rallied her fellow gang members, and led a vicious assault on the rival gang's territory. However, this raid turned sour with the arrival of the local authorities, who proceeded to fire indiscriminately on both sides, in order to keep them suppressed and avoid hurting any civilians. Quarn and her group managed to escape, but more than half of the gang had been lost in the firefight. Weakened, the Beast Riders were forced to live a life in the shadows, barely scrounging up enough to survive, even for a street gang. However, as time passed, they fell to disease and starvation, until there were only six left: Quarn, Terix, Kalipso Siren, Ascha, Hezaz, and a boy named Rylic, who was a love interest of Quarn's.
Around 192 ABY, Rylic was wounded in an ambush, and the wound became infected rather quickly. Frantic, Quarn was forced to take Rylic to a hospital, despite her status as a known gang member. However, the hospital would not accept Rylic because Quarn could not pay enough for him to be treated. Rylic died three days later, and Quarn was consumed with hatred and fury. From that day on, Quarn vowed to destroy the Galactic Alliance that had not saved her beloved.
For an entire year, Quarn studied her ancestor, Exar Kun, with all of the information available at a public library. When she discovered that his specter had been destroyed on Yavin IV, she decided that she would visit that place to try and figure out what his life, and afterlife, had been like. She and her four cohorts were able to smuggle themselves on a ship bound for the Jedi Academy on Yavin IV, and, upon leaving the ship, traveled into the jungle to discover the ancient Massassi temples, and the secrets they held.
After traveling in the dense jungles for about a week, the band was forced to give up their hunt. They took refuge in a small temple that night, and Quarn discovered a holocron left behind by Exar Kun more than four thousand years before. It described the secrets of the Dark Side which he had uncovered, and even showed the secrets to creating a lightsaber. Armed with this knowledge, Quarn began studying the dark arts of the Force. Six years after she began her training, she constructed her own blue, double-bladed lightsaber in honor of her ancestor, and she seized the mantle of the Dark Lady of the Sith, Darth Ariss. She also decided to continue the crusade Kun had been forced to cease. In honor of the Mandalorian warriors which had allied themselves with Kun, she named her friends the Sons of Mandalore.
The sons of MandaloreEdit
Although Ariss briefly considered contesting for the rule of Empress of the Decreton Empire, she would not subject her friend, Ascha, as an inferior to her other allies. Ariss also believed that it was foolish to deny manpower based on appearance. As a result, she decided to found her own empire, separate from both the Galactic Alliance and the Decreton Empire. The first area she targeted was her homeworld of Nar Shaddaa. Ariss struck a deal with the Hutts on Nal Hutta, that, in exchange for ships and funding, she would supply them with resources from whatever worlds she conquered, and would give them fifty-five percent of her resources. For the next year, she conducted a brilliant campaign against the Outer Rim. By the end of the year, she had taken control of eleven worlds, including Iridonia, Onderon, and Kessel.