Darth Nythysus Styx, former Shadowmaster of the Phalanx of Shadows, was a human Sith male, and once one of the three figures of leadership within Chao Invictus, a prestigious order of Sith existing during the time of the Great Galactic War. Arguably the most mysterious of the order’s triumvirate, very little is known about the man’s background or life before he became Sith.
It is known that he was born in the year of 3903 BBY on the core world of Corellia in the capital city of Coronet, and was raised by his mother, Myra and father, Lahek Styx. He is now well over 200 years old, his body sustained through the use of advanced cybernetics and genetic tampering. It is likely that he will yet live naturally for at least a few more centuries. He has no known living family, and only one known descendant, his son Nemotek, presumed deceased.
At the age of 17 standard galactic years the young human began working for CEC (Corellian Engineering Corps) as a mechanical engineer in one of the company's numerous gargantuan shipyards, constructing chassis for civilian transport ships, and later working as a repair technician for astromech and protocol droids. During his service to CEC, the young man studied for his master’s degree, achieving a Techno Union Post-graduate in Mechanical Engineering by the age of 22. It was also during his seven years of service to the company that Nythysus first noticed his affinity for technology, an almost instinctive recognition of how intricate machinery worked. At the time, Nythysus simply accepted his gift as a natural talent, unaware that he had actually been gifted with the rare force power of Mechu-Deru, allowing him an innate ability to see the workings and processes of machinery through the force, which likely, at least in part, aided in the ease with which he obtained his qualifications.
Over the next couple of years Nythysus slowly climbed through the ranks of CEC to Chief Engineer. One eventful day the young man noticed a shady figure lurking just outside the entrance to the warehouse in which Nythysus was currently working. This shady figure later turned out to the be young Nythysus’ future master, a Sith Lord who had chosen the name of Necrus. Necrus explained that he had been studying Nythysus' work for some time, and confessed that he was most impressed with the young human's understanding of complex machines. He continued that he was a representative of a growing order of 'force sensitives', searching the core worlds for others who shared their sensitivity.
Revealing his identity, the Sith claimed that he could offer a place in his organisation for Nythysus to explore the 'full potential of his talents'. Nythysus, who had by now grown bored of the mundanity of his responsibilities at CEC, was deeply interested in the man's offer, and later agreed to secretly accompany the Lord to the then largely forgotten world of Korriban, an act of defiance in the face of the vehement protests of Nythysus’ force-sensitive parents; the memories of Malak and Revan’s bloody galactic campaign, and the ensuring purge of the Sith Triumvirate never forgotten by Lahek, Myra, and their own parents.
The making of a Sith
Travelling to Korriban, Nythysus began training in the ways of the force, never returning to Corellia during the period of his training, and never again seeing or forming contact with his parents. It is believed that at some point during his climb through the ranks of the then mysterious Sith Order, he was purposefully trapped within a tomb by his masters and exposed to a rare, unknown form of radiation, which left Nythysus with mere weeks left to live. It was this that prompted the construction of his internal cybernetics, which would monitor and preserve his body through constant genetic manipulation and autonomous purging of toxins. Nythysus called once more upon the powers of Mechu-Deru to construct a device that would hinder the harmful effects of the radiation. It would later be revealed that the cybernetics had the unexpected but beneficial effect of dramatically increasing the longevity of Nythysus' natural lifespan, a by-product of the genetic maintenance and toxin-removing measures enacted by the device. Surviving the horrors of the tomb and the other forsaken Acolytes who sought to test their mettle against the weakened Nythysus, the man became increasingly bitter and resentful, but with no other choice than to continue with his assigned task or face death, he pressed on, finishing the construction of his implants with the aid of a seemingly sympathetic Sith spirit who resided within the tomb, the identity of whom remains a mystery to this day. Leading the young Nythysus through a series of gruesome trials, the spirit goaded the man into murdering fellow abandoned acolytes, reminding him that the only alternative was death. In return the spirit granted him access to an ancient laboratory within the bowels of the tomb, which would contain the components required to finish the man's implants.
