The following is the compilation of research done by Shadonyx, former Chancellor of the Dark Brotherhood, and continued by former Darth Khaen. The document herein is based on information in the Dark Voices, old news posts, and communiqués with older members. This is, at a glance, the true history behind the Dark Brotherhood.
Most of the history of the Brotherhood prior to its joining with the Emperor's Hammer has been lost in the mists of antiquity. When Kane Vader, the first known Grand Master, came to the Aurora System his archives were not complete or extensive, and he and his servants were loath to speak of the past. Despite this, the Dark Brotherhood was welcomed into Ronin's vision of a new Imperial order. Thanks, Kane Vader appointed Ronin as the first Headmaster of the Brotherhood's new institution of learning, the Shadow Academy.
Kane Vader did not remain as Grand Master long after the Brotherhood joined the Emperor's Hammer. Unused to working overtly and with such freedom, Kaine soon retired into the darkness whence he came, leaving a new man to take the title of Grand Master.
Paladin: A Time of Awakening
Lord Jedgar Octavian Paladin became Grand Master after Kane left. Unlike his predecessor, Paladin had served within the Strike Fleet prior to joining the Brotherhood, and had a clear idea of the power and resources available to him. The shrewd and somewhat ruthless man wasted no time in exploiting those objects for the Brotherhood's benefits.
The Shadow Academy came to full fruition during this time, its first incarnation consisting of three phases of Order-specific training for the Krath and Sith. Robes were finalized, and the dress created during Paladin's reign was used with little alteration until recently. The first edition of the Dark Side Compendium was released, as well as the first Dark Voices; and the Envoys were also created, and were originally conceived as a Brotherhood-aligned Fleet Commander's Honor Guard, with a similar point system. The weekly IRC meetings also became a fixture during Paladin's time. It is also assumed that the Main Body of the Dark Council, as it exists today (excluding Seneschal), was formed as well. The membership total during this period was around 100.
Paladin was rewarded greatly for his efforts as Grand Master. He received a promotion to Fleet Admiral, and the Medal of Honor. After a reign of approximately eight months, Paladin retired from Grand Master. Paladin was one of the most dynamic leaders of the Brotherhood, and he remained with it for a very long time, serving in other positions, but most notably Justicar until it was dissolved in recent times. He also served as the Strike Fleet's High Inquisitor until his disappearance, which some assumed to be his retirement into a life of solitude and study.
Kreeayt Havok and Crona: An Interim
Succeeding Paladin as Grand Master was Kreeayt Havoc, the Deputy Grand Master. While Kreeayt's reign was short (approximately three months), he introduced a few new items into the Brotherhood, the most noteworthy being Praetors and Magistrates, which were intended to mirror Command Attachés and Assistants. Praetors were originally given the rank of Dark Side Adept, and formed a Praetorian Diet; which could be used for voting purposes. Magistrates were originally given the rank of Krath Priest/Sith Warrior. At the end of Kreeayt's reign, when he was elevated to Executive Officer of the Strike Fleet, Brotherhood membership had doubled, now boasting a little over 200 members.
Kreeayt's Deputy Grand Master, Crona, was the next Grand Master. The exact date of his appointment is unknown, as the first Dark Voice released in his reign is not dated. However, by this time the Brotherhood's membership was reaching 400 and the Obelisk were now an Order within the Brotherhood. More information from former Grand Master Jac Cotelin reveals that during Crona's reign the Brotherhood had slipped into a relative state of torpidity, and that Tau Squadron became a serious source of dissent. After an altercation with the Fleet Commander, the High Court and the Fleet Commander ousted Crona from Grand Master, and expelled him from the Strike Fleet.
Jac Cotelin: A Return to Order
After Crona's expulsion, Grand Admiral Ronin recognized the ability of Jac Cotelin, and elevated him as the new Grand Master of the Dark Brotherhood. The most notable achievements of Jac's reign were the creation of Clans and Houses as a way to divide up the membership of the Dark Brotherhood, the addition of ranks between Sith Warrior and Dark Side Adept, the creation of the first medals, and the position of Lord Chamberlain. Jac also purged the Dark Council and expelled Tau Squadron upon appointment, paving the way for a new generation of leaders to control the direction of the Brotherhood - including the mysterious Star Chamber.
