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Admission to the Sith Academy
It has always been a privilege to face the trials at the Sith Academy. Even though most acolytes fail--and the cost of failure is typically death--the chance to train in the dark arts and become one of the most powerful beings in the galaxy is incentive enough for most. Others, attuned to the Force but reluctant to participate, are dragged and forced to face the trials.
Until recently, only purebloods and humans from the Empire were allowed entrance. To produce a Sith child is one of the Empire's highest honors, and families identify and groom potential candidates from an early age. Since the loss of so many Sith in the war, however, a swell of less traditional thinking has opened the Academy to anyone displaying Force sensitivity.
Some conservative Sith call this a foolish and desperate move that will dilute the order instead of returning it to strength; others accept it as a temporary measure. At first, the conflict was merely intellectual as the first waves of new recruits into the Academy died ingloriously--but things are changing, and the new breed of Sith may yet prove itself worthy.
XP Level: 3
The Red Engine
Created by the ancient Sith Lord Tulak Hord, the Red Engine was an infernal machine powered by hate and blood. Located deep in its creator's tomb, legend holds that those who unlock the secrets of the terrible device will gain access to the hidden teachings of Tulak Hord himself. Despite this potential prize, most scholars who have studied the Red Machine Engine have eventually given up in frustration, thwarted by the complexities of the sinister invention.
XP Level: 6
Legacy of Tulak Hord
The secrets behind Tulak Hord's great power were many, and they all but vanished from the galaxy with the Dark Lord's death. Generations of Sith have obsessed over unearthing his ancient teachings and artifacts, but Tulak Hord hid them well.
Of the relics recovered successfully, the mask of Tulak Hord is most recognizable. Darth Revan discovered this relic in Tulak Hord's tomb while searching for the Star Forge space station, though both the mask of Tulak Hord and the mask of Darth Revan have disappeared since. In recent years, Tulak Hord's lightsaber was unearthed on Dromund Fels by Darth Marr before his ascension to the Dark Council.
Despite these discoveries, Tulak Hord's greatest treasures still lie locked away in the far corners of the galaxy, waiting for a new master to claim their power.
XP Level: 6
The Sith Order bestows a number of titles upon its followers, as befits their rank and power. These are the most common:
Acolyte: A Sith acolyte has not yet completed his or her trials in the Sith Academy, and may well die before becoming truly "Sith."
Sith: An acolyte who completes the trials and is accepted as the apprentice of a Sith Lord is considered Sith--no more, no less. Any non-Sith, however, is expected to refer to a Sith as "my lord" out of respect.
Overseer: An instructor at the Sith Academy is called an overseer. Overseers are often Sith Lords, but that rank is not a requirement; they may simply be Sith with a talent for instruction.
Sith Lord: A Sith who advances in the order's hierarchy will eventually be elevated to Sith Lord. His or her name is preceded by "Lord" in formal address. In the modern Empire, "Dark Lord" is synonymous with this term.
Darth: The strongest Sith Lords ascend to the position of Darth. Many take a new name at this point, symbolically embracing their transformation into something greater.
Emperor: There has been only one Sith Emperor since the Great Hyperspace War over 1,300 years ago. He is supreme.
XP Level: 3
The most visible symbol of the Sith is their iconic weapon: the lightsaber. Lightsabers are powered through a combination of rare crystals, precise engineering and the Force itself. They come in both single- and double-bladed forms, and the Sith are believed to be the first to wield the double-blade. While a lightsaber hilt is often customized by its owner, the blade's color is determined by its crystal; red, purple and orange are the most common colors among the Sith, though other colors, such as magenta and cyan, are known to exist.
Acolytes seeking to wield these weapons are required to begin their trials using an electroblade training sword, an unwieldy device designed to cause painful shocks to the target. If an acolyte is found worthy, he may hone his abilities with an ancient Sith warblade--a weapon used in an era before lightsabers, crafted by pureblooded artisans. In the end, only the strongest and deadliest acolytes may earn a lightsaber for themselves, seizing one from a failed Sith or Jedi or uncovering it in the depths of a tomb.
XP Level: 9
Slavery in the Empire
In contrast with the Republic, which officially condemns the practice, slavery is widely accepted across the Empire. However, instead of slaves being bought and sold merely on an individual basis, the custom has been fully incorporated into the hierarchy of Imperial society. As the lowest caste, slaves perform menial duties and backbreaking labor, and they possess virtually no rights or recourse under the law.
The ranks of slaves are typically made up of those who fall outside the traditional Imperial power structure: prisoners of war, criminals and aliens from conquered worlds. Children of slaves are born into the same caste as their parents, though it is possible for individuals to be elevated should they show strength and ability that would better serve the Empire in a more distinguished role.
Recently--seeking to replenish the ranks of the Sith Order after the war--even the Sith Academy has started accepting slaves who show a strong affinity for the Force... though many still look on these former slaves with disdain.
XP Level: 3