Darth Tenebrous, also known as Rugess Nome, was a male Bith Dark Lord of the Sith of the lineage of Darth Bane. In his public persona as Nome, he was a legendary artisanal starship designer with a reputation spanning the galaxy; as the Sith Lord Darth Tenebrous, he was a scientific mastermind possessed of a calculating intellect with an obsession on shaping the future, and the master of Darth Plagueis and Darth Venamis, and the apprentice of Darth Vadermort.
After being selected as an apprentice by Darth Vadermort, Rugess Nome became Darth Tenebrous. Together, he and his Master devoted themselves to the Grand Plan. In the mix, Darth Tenebrous constructed a red lightsaber, and would go on to wield the weapon when he either sparred or honed his lightsaber combat skills. One of the schemes Tenebrous and Vadermort devised was the development of a targeted virus that would sever the Jedi's connection to the Force; yet despite spending years developing the virus, the project was ultimately a failure.
Tenebrous eventually came to see the dark side of the Force not as a kind of malevolent mystic sentience bent on spreading suffering throughout the galaxy but as an energy source, which could, like any energy source, be manipulated.
Darth Tenebrous was a fierce, sadistic individual. To Darth Vadermort, he was loyal to a fault. Tenebrous was a rationalist in his approach to the Force, which he believed to be nothing more than a very potent tool. Nevertheless, he covered his body in tattoos and body markings representing esoteric concepts, which his apprentice discovered shortly before his master's death.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Darth Tenebrous was very powerful in the Force, and a talented lightsaber duelist, a trait that he passed on to his secret apprentice, Darth Venamis. Tenebrous was also proficient in Force speed, using it to attempt to escape the cortosis mine and used the Force to shield himself and Plagueis from a bomb's explosion. He could also hold up heavy rocks with the Force, an impressive display of telekinesis, and could fire the rare form of red Force lightning. Moreover, Tenebrous had extremely powerful precognitive abilities, able to foresee his own death, something even Darth Sidious and Darth Caedus were unable to do.
In addition, Tenebrous designed his own starship and invented his own retrovirus that could turn his midi-chlorians into maxi-chlorians, as he had great knowledge of the former, knowing which counted belayed great power.
The Sith Lord did not possess the "innate gift" of Sith sorcery, but felt Bith science was far more potent.
At the brink of the Second Sith War, Darth Tenebrous faked his own death and hid from authorities in Coruscant's underlevels. Several years later, in 200 B.B.Y, Darth Vadermort was destroyed by Ronald Potter, a Jedi prodigy who was eleven years old at the time. Less than a month later, Darth Tenebrous left the underground levels and returned to his master. With that, Darth Vadermort planned to regain his old body and strength. To achieve this goal, Vadermort would require the use of a Dark potion and that required him to return to Galactic City to obtain the main necessary ingredients, a Human’s lifespan, a Geonosian egg, a piece of durasteel rubble, and cloth from a Jedi robe.
At the start of the year, Darth Vadermort ordered Darth Tenebrous to see to it that a Padawan found his notebook. Tenebrous successfully planted the notebook on 12-year-old Annabeth Skywalker, who brought it to the Jedi Temple. She found comfort in the notebook's benefits, not knowing she was being manipulated. The notebook slowly drained the life and energy from Annabeth, transferring it to itself. Under the notebook’s control, Annabeth betrayed Ronald. At this point, Darth Tenebrous paid Annabeth a visit, and requested she show him access to an underground chamber in the Jedi Temple. Annabeth agreed to show him. Afterwards, she became upset and confused, knowing that the notebook was doing something to her, and tried but failed to destroy it with her lightsaber. Shortly afterwards, Darth Tenebbrous realized that Darth Vadermort's lightsaber was faulty, and replaced its focusing crystal with an artificial core. Vadermort would not learn this for some time. One month later, when Darth Vadermort’s soul was ready to take his physical form from Annabeth’s life, Darth Tenebrous helped Vadermort to penetrate the underground chamber. Once inside, Darth Vadermort’s ghost lured Annabeth into the underground chamber. However, Ronald Potter and his friend, Ammon Kendels, found Annabeth in time.