While previous accounts of the Star Chamber place it as a thing of ominous power, the truth of the matter is that it was the "Clan of the Dark Council." While not every Dark Council member was part of it, previous Grand Masters and long-standing Council members were part of the Chamber. It was the Star Chamber that chose the direction of the Brotherhood during Jac's reign, and the Dark Council served as the implementers of the Star Chamber's will. Presumably, the Star Chamber existed before Jac's reign, and continued its influence afterwards.
Justinian Khyron: A Period of Change
Grand Master Jac resigned after a long, successful tenure in which the Brotherhood grew to over 1000 members. His replacement was Justinian Khyron, a former Master at Arms and a Strike Fleet officer. Khyron's reign was marked by a great deal of change and alteration in Brotherhood structure. He created guidelines on forming House and Clan Crests; the Art of Vendetta, which was created by Paladin, was recognized; the first Great Jedi Wars and Vendettas were held; the position of Archon was created to handle medals, but was also later dissolved, and medals became the responsibilit of the Chancellor; the Grand Master's Royal Guard was created; Clans and Houses were altered into their current forms; Sith Advisor became the Sith High Warrior.
Despite all these advances, a revolt within the ranks occurred. Clan Ar'kell, displeased with the Grand Master and the way the Brotherhood was being run, defected and formed their own sort of Brotherhood, the Society of Shadows, led by the former Ar'kell Consul, Sauron. Not much was done about the defection, save that it was more or less widely ignored by the Dark Council and the Star Chamber, which Sauron blamed for Ar'kell's defection. Khyron reigned for well over a year before resigning.
Justin Stryker and Khyron's Return: A Second Interim
After Khyron's resignation, Justin Stryker took over as Grand Master. He reigned for half a year, and did little more than act as a caretaker to the Brotherhood. Upon Stryker's resignation, Khyron returned for a second term as Grand Master. Khyron's second term was not nearly as impressive as his first, and the only thing of only thing of consequence was the alteration of the Clan and House structure to have three Houses per Clan, one for each Order.
After Khyron's second reign, the Star Chamber faded from memory, and while it is assumed that it still held power, its influence and effect on the Brotherhood post-Khyron is unknown.
Thedek: Technological Advancement
Thedek, Master-at-Arms, replaced Khyron as Grand Master. His reign included the creation of Oracle, which was originally intended as a position to maintain the Dark Side Compendium, and the Chamber of Justice. Revisions to the Grand Master's Royal Guard, the Envoys, and the Dark Side Compendium were done during this time. Thedek also created the first comprehensive database for the Dark Brotherhood, the former http://www.darkbrotherhood.com/.
Following Thedek was Archibald Zoraan, a Consul of Tarentum. His reign was marked by nothing more than a few notable Dark Council appointments, minor revisions to the Dark Side Compendium, and updates to the Shadow Academy. In all other things, Zoraan preferred to act as an esoteric, a foreboding Grand Master; essentially, he was far better acting as Grand Master than being Grand Master. Ultimately, the membership had had enough, and protests began. Zoraan ruthlessly crushed such opposition, twisting existing legal policy and the words in the Dark Side Compendium to his will, and using the Envoys as spies to find dissenters.
In the end, however, the then Executive Officer, Alan Kawolski, and Grand Admiral Ronin intervened, but were met with resistance. Claiming that the Dark Brotherhood was still a "sister organization," Zoraan attempted to dissolve the Emperor's Hammer's hold on the Brotherhood. This is what the former Grand Master had to say on the matter.
Zoraan's attempt at secession failed, however, and he was deposed. Sadly, he managed to wipe most of Thedek's archives before being ousted, setting the Brotherhood back a great deal.