Finally re-emerging from the tomb after weeks of isolation, having been seen to have 'fulfilled the potential of his talents' as Necrus had promised back on Corellia, Nythysus gained a position as his apprentice, and was rewarded with a lightsaber. Initially embittered and enraged, the young man refused the offer, though he soon learned the error of his discourteousness at the hands of his future master. Faced with no chance of escape, or redemption in the eyes of his parents having killed for the pleasure of the unnamed spirit, Nythysus began to accept his new place in the ranks of the Sith, and eventually grew to appreciate and relish the new knowledge imparted by his Sith overlords, who provided the aspiring mechanical engineer and Sith apprentice with the resources needed for his projects and technological endeavours. Over the next fifty years, Nythysus watched the rise of the Empire, their constant preparation for a war on a galactic scale. During this time he, along with Necrus and various other Sith, oversaw the construction of the Imperial Fleet.
On the day of Necrus death, due to his cybernetics, Nythysus looked as young as the day he first met the Lord, though over his time at the Lord's side, he had learned much, of both the Sith, and of conquest, and as such, in addition to his technological contributions to the Empire, he inherited the esteemed title of Lord from his former master. In addition to Necrus' title, Nythysus also inherited the former Lord's various projects and schemes, including the foundations of several unfulfilled rituals and powers steeped in Sith sorcery, an area of study to which the new Lord devoted large amounts of his time in the years preceeding the Great Galactic War. Sometime between the man’s calling to the Sith, and the beginning of the Sith Empire’s galactic campaign against the republic, Nythysus returned for a short time to Corellia, wishing to make the most of the planet’s time of prosperity before the coming war. It was during this time that he would meet Derithymus, his future wife and mother of Nemotek Styx, Nythysus’ only known descendant. Some years later, in a twisted blend of terrible ill-fortune and cruel irony, given the blossoming Sith’s past occupation, tragedy struck the man when Derithymus was fatally injured during a critical engine failure and subsequent crash landing of a civilian transport shuttle on which the Sith’s wife had been passenger.
The Allure of the Dark Side
By the time the Empire finally realised their calling to war against the republic, and had officially retaken Korriban, Nythysus had fully embraced the dark side of the force, acknowledging the Sith as the ones who had allowed him to truly see the potential of his talents, and using the new-found and seemingly insurmountable sense of loss as the conduit for the rage with which he tapped into the dark side’s power. Not long after the war with the republic had first begun, and before the treaty of Coruscant, Nythysus saw action in the various rim world campaigns, surviving both the Battle of Serenno and the Reconquest of Ord Radama, further cementing the man’s now indomitable desire to live and continue to serve the growing Empire, the singular body which had been able to give the man true freedom and purpose. Subsequently, the then Lord was selected to lead several smaller skirmishes against republic troops in other battle around the outer rim. Ultimately, he triumphed, his conquest culminating in the capture of a planetary cannon defence facility, during which he lost his legs in a duel with a Jedi Master, but managed to defeat the Master by crippling him mentally, causing him to commit suicide by leaping into the reactor core of the cannon facility to escape the nightmarish visions Nythysus’ had seeded in his mind. It was the first time Nythysus had managed to successfully manipulate a mind in such a way, and would not be able to replicate the ability for some lengthily years afterward. To this day he still trains his mind to resist such attacks, should another wish to inflict them on him, as well as continuing to practise his own mental assaults on prisoners of war and traitors unlucky enough to be visited by the Sith.
After years of bloody conflict Nythysus was finally bestowed by his superiors the mantle of Darthood for his unceasing loyalty to the Sith Empire and the decisive victories the Sith contributed during the rim world battles, and subsequently, amongst other regiments of the Imperial Military, began working with a detachment of Imperial Intelligence who found themselves under his command. Through information gathered by these Intelligence operatives about the republic’s movements during the conflicts in the rim worlds, the newly annointed Darth uncovered that an Imperial defector had revealed the Empire’s tactics and planned assaults to take the worlds he had led attacks against, which had in turn led to the republic sending the encountered Jedi Master to defend the planets. The Darth took the information directly to the Dark Council, and fuelled by vengeance for his fallen comrades urged them to allow him to personally hunt down the Imperial responsible, along with other would-be defectors and traitors. The council, recognising that treachery was indeed a growing problem within the Empire, granted the Darth’s request, tasking him with leading a new order, the Phalanx of Shadows, allotting the Darth the title of Shadowmaster and providing the man with increased independence in his choice and methods of investigation.