When they both descended a slide, they ended up in the underground chamber where Darth Tenebrous was waiting with his Master. Under Vadermort’s orders, Darth Tenebrous used the Force to cloak Annabeth’s corpse and went on to have Ronald and Ammon tightly bound and gagged to a wooden board. After Darth Tenebrous used the Force to uproot a cauldron containing the near-finished potion, he applied all the ingredients from his sack, causing it to turn from blue to red before he proceeded to obtain a piece from Ronald’s Jedi robes and added it to the Potion for his master’s rebirth. Once the final ingredient was added, the ritual was over, and Darth Vadermort regained his physical body and emerged from the cauldron. The reborn Dark Lord asked Tenebrous for his lightsaber, who explained his replacement of the crystal before handing it to him.
Darth Vadermort then set his attention on the prisoners, indirectly complimenting Annabeth for her help and beginning to mock and humiliate Ronald and Ammon. Darth Tenebrous immediately took hold of Annabeth Skywalker. Just then, the Dark Lord immediately forced the other two Padawans into a duel and immediately knocked Ammon Kendels unconscious. He then forced Ronald to fight him. Surprised by the Sith’s speed and ferocity, Ronald barely managed to block the attacks. When Squeaker, a pet Voorpak on loan from Naboo, got wind of the situation, he showed his true intelligence when he piloted a Republic cruiser and attempted a rescue, flying low towards the fight with the boarding ramp lowered. Disengaging from the Sith, Ronald and his friends quickly leaped aboard, getting inside just as the hatch closed and the ship accelerated. As the cruiser flew away, Vadermort was left fuming in the basement. Darth Tenebrous was every bit as angry.
In 198 B.B.Y., Darth Vadermort traveled to Obroa-Skai to seek out the archaeologist Kendels, father of Ammon Kendels, and obtain the famed lightsaber prototype. Darth Tenebrous was present with Vladamir when this happened.
Furious that Kendels did not know where the prototype was, Darth Vadermort angrily ordered his troops to search the museum for the prototype. He then ordered Darth Tenebrous to leave with Vladamir, and Tenebrous complied. Later on, Darth Vadermort returned to the Obroan Museum of Archaeology, where Kendels’ boss was, and demanded to know the location of the lightsaber prototype. The gruff man refused to give information, and Vadermort murdered him in anger. However, Darth Vadermort deduced that the prototype might be in Kendels' office. Darth Vadermort then disappeared into the hallways, where he met with Darth Tenebrous. Afterwards, he proceeded to break into the designated room and stole the prototype.
When Darth Vadermort initiated the Battle of the Jedi Temple, Darth Tenebrous fought Annabeth Skywalker, June Barton, and Ammon Kendels all at once, just as his master fought three by himself. Despite all three young Jedi being skilled, combined they did not equal Tenebrous' abilities. Darth Tenebrous became the last trooper standing aside from Darth Vadermort. During the duel, Tenebrous slashed at an unsuspecting Annabeth, missing his target by an inch. Seeing this, Lackbar angrily ran towards the Sith Lord as Tenebrous roared with laughter at the sight of his new challenger.
Lackbar started the duel with a quick overhand. Tenebrous, however, did not take Lackbar seriously in the least, having started dueling with a derived facial expression. As Lackbar’s lightsaber slashed and twisted, Tenebrous’ smile faltered and became a snarl, as the lightsaber battle grew ever more intense. On the way to the Slug Diner, Darth Vadermort saw this and intervened, and Lackbar rounded on him, as did Annabeth Skywalker and Ammon Kendels. Vadermort quickly fled from the four, bringing with him what Lackbar thought to be Tenebrous’ corpse. Vadermort took him to the Starship Diner and told him to stay where he was. Tenebrous complied, and Vadermort went to the Slug Diner nearby. After Vadermort's death, Darth Tenebrous returned to the Sith fortress.
Rugess Nome was widely known for creating legendary starship designs throughout the galaxy, whilst hiding his identity as a Sith Lord.
Darth Tenebrous does not appear in this book, though his presence is felt. Immediately after the Battle of the Jedi Temple, Galactic Republic officials offered a reward of 50 million credits for information leading to his capture or death. By August, the Galactic Senate voted to double the reward to 100 million though the amount was never changed. Members of the Republic Fleet offered an additional 5 million credit reward.
According to Ronald Potter's mother, intelligence officials assembled what they believed to be decisive evidence, from contemporary and subsequent interrogations and intercepted communications, that Tenebrous began a riot in a cave on Korriban. He had drawn the military there, who presumably suffered a crushing defeat on Korriban.
Midway through the school year, a clique called the CAT (Community Abroad for Tenebrous) was disbanded.