Chi-Long: A Return to the Old Ways
After the Zoraan crisis subsided, Chi-Long, formerly known as Faethor, replaced Zoraan as Grand Master. Luckily, most of the Thedek's archives were recovered one way or the other, but Thedek, angered over the appointment of Chi-Long as Grand Master, claimed that all the data within his archives was just that: his, and no one could use it. Apparently, the same insanity that touched Zoraan also touched Thedek, and the former Grand Master was expelled from Imperial space on pain of death. Shortly after, construction of a new database began.
After the initial turmoil, Chi-Long's reign was a strange one. He went through four Deputy Grand Masters during his eight month tenure, and more often took credit for others' projects than constructed his own. He also went on a sabbatical for well over two months, leaving then Deputy Grand Master Astatine in charge for the duration, and later rewarding Astatine by removing him. Perhaps the most famous scandal of his reign was his attempted deposing of Sith High Warrior Firefox. Khan, the Proconsul of Clan Alvaak, had been charged with publicly defaming the Grand Master. Firefox, wishing to aid a friend, submitted a log of Chi-Long insulting and defaming the Fleet Commander. In retaliation, Chi-Long attempted to remove Firefox, but was stopped by the Executive Officer.
Despite these oddities, Chi-Long's reign included various, important revisions to the Dark Side Compendium, the creation of the Assembly of Consuls and Emissary, the resurrection of the Envoys, and a Vendetta. He also made some notable appointments to the Dark Council. Sadly, the Envoys were widely rumored to be a secret spy force for Chi-Long, and the Vendetta was less than well-planned. Near the end of his reign, Chi-Long was highly disliked by Brotherhood membership, a fact that reached the ears of the Emperor's Hammer Command Staff. Determined to do something, the Executive Office took punitive action against the Grand Master.
After being practically ousted by Alan Kawolski, Chi-Long bitterly retreated into the darkness and swore never to aid the Brotherhood again. In his place, long-standing Sith High Warrior and Battlegroup Commander of the Avenger Task Force Firefox became Grand Master. Firefox's reign was an active one, with many astute appointments to the Dark Council. While there were no Vendettas for over a year, improvements to the medal system, Dark Side Compendium, and the Brotherhood website were all enacted. The position of Oracle, originally intended by Firefox to publish the Dark Voice, was dissolved after a few months. Project Thallium, an effort made by then Deputy Grand Master Astatine to create more structure and order in the Brotherhood was spearheaded, but died down after he left the position. This was when the problems began.
Krath High Priestess Mairin Astoris was appointed as Astatine's replacement, and for the first month or so, she proved to be a happy choice. However, her domineering nature soon began to show itself when she began to do other Dark Council members' duties and initiate projects without Firefox's consent. She also released a sub-par Vendetta in an attempt to appease the Brotherhood membership, but only succeeded in disgusting it with the delays and poorly executed events. All the while, a deep schism between herself and Mage, current Headmaster, and the current Chancellor, Shadonyx, developed. Shadonyx did not like Mairin's rule or Mage's alliance with her, and they in turn detested Shadonyx for his refusal to obey and connection with the Grand Master and the Executive Officer. Ultimately, the situation was never truly resolved and the parties involved grudgingly agreed to a truce. However, the volatile nature of the Dark Council, as well as the torpidity of the Clans was apparent. Astatine, who was also the Executive Officer, began to put pressure on Firefox to change things.
Firefox did not react to this pressure well. In the last few weeks of his reign, he made a secret alliance with former Grand Master Chi-Long. Their goal was to break away as a subgroup and regain the fabled sister organization status, all the while claiming their reason for doing this was Astatine's acerbic personality. After three weeks of scheming, the devious Grand Masters, in accordance with former Grand Masters Jac Cotelin, Khyron, Master-at-Arms Corran Force, Headmaster Pyralis (also known as Darth Vader), and Proconsul of Naga Sadow Trevarus Caerick signed a document that stated their grievances and reasons for wanting sister organization status once more. Grand Admiral Ronin, however, would have nothing of it. He immediately demanded that the rogues relinquish their claims to the database they held, as well as any other materials they had whilst they were part of the Emperor's Hammer.
