Here follows the account of Byss' formation and destruction, from Emperor Validus' own hand: -
Unknown to the rest of the galaxy, which was in chaos at the time and had enough to worry about, Darth Validus had brought his loyalists to the ruined world of Byss. Destroyed by the Galaxy Gun misfiring long ago, the planet was now nothing but a vast field of debris and rocks the size of small moons. Validus, however, knew certain things that he should not have; about how Byss contained an ancient citadel much, much, older than the one Palpatine had constructed on top of it, that this citadel would have survived the cataclysm that destroyed Byss. Most importantly, he knew where it could be found. Landing on one of the larger, lava-strewn, moons created from the planetary debris, Validus proved his knowledge as a large, spire-like, tower loomed out of the thick volcanic haze. Opening the doors to this structure with but a mere touch, Validus led his followers within, where dark secrets would be imparted to them over the following weeks.
When his followers, his new cult, emerged from the tower they were changed. Subtly altered, yet remarkably different. Their skill with the Force was increased, doubled in some cases, utilising these newfound abilities to pull smashed, broken, crippled Star Destroyers down from Byss' orbit; part of the vast fleet that anchored here during the time of the Clone Emperor crisis. Over the course of years these craft were repaired, outfitted, manned and operational. One, two, five, ten, a fleet working with Force-enhanced skeleton crews, more than a match for the fleets of a leaderless and chaotic galaxy.
Their first assignment was to take the world of Kuat, which the fleet did with military precision. Suprise is a powerful weapon when your foes are not expecting a well-armed and trained fleet of (albeit aging) Star Destroyers to land in their lap. With this first world taken, its shipyards were put to work creating the war machine that would see Darth Validus' dream become a reality.
A stunned galaxy reacted with shock and horror when the spacelanes were flooded with but a single message after this resounding victory; the self-coronation of Darth Validus as Galactic Emperor. Byss was flooded with returning Sith, rallying to the banner of something - someone - to believe in and give them direction again, all swearing allegiance to Emperor Validus. The Sith Empire was born.
Troops were mustered, fleets were built, a coordinated war machine pistoning at the heart of the new Sith Empire, compared to the scrambling efforts of the rest of the then chaotic galaxy. There was no competition, nothing to stop the Sith steamrollering over vast portions of the galaxy; which is exactly what they did.
With Emperor Validus personally commanding the conquest of the known galaxy, Coruscant fell, followed by many of the inner and outer core worlds, with only the outer ring worlds still held in rebel or Jedi hands at the end of this "crusade". The Sith Empire was simply the only military war machine of this time period, there was nothing to stop it, nothing to slow its expansion or the flamboyant display of its imperial might.
The golden age of the Sith Empire had begun.
The SSD Ravager
At the very height of the Empire's power, Emperor Validus ordered that a command ship should be immediately constructed to serve as his flagship. This new ship would be based on a Sovereign-class Super Star Destroyer subframe, with Emperor Validus personally overseeing the modification and completion of the project.
Rumours spread that the Emperor did not want to use this ship in combat, that some of the modifications had the engineers extremely concerned, that this ship was part of a secret black-ops project that only the Emperor himself had planned.
Although this was all conjecture on the part of the engineers working on the project, it would turn out to be entirely true. Unfortunately for its loyal citizens, Validus considered his grand Empire nothing more than a means to an end; a way to aquire enough resources to construct the Ravager. Once the Ravager was complete, the Emperor boarded the titanic craft and immediately departed towards the Unknown Regions, leaving his Empire headless and without direction.
Fall of an Empire
Without the strong Force-bonded leadership of its Emperor, the Sith Empire turned in on itself. Within the space of a few short years it had completely self-annihilated, leaving open space ripe for conquest to other factions. Of its previous Emperor, nothing was heard from for years more.
The Return of Validus
When the Ravager jumped back into known space the remnants of the old Sith Empire on the now crumbling planetoid of Byss were at first shocked, then overjoyed, but their joy would be short lived. The Ravager immediately fired its axial-mounted superlaser, turning the moon-sized rock into a moon-sized lump of lava and annihilating the last traces of the old Sith Empire. Other Empires would rise in its place, some even taking its name, but none would be as effective or as ruthlessly efficient.
But why did Validus leave his Empire to die? What was he looking for in the Unknown Regions? What was worth sacrificing an Empire that spanned half the galaxy to look for? Why did he need the Ravager to get it?
These questions do have answers, but the Galaxy may not like what they hear when those answers are spoken.
Destius 15:30, 24 November 2008 (UTC)