Near the end of the year, Tenebrous was nearly caught, though he was kicked out of the Sith fortress. Ronald realized he was hiding on an undisclosed planet with a small group of supporters, possible with as few as ten men.
- "If Tenebrous was on Naboo we would know, considering we sent thousands of troops into the tribal areas. If he was in our area he would have been caught by now."
- ―Ronald Potter[src]
Tenebrous continued evading the Republic in "tribal areas". Over the summer, Ronald and several other Jedi sent thousands of troops after him. Ronald assured Oliver that if Tenebrous was on Tatooine they would know.
In searching for a Sith apprentice, Tenebrous manipulated a middle ranking InterGalactic Bank agent named Caar Damask into meeting his future wife, knowing that if they had a child, their offspring would be strong in the Force. When the expected child, Hego Damask, turned five, Nome traveled to Mygeeto and was able to convince his parents to hand him over. Tenebrous took the child as his apprentice, naming him Darth Plagueis.
Mission to AlderaanEdit
After sending Darth Plageuis on a mission, Darth Tenebrous proceeded to Alderaan with a contingent of stormtroopers to take care of like business - the eradication of Jedi who could expose the Rule of Two. Upon arriving at a cave, however, he was ambushed by a trio of Mandalorians who wanted revenge on him for his Master's purging of their kind. Tenebrous killed two of them, but the third trapped him in a stasis field. From inside the field, he used the Force to dismember and murder the trooper. Despite his victory, he could not find a way to escape the field.
Soon after, he encountered Annabeth Skywalker once again, who wanted revenge on Sasma for killing her father. The conflicted woman proceeded to release Darth Tenebrous from his stasis field. She gave in to the dark side of the Force and was willing to help the Sith Lord. He gave her command of his troops and let her hunt down the Jedi on Alderaan. Tenebrous needed them alive so he could question them. Annabeth took the stormtroopers and stormed a local stronghold where the Jedi were. There she faced off against Lackbar, Ray Maulpres, and Master Thole and got away with their captured people, bringing them to Tenebrous. She told him her former Master was hunting her down, and she would come back for him despite having to flee the planet. Despite her efforts, Lackbar followed her to the prison of Karkko. Tenebrous immediately pursued, where he learned that Annabeth had just realized her true identity. At that moment he used Force lightning to knock her out. Lackbar, Thole, and Maulpres rounded on him, but Tenebrous Force blasted them away and escaped once again.
At some point, Tenebrous and his apprentice, Plagueis, traveled to the planet Bal'demnic; there, Plagueis set in motion his plan to kill his Master. When he realized that his apprentice's desire to kill him had seriously endangered the continuation of the Sith, Tenebrous expressed disappointment in his pupil, and ended up stranding the Muun where he required an enviro-suit to survive. Plagueis, angered by this, broke the Bith's neck. As the unconscious Nome slowly died, Plagueis utilized the Force to study microscopic changes in Tenebrous' body, observing the slow death of his neurons and midi-chlorians.
However, this was not the end of Tenebrous, who ensured the survival of his own consciousness into altered midi-chlorians—which he labeled maxi-chlorians. Those maxi-chlorians would then migrate not into the Force, but into Plagueis, the "diseased one". Not possessing a Bith's precision, Plagueis would never suspect Tenebrous' consciousness was inside his body, infecting cells with maxi-chlorians that would cut off the host of its Force-sensitivity. In order to fulfill his goals, Tenebrous sacrificed his ability to sense the motion of the future, something he no longer required since he already knew his future.
As his body died, Darth Tenebrous entered his apprentice's body and slipped into his cells. As the retrovirus propagated, the Bith gained access to Plagueis' powers of foresight. At that moment, he discovered and felt Plagueis' own death at the hands of his apprentice, which was only visible as a smear of darkness. That vision horrified him; Plagueis would die too soon, and Tenebrous would not fulfill his ultimate goal—seizing and becoming the Chosen One when he would appear.
Seeking an answer to understand Plagueis' complacent behavior, Tenebrous threw again his mind at the future, but could see nothing, as the retrovirus infected Plagueis' every cell; his apprentice was now robbed of his foresight power. Wholly giving himself to panic, Nome escaped Plagueis' body to think about a way out, only to discover his mummified remains. Time had passed, but the Sith Lord was unaware of it. He then wondered if his foresight, instead of being eliminated, had been twisted in upon itself, forcing him to endlessly relive his death. At that moment of realization, the Dark Lord wished he still had a mouth with which to scream.