If the dealing of death were a trade of the artisans, then there are none finer than the Brotherhood.
—King Oculus VII
The Brotherhood of Sicarius, also known as the Sicarian Order, the Sicarian Dervishes, and archaically as the Seyugi Dervishes, were a male-exclusive Force-sensitive order of assassins that originated on the sulfuric planet of Recopia, located in the Core Worlds. They were founded several centuries before the Battle of Yavin IV by a Force-sensitive leader of the Seyugi culture named Karrh. Dervishes used their abilities with the Force to enhance their unarmed combat skills and to locate their targets. They also sold their services as hired killers and terrorized the Core for several centuries. The Jedi Order recognized the threat the Dervishes posed and spent decades eliminating their bases in the Core and Mid Rim. By the outbreak of the Clone Wars in 22 BBY, the Jedi believed that the Dervishes were extinct. However, a few hundred survivors relocated to a hidden fortress in Recopia and froze themselves in carbonite, waiting for an opportunity to return to the galaxy.
The Seyugi Dervishes were formed from the extinct Seyugi culture on the sulfuric planet of Recopia, which was located in the Core Worlds. The Seyugi were nomads that traveled in Recopia's atmosphere on huge repulsorlift barges. The rest of Recopia's population regarded the Seyugi as a culture of outlaws. Several hundred years prior to the Battle of Yavin, a Force-sensitive Seyugi leader named Karrh gathered warriors that showed Force potential and began training them in stealth tactics; Karrh also imparted to these acolytes his views on the Force. These warriors became the first Seyugi Dervishes and began eliminating various threats to the Seyugi people. Eventually, the Dervishes spread throughout the Core, establishing bases on most of the Core planets and a few in the Mid Rim. They sold their services as assassins, albeit for an expensive price. The Dervishes specialized in killing nobles, heads of corporations, and other important figures. The Sith Lord Darth Bane believed that the Dervishes had turned their combat abilities into an art form and at some point after the Ruusan campaign, he mentioned the Dervishes in his book, The Rule of Two.
Eventually, the Dervishes attracted the attention of the Jedi Order, which decided to end the threat that they posed. The Jedi's campaign against the Seyugi Dervishes went on for decades, and the Jedi managed to eliminate all the Dervishes' bases in the Mid Rim and the Core. By the outbreak of the Clone Wars in 22 BBY, the Seyugi Dervishes were believed by the Jedi Order to be extinct. However, a few hundred Dervishes retreated to a secret temple-fortress on Recopia and froze themselves in carbonite, waiting until a more opportune time to return to the galaxy. Several years later, the Dervishes were accidentally revived by one of the Mallif monks. One of the Dervishes, Razi Khan, killed the monk and tried to reach the island-chain city of Scapio to locate someone who could open the Seyugi vaults beneath the fortress. Khan kidnapped a slicer, but was caught, forcing the Seyugi Dervishes to go into hiding once again.
By the time the Seyugi Dervishes' natural carbonite cycle ended in 250 ABY, the organization experienced a revival in activity and animosity. This period was called "the resurrection", and lasted centuries, until infighting nearly caused the organization's destruction, beginning in 1,000 ABY. After nearly three centuries of internal strife and conflict, an individual that came to be considered the greatest assassin the Dervishes ever produced, named Ellic Sicarius, quelled the infighting, restored order and began rebuilding the organization. Following his death, the Seyugi Dervishes renamed themselves after their fallen leader, and took up the name of the "Brotherhood of Sicarius" (or "Sicarian Order" as it was also called), although still referred to themselves as "Dervishes". By the time of the Extant War in 2,103 ABY, the Brotherhood of Sicarius had returned to its former strength and exceeded it, although again saw near-destruction over the course of the conflict.
At the time of its inception, the Seyugi Dervishes were more tribal in nature, and were led by a solitary figure, called the Black Hand. Over time, particularly as the Seyugi Dervishes began to grow in number, influence and demand, a governing body to rule over the increasing activities of the organization. Simply known as the Covenant, the ruling body was made up of the older, wiser and more weathered assassins of the Dervishes, and all answered directly to the Black Hand.
