- "I am the Dark Lord who will restore the Sith to glory. They call me Bane."
- ―Darth Bane
Darth Bane, born under the name of Dessel, was the Sith'ari and the Dark Lord of the Sith responsible for creating the Rule of Two. Born in 1,026 BBY, he was raised as a poor miner on the Outer Rim planet Apatros. After killing a Galactic Republic ensign in a fight in 1,003 BBY, Dessel was in danger of being arrested and imprisoned by the Republic. With the help of his friend Groshik, he escaped off-world to join the Sith Brotherhood of Darkness. Initially serving as a foot soldier in the Gloom Walkers unit, he was recognized as a Force-sensitive, and taken to the Sith Academy on Korriban.
Bane, as he had been christened, quickly became one of the best students at the Academy before he lost his faith in the dark side of the Force.
Though Bane was able to regain his confidence in the dark side, he lost
his trust in the Brotherhood of Darkness, believing it to be a flawed
organization whose leader, Kaan, was a coward and a fool. Deserting the order, Bane studied the holocron of Darth Revan, and, armed with new knowledge, helped destroy the Brotherhood, allowing him to create his own Sith Order.
He then instituted a Rule of Two, which stated that there could be only
two Sith to avoid the infighting that had plagued the Sith for
millennia. He also took both the title of Darth and an apprentice named Darth Zannah.
In 990 BBY, ten years after the destruction of the Brotherhood, Bane sought to learn how to create a holocron, through which he would pass down his knowledge to future Sith Lords. The Sith journeyed to the Deep Core world of Tython to locate the Sith holocron of the ancient Dark Lord Belia Darzu. However, while Bane was on Tython, the Jedi Order learned of his existence, and sent a group of Jedi to kill him and his apprentice. Once the Jedi arrived, they confronted
the two Sith in Darzu's fortress. Though outnumbered, the Sith were
able to defeat the Jedi; however, Bane was grievously injured. Zannah
took him to Ambria, where she convinced the healer Caleb to help them. Caleb notified the Jedi Council, only to have Zannah use her powers to drive Caleb's assistant Darovit insane. Zannah killed Caleb, then hid herself and Bane. When the Jedi arrived, they killed Darovit, believing him to be the Sith Lord. Thus, the Sith were believed destroyed.
A decade later,
Bane began to worry that his apprentice was too weak to overthrow him
and assume the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith, as was necessary under
the Rule of Two. He began to research the secrets to prolonging his
life by transferring his essence to another body, and traveled to Prakith, where he claimed the holocron of the ancient Darth Andeddu. After returning from Prakith, Bane was ambushed by a team of assassins hired by Caleb's daughter, Serra, and was captured. Taken to Doan, Bane was imprisoned and interrogated, only to covertly gain his freedom soon afterward. Encountering Zannah on Doan, Bane dueled
his apprentice, who sought to become the new Dark Lord. The fight ended
in a draw, with Bane escaping and heading to Ambria with Darth Cognus, an Iktotchi
assassin skilled in use of the dark side who Bane planned to take as
his apprentice if Zannah proved herself weak and unworthy. There, Bane
and Zannah engaged in a fateful duel that resulted in the death of the Sith'ari and Zannah claiming the title of Dark Lord. Nearly a millennium later, Bane's Sith Order defeated the Jedi Order and overthrew the Republic.