The argument began to get rather murky as legal issues were brought forth. Ultimately, nothing was completely resolved as neither side was going to take this the matter to court. Instead, many Emperor's Hammer members politely requested that their works or dossiers be removed from the rogue Dark Brotherhood, and Firefox honored their requests. However, many members also left with the rogues, striking a huge blow to the Brotherhood's membership base. Undoutably, these members left because they believed what the rogues were telling them. Astatine and Ronin, after expelling the rogues from the Fleet, began a search for a new Dark Council and constructing a new Brotherhood website. The rogues continue to exist in their own organization.
Rapier: Reeling From Shock
After a short five days, Astatine and Ronin appointed Rapier, a former Emperor's Hammer Security Officer, to Grand Master. A new Dark Council was chosen by the Grand Master, but was plagued from its first sitting with low morale, lacklustre activity, and frequent turnover in the positions. Within a few months, there had been two Deputy Grand Masters, two Headmasters, three Chancellors, two Heralds, three Sith High Warriors, and the office of Commander of the Guard had been dissolved. The same problems harrying the Dark Council were rife among the Clans of the Brotherhood.
Despite the closure of two Clans (Taldryan and Naga Sadow), many Houses still stood on the brink of closure due to low membership and activity. Many House Summits neglected to perform their duties, and several insufficiently experienced Dark Jedi advanced to Clan Summit positions they were not wise or powerful enough to maintain.
Despite the efforts of the Dark Council and a dedicated few throughout the Brotherhood, the general state of malaise continued month after month. There were some notable advances in the period, however, including the design of a new set of Brotherhood robes and awards and the release of one new issue of the Dark Voice.
Around ten months after the split, the Executive Officer and Fleet Commander of the Emperor's Hammer decided to take action to point the Brotherhood in a new direction. At a regular fleet meeting, Executive Officer Astatine announced the removal of Grand Master Rapier, Deputy Grand Master Gelton Torr, and Chancellor Angel Saris. The former Master-at-Arms, Dark Side Adept Khaen, was to become the next Grand Master.
Khaen: Unfulfilled Hopes
The immediate reaction to the regime change was chaos. Sith Warlord Darkfinn the Arcona Consul openly revolted and unsuccessfully incited his clan to defect. Also in other places of the Brotherhood emotions over this sudden unexpected move were flying high, especially in Clan Tarentum, the home of Deputy Grand Master Gelton Torr. There a petition was drafted and released to the Fleet, that was supposed to draw Fleet Commander Ronin's attention to the decision of his Executive Officer Astatine and asking for a more active involvement of Ronin into club matters.
Tarentum later respectfully withdrew its petition after long talks with Grand Admiral Ronin when they felt that they had made their point towards him. The defected Arcona Consul was soon replaced and everything settled a bit.
Then it came to light shortly after Rapier's removal that the rogue Dark Brotherhood had been secretly in control of important channels of Dark Brotherhood communication (websites, etc.), having connived to purchase them covertly after the former fleet Communications Officer had let financing lapse. In a disruptive move, the rogue Dark Brotherhood's Deputy Grand Master sabotaged the communications network, issuing a statement that his group had been supportive of the Dark Brotherhood so long as Rapier remained Grand Master, and that all support would now be withdrawn.
A reformed Dark Council began to take shape, with a new Master-at-Arms and Chancellor. Deputy Grand Master was to remain vacant as the Grand Master did not see a need to have one in place. The 'new' Dark Council would attempt to restore the honor and work ethic which had given long-previous Dark Councils such authority and respect, and had been a source of great strength for the Brotherhood. But those attempts failed pretty soon in a rather obvious fashion. Certain Dark Council members started after a while to voice openly in front of the whole membership their discontent with the Grand Master on an almost daily basis. He on the other hand remained silent on this kind of behaviour and did not intervene. Doing so the Dark Council with their open quarrelling lost the last bit of respect it had and in the membership's opinion it fell very low.
Instead to go out and battling this decline of esteem Khaen got more and more reclusive and showed himself more and more seldom in the public. Projects that have been started in his tenure never got finished.