Over several centuries, more ranks were eventually developed to further organize the Seyugi Dervishes from being less tribal in nature and more practical. Special positions were also eventually incorporated, as specific duties were assigned to Dervishes depending on their particular affinities and natural abilities. Within those positions were seniority, which were exercised depending on the accomplishments of the individual; achievement and performance dictated one's standing amongst peers, as opposed to age alone.
After conflicts began with the Jedi Order, the leadership of the Dervishes was thrown into flux, and for several successive centuries thereafter, scarcely any form of leadership or eldership existed. Years after the revival of the Seyugi Dervishes, the Covenant was reinstituted, and eventually a new Black Hand was chosen. After internal fighting tore the Dervishes asunder, the position of Black Hand fell out of usage for another three centuries, before Ellic Sicarius reclaimed the title after ending the inner conflict within the organization.
By the time of the Extant War, the positions of Black Hand, the Covenant and the seniority system that denoted eldership among equals was reintroduced and in effect.
Ranks and positions
- Dervish Prospect – Young Force-sensitive males inducted into the Brotherhood, either via abduction or through inheritance of birth, are initiated first as Prospects. Although there was a substantial degree of training involved, Dervishes were given the vast majority of their practical tutelage through "learning-by-doing", usually in the form of assisting their Overseer in various contracts. A Prospect ascended in rank only after successful completion their first official contract without aid.
- Dervish Eliminator - Eliminators were the most common rank among the Dervishes, and made up the bulk of the Brotherhood's forces. Fully trained assassins but typically without the benefit of many years of expertise, Eliminators are restricted to their rank for a minimum of ten years before they can be considered for ascension for higher positions.
- Dervish Silencer – Silencers were the tested and tempered of the Dervishes, skilled assassins and executioners that had hones their skills through a minimum of a decade of flawless and exemplary work. Silencers were experts in killing, able to use their bodies, external weapons or the Force equally to accomplish their objectives. Silencers with especially remarkable abilities were potentially elected to become Wraiths.
- Dervish Wraith – Wraiths were the elite of the Brotherhood of Sicarius and represented the best the Dervishes had to offer. A position held by only a select few, Wraiths were among the first targets by the Jedi Order during the first conflict between the two organizations, as it was from among their ranks that the members of the Covenant were taken. Most Wraiths were known to have thousands of deaths on their hands as individuals, with many even being known for slaying Jedi and Sith. The most powerful of the Wraiths is given the position of the Black Hand.
- Black Hand - The Black Hand was the title given to the leader of the Brotherhood of Sicarius. A position of great responsibility, the Black Hand was elected from amongst the Wraiths as the greatest of them, and was looked to for direction and guidance. The Black Hand's authority was unchallenged and indisputable.
- Dervish Overseer – Overseers were Dervish assassins that oversaw the tutelage of Prospects, or in some cases Eliminators. Supremely skilled, Overseers had honed their abilities to such a finesse that they were able to carry out assassination missions while also being able to preserve the well-being of their apprentices, which they take with them. Because of the necessity for high ability, Overseers were taken from the ranks of Wraiths.
- Dervish Purifier – Purifiers were feared Dervish assassins that were responsible for the execution of other Dervishes. Answerable only to the Black Hand, from whom they also receive their orders, the Purifiers were dispatched to eliminate fellow Dervishes that either rebelled against the Black Hand or Covenant, attempted to leave the organization, were expelled from the organization, or otherwise were deemed as being a threat to the Brotherhood. Purifiers were of the rank of Silencer.