Cleansing the Rot
Once the Phalanx of Shadows had been fully established and it’s position of power officially recognised, the newly appointed Darth ran a bloody gauntlet of ruthless inquisition through the ranks of the Empire, determined to avenge the fallen allies, mentors and students lost as a result of the actions of the defecting Imperial who had betrayed him in the rim world campaigns. Over the next couple of years, the Darth’s efforts resulted in a noticeable decline in internal anti-Imperial plots and schemes of destabilisation, cleansing the Empire of a considerable portion of the individuals who had thought to unbalance the rising galactic power from within. Following up on uncovered evidence that may have led to the discovery and capture of further rings of traitors, the Darth and his associates eventually found links to a plot involving ancient blueprints excavated from Hoth, that defecting Imperial archaeologists had attempted to hand over to republic forces, deeming that the blueprints may hold the key to a swift ending of the war and a decisive victory for the republic. Wishing to secure the blueprints for the Empire, the Darth organised for an interception of the blueprints as they traded hands between the traitors and their republic allies. A strike team comprising of the Darth, his two newfound associates, the then Lord Zerrash and Lord Ca’har, and a handful of other combatants, travelled to Hoth and eventually recovered the blueprints. The plans contained within the ancient blueprints were later discovered to be of Rakatan origin, and provided details of a discarded superweapon project – a predecessor technology to the kind found in the mass shadow generator utilised during the destruction of Malachor V.
Formation of a new Order
After numerous events leading to the dissolution of the Phalanx of Shadows, Nythysus decided to accept the honour of a position of leadership within a new order, Chao Invictus, and with the dark council’s blessing, bestowed the rank of Darth to his two most favoured allies, Zerrash and Ca’har, as a reward and recognition of their loyalty and service to him and his obligations to the Phalanx of Shadows, forming a triumvirate of leadership with the pair. During this time, the Darth is known to have taken several apprentices, though all are presumed deceased, or missing. After some time of prosperity, internal struggles for power and conflicting schemes within the order led to the order’s need for a more stable platform from which to operate, joining forces and merging with the Nyâsh directive, another order of Sith whose goals of order, purpose, maintenance of tradition and rationality mirrored that of Chao Invictus and tied in with the order’s call for strength through unity amongst those Sith who had found themselves divided by power plays and internal feuds.
Back into the Shadows
With the arrival of Zakuul and the Eternal Empire on the galactic stage, Darth Nythysus parted ways with Chao Invictus, in the process sacrificing a large portion of the accumulated military manpower gathered over his long career to the inevitable onslaught of the invading force, and in so doing allowing the man to safely flee into hiding with the rest of the key figures of the scientific and military branches of his illusive powerbase, Sfero de Iluci, awaiting the correct time to strike. He is believed to have taken refuge in a mobile facility located on the smuggler’s moon, where he roamed the planet within a small yet formidably armed mobile fortress, 'Uhl Val Tur', the 'wandering tower'; one of many technological terrors quietly forged over the years the Darth spent in service to Chao Invictus. From this ever-shifting, covert throne of security, the sorcerer and his disciples searched tirelessly for salvageable broken or discarded Zakuulan technology, ultimately with the intent of reverse engineering and studying the technology’s exploitable strengths and weaknesses, which the man then passed on to Imperial Intelligence back on Dromund Kaas for further analysis.
The Unspoken Return
After carefully biding his time, with the rule of Zakuul's oppressive regime seemingly coming to an end, the Darth returned once more to Imperial Space and slowly but steadily began to outstretch the once embedded tentacles of his influence back out into the various facets of power in the Stygian Caldera. The Sith thereafter soon returned permanently to his residence on Dromund Kaas, a quiet and lonesome homecoming that would go unannounced and surely unnoticed by most of the man's former allies. Yet where others may have seen this apparent fall from widespread and widely known identity and influence as perhaps the end of the Sith's manipulative career, the Darth and his inner circle saw only fresh prospects and new-found angles of exploitation. Armed with his extensive secrets, his gathered knowledge of the dark side and accomplished study of technology, both arcane and cutting-edge, the sorcerer now sought to rebuild his place in power anew.