By following an action plan almost not at all, laid out to him by the EH High Command he also started to drop in the evaluations of the Fleet Commander and the Executive Officer on a continuous basis. Five months after he started out as Grand Master, Ronin and Astatine decided to relieve Khaen from his position.
Nocturnus: A Return to Glory
Although fallen from grace, after his dismissal as Deputy Grand Master,
Dark Jedi Master Gelton Torr decided to stay active in the
Dark Brotherhood. He returned to Clan Tarentum, the Clan where he originated
from, and helped them in their battles against other Clans. During the
following months he was able to regain the trust of the EH High Command
and to restore his reputation amongst them that had been soiled by his
dishonourable dismissal earlier. When the time came to pick a successor
to Khaen, he was deemed worthy to become the next Grand Master. Upon appointment
he took a name in the tradition of the Sith. Henceforth he
also was known as Darth Nocturnus.
He wasted no time to get started as Grand Master, very determined to use this second chance that had been given to him. Quickly together with Astatine in his function as SCL he brought a new standard lightsaber system, designed by the HLRD, to the membership replacing those who have been lost during the split. But Nocturnus also had to face hard and unpleasant decisions. The hardest was to close down Clan Satal Keto, due to low membership counts leaving the Brotherhood with four Clans.
Three months into his tenure he presented the Dark Brotherhood a Rite of Supremacy. For 5 long weeks the Clans battled over the Title "First Clan of the Brotherhood". In the end Clan Tarentum was able to claim that title and become First Clan.
Being 6 months GM he was able to give the Brotherhood back the long lost Grant of Arms, which had vanished from the dossiers since the split as well. At the time of the latest revision of this Compendium, Darth Nocturnus is still Grand Master leading the Dark Brotherhood on its way into the future.
After a successful reign as Grand Master, Nocturnus chose to depart from the Emperor's Hammer Territories and allow a new Grand Master to lead the Dark Brotherhood. When the Deputy Grand Master disappeared soon after Nocturnus, there was no heir-apparent to the Iron Throne.
Carnifex: Stagnation and Decline
Following Nocturnus' departure, the Iron Throne remained vacant for four months. In that time, the Master-at-Arms, Kane Reese, oversaw the Dark Brotherhood's operations.
After an extended period of time without a Grand Master, Sith High Warrior Gidda was chosen by the Fleet Commander to lead the Brotherhood. Aupon his ascension to the Iron Throne, Gidda took the name Carnifex. At the beginning of Gidda's reign, spirits in the Dark Brotherhood were high. Many hoped that the new Grand Master, who had been one of the greatest Consuls of Clan Scholae Palatinae, would lead the Brotherhood out of the decline which it had been experiencing in recent times.
It became apparent to the leader of the Brotherhood early in Carnifex's reign that the Grand Master had no plans for the Dark Brotherhood was simply fulfilling duties as he saw fit. The blame for stagnation may not have entirely been Carnifex's, as it appeared to many that he was unwilling to risk upsetting the Grand Admiral following the expulsion of the Krath High Priest, Troutrooper, by Grand Admiral Astatine when the High Priest proposed alterations to the Brotherhood which did not sit well with the fiery Astatine.
Almost a year into Carnifex's reign, the Brotherhood was screaming for action. Grand Admiral Astatine ordered a restructuring of the Brotherhood and Clans Alvaak and Scholae Palatinae were disbanded. Soon after, Carnifex was removed from command following one of his many personal journeys into deep space. Accompanying the orders for the demotion of the Grand Master was a decreet which disbanded the Order Leader positions in the Brotherhood.
Following Nocturnus' removal, Sith High Warrior Ric Taldrya was chosen to lead the Brotherhood. He took his former name of Blade as his Darth name, though it was only used in official capacities. Ric's reign was not progressive, but it did result in the stabilization of the Brotherhood structurally. The era was a confused one, as few of the leaders could agree upon what needed to be done in order to improve the Brotherhood, and many of the Grand Master's suggestions were met with stiff resistance from the Fleet Commander. Ultimately, Blade's half-year reign was a transitional one.
Table of Contents: A History of the Brotherhood