Philosophy, training, and techniques
The Force adepts that adhered to the Seyugi Dervish tradition usually ignored the Jedi Order's theories on the Force. The Dervishes viewed the Force as a way to master their bodies and hone them into weapons. While the Dervishes used the Dark Side of the Force and committed deeds that were evil, they did not follow many dark side practices. They abstained from random acts of violence and chaos and were motivated by avarice and personal gain, not power. They also possessed patience, which was often utilized during their training, and hid their emotions. Further still, many Dervishes also made regular usage of powers typically associated with the Light Side of the Force, to better round their overall proficiency as assassins.
The Dervishes sought out infants to older younglings who showed Force potential for training in the Seyugi Dervishes' ways. They trained recruits from this age group so that the initiates became fanatical to the Sicarian Order's tradition. When a potential trainee was located, the Dervishes kidnapped and sent the child to one of their many bases to begin a lifelong study of the Force tradition and monastic practices. After a Sicarian Dervish had trained for fifteen years, the apprentice was sent on his or her first mission with a master who monitored the learner's actions from afar. Should the apprentice fail, the master removed any trace of the incident. After a Dervish apprentice completed the necessary training, the individual was free to explore the galaxy, although the Dervish still received orders from his or her masters through the Force and encrypted transmissions.
The Sicarian Dervishes were masters of unarmed combat. They were capable of sneaking into an armed fortress and murdering their targets discreetly and with incredible speed. The Dervishes were named such by the few survivors of their attacks, who described their confusing, whirling movements as a "beautiful dance of death". Many Dervishes opted on an abstinence of weapons, preferring to use their unarmed skills and the Force to complete their objectives. However, most still at least kept archaic-styled weaponry on their person, as such was considered practical among them as well. Swords were particularly favored by Sicarian Dervishes, and some were also known to carry throwing knives. They did not typically carry much equipment unless an assignment called for it, and the usage of blasters were very rare.
The Dervishes archaically wore red clothing and white masks not only to conceal themselves, but to capitalize on the fear that the outfits caused. Dervishes studied the anatomies of a variety of different species so that they could locate a species' central nerve clusters and cause more damage to an individual. However, between the time of their resurrection and the Extant War, this fell out of practice, and all-black garbs and masks became more commonplace. Most Dervishes preferred to work alone, but on occasion, they combined forces to complete a hazardous task. In rare instances, a Sicarian Dervish hired mercenaries for assistance, including demolition experts and computer slicers. The mercenaries were usually unaware of who their employer truly was, and they were murdered by the Dervish to keep the Dervish's identity a secret.
Relations with the galaxy
The Brotherhood of Sicarius had endured both hostile and beneficial relationships with various groups and organizations across the galaxy throughout its history. Among the original Seyugi society, the Dervishes were considered to be a nomadic culture of outlaws, but were still regularly called upon by governmental authorities to perform assassinations, abductions, and sabotage. It was unknown how long the Seyugi Dervishes were in existence prior to the fall of their people's civilization, although the Dervishes themselves survived their society's fall without any apparent hindrance.
By the time the Seyugi Dervishes spread out across the Core Worlds and the Mid Rim galactic regions, their organization was considered to be a deadly but largely powerless group of rogue Darksiders, of which the Jedi Order turned a negligent eye in expectation that the Dervishes would ultimately soon destroy themselves. Adopting the method of inducting members from the practices of the Jedi Order, the Dervishes grew in numbers and in influence over several centuries, and by the end of the New Sith Wars, had earned repute from nearly all who had heard of them and utilized their services.
Eventually, the Jedi Order was unable to ignore the threat posed by the Seyugi Dervishes, one of which was the fear that their organization could eventually give birth to a new breed of Sith, and began a campaign with the Galactic Republic to purge the Dervishes from the galaxy. It was unknown when the conflict began or how long it lasted, although by the outbreak of the Clone Wars in 22 BBY, the Dervishes were thought by the Jedi Order to be extinct.
Since that point, relations between the Jedi Order and the revived Seyugi Dervishes were tense at best and outright hostile at worst. Several conflicts between the two groups occurred again after 250 ABY, until the Dervishes nearly destroyed themselves through infighting in 1,000 ABY. Following their renewed stability and rebirth as the Brotherhood of Sicarius, periodic conflicts between the Jedi Knights and Sicarian Dervishes resumed, until the outbreak of the Extant War.
The Galactic Republic had once been a source of the Seyugi Dervishes' most regular employers for centuries. Almost since their expansion into the rest of the galaxy, the Dervishes had found employment by generals, aristocrats and politicians within the Galactic Republic's government. However, to an unknown extent, the Republic nevertheless turned on the Dervishes when the Jedi Order petitioned their help in a campaign against the order of assassins.
As a group of Dark Side wielders without the inclusion of Sith arcanism, the Sith Order had historically regarded the Seyugi Dervishes as skilled, but inferior, Dark Side warriors. Interactions between the two groups had been relatively minimal throughout galactic history, but on at least one occasion, Darth Bane had regarded the Dervishes as having achieved such mastery of using the Dark Side as an assassin's tool, that they had recreated murder as a form of art. After their revival in 250 ABY, the Sith Order had regularly called upon the Seyugi Dervishes to perform assassinations, both outside and inside the region of space that would eventually be called the Sith Hegemony.
Relations between the Sith and Dervishes were nearly destroyed completely when a Sith Lady, Darth Nikitus, attempted to seize control of the Brotherhood of Sicarius, leading to a brief and intense conflict between the two groups. Following the conflict's end, relations between the two groups remained cool, although by the time of the Extant War, resentment between the Sith and Dervishes had apparently been extinguished to the point that the Dervishes were regularly employed by the Sith again.
Karrh was a Force-sensitive male who led the Seyugi people several centuries prior to the Battle of Yavin. He gathered warriors with potential in the Force and trained them in the arts of stealth and assassination. Karrh and his fellow Dervishes began to eliminate threats to the Seyugi people, and Karrh became the first Black Hand.
Razi Khan was a member of the Seyugi Dervishes. Before the Jedi Order nearly destroyed the cult, several of its members, including Khan, were frozen in carbonite underneath the Mallif Cove on Recopia. Some years later, they were accidentally revived by one of the monks of Mallif Cove. Khan killed the monk and tried to reach the island-chain city of Scapio in an effort to locate someone who could open the Seyugi vaults beneath the fortress. He kidnapped a slicer, but was apprehended, forcing the Seyugi Dervishes to go into hiding once more.
Considered to be the greatest assassin ever produced by the Seyugi Dervishes, Ellic Sicarius was an assassin alive at some point during the civil war that had afflicted the Seyugi Dervishes, which originally occurred roughly 1,000 ABY. Ellic Sicarius had managed to end the conflict engulfing the Dervishes some three hundred years later, and rose to the position of Black Hand, which had been vacant for centuries. Following his death, the organization was rechristened to his namesake.
Arguably the most famous assassin of the Brotherhood of Sicarius in galactic history, Xaga Terron was a Force-sensitive warrior trained from his youth on Ilos. While previously considered to be a Sicarian Dervish of respectable talent and ability, Terron only attained galactic fame upon the discovery of his status as one of the three Logos of the galaxy, and his possession of Void powers. Eventually, Terron sought to use his new-found powers to usurp Estra Koylak, the leader of the Sicarian Order, when the Brotherhood revoked their allegiance to him.
The Black Hand during the era of the Extant War, Estra Koylak was the leader of the Brotherhood of Sicarius during the invasion of the Charon Dominion. Little was known about him aside from the fact that when Xaga Terron's status as a Logos was revealed to the galaxy, Koylak had the Brotherhood sever ties to Terron, and even organized at least one assassination attempt on his former subordinate.
Regarded as the most deadly Purifier of the Sicarian Order, Qza-Tar was a prodigy from a family which produced a long line of assassins, with himself possessing exceptionally potent telepathic powers. Following Xaga Terron's expulsion from the Brotherhood of Sicarius, Qza-Tar was eventually dispatched by Estra Koylak to eliminate Terron, in order to prevent the compromising of the organization.