[COMPETITION][FAMOUS PEOPLE] - Flelm vs Xen'Mordin
The rules are as follows:
- Each participant has to make three posts.
Each post has to count at least 250 words and the maximum of 2500 words.
Not meeting the minimum word count discounts a post.
Not posting three posts makes a participant lose the debate.
The participant, who is assigned to start a debate, chooses the first option.
The first round lasts till the 10th of April.[/list:u]
Topic of the debate: Darth Bane – the saviour of the Sith or the destroyer of the Sith order?
Flelm: You provide arguments for Darth Bane being the saviour of the Sith.
Xen'Mordin: You provide the arguments for Darth Bane being the destroyer of the Sith order.
Darth Bane was a great leader who revitalized the Sith from its bloated, decaying organization into a surgical instrument capable of decisive action. To demonstrate how he did so, and indeed was the embodiment of the Sith, we need to define what the Sith are. To be Sith means to be free of all restrictions, to be willing to do whatever it took to gain power through the dark side of the Force. By imposing artificial limits on oneself, or by obeying outside forces for no other reason than the request was made, you are not being true to the tenets of the Sith.
Darth Bane’s entire early life was spent transforming him into the epitome of the Sith. He began using the dark power of the Force from an early age, without knowing it. He used the Force to, among other things, murder his father in a cold rage when he was only sixteen, survive an ambush by Republic soldiers after a sabaac game, and retaliate against a Republic squad after being blinded with a flash grenade.
As he was using the dark side to such effect, he also was training himself to not be beholden to authority unquestioningly. He objected to and mutinied against his superior in the Gloom Walkers, and later on, even under the power of the Sith Masters in the Sith Academy, he repeatedly went his own way by studying forgotten texts in the archives, and when forbidden to continue, engineered a way to keep reading them unmolested, even though it caused him a loss of face. He did not care for intangibles such as damage to his ego, and was instead obsessed with the power the dark side could offer him.
Darth Bane was the Sith’ari, a figure mentioned in an ancient Sith propechy, who was destined to make the Sith stronger than they ever were before. One translation of the prophecy, recorded circa 6900 BBY by Sorzus Syn, is as such: “The Sith’ari will be free of limits./The Sith’ari will lead the Sith and destroy them./The Sith’ari will raise the Sith from death and make them stronger than before.”
Darth Bane: One of the most well known Sith Lords of all time. He turned the concept of what being Sith meant on its head. He took thousands of years of tradition, knowledge, and power and made it something new. He did this for his own quest for power and to establish his own lasting legacy in the Galaxy.
Normally this is something we applaud. For eons the Sith have moved in the powers of the Dark Side. Men and Women would assume the title “Darth”, take students, run the infamous Sith Academy on Korriban. Armies were raised. Empire’s established. Wars fought for the sole purpose of domination and power. These were the Sith as they had been from the beginning. It was a system that worked. We see it here in our own Brotherhood. Legions of Dark Side users, learn, study, fight (along side each other and against each other).
But Bane did something unthinkable. He changed the game.
With Bane’s rule of two, there is always a master and an apprentice. Gone were the days of the great Sith Academy. Gone were the days of open warfare against the Jedi. Gone were the days of establishing dominance over the galaxy. Instead he made the Sith hide in the Shadows.
He insisted that a master would only be a master until such a time that the student was stronger and able to kill their master. This would insure the Sith continued to grow stronger and stronger. But what is strength if you do nothing with it?
Bane’s choice to cast aside millennia of work and labor sent the Sith into nearly a thousand years of hiding. We may know the names of Plagueis, Sidious, Vader. But this is only because they were the ones who finally began the final plan; the plan to eliminate the Jedi once and for all. How many countless Darth Lords were lost in time because of Bane’s singular great instruction. Wait and hid. Learn. Train. Do nothing.
To do nothing goes against the very fabric of being a Sith. How can any of those so-called Sith Lords truly hold the Darth title without showing their dominance? Bane is and will always be one of the most influential Sith Lords of all time. But this influence was a bad one. One of weakness, the way of the coward.
I thank my opponent for his arguments. I would like to note that he did not refute either my definition of what it means to be Sith, or the fact that Darth Bane was Sith’ari by becoming the embodiment of the Sith, and fulfilling the prophecy. I will take my opponent’s points one by one.
First, it’s argued that what Darth Bane did was to further his own ambition, power, and legacy, and that is bad. Instead, what Darth Bane did was to bring back the Sith order from complacency and mediocrity to its roots in homage of the dark side of the Force. His every move was to strengthen the dark side and honor history: his study of the ancient texts, trying to commune with Sith spirits on Korriban, his search for an apprentice that was not corrupted into the status quo and instead wanted to fulfil their full promise as a Sith Lord. Also, the fact that he did not try to take control of the Sith Academy shows that he was not interested solely in his own legacy; he would have had an easy time cementing his place in history if he had defeated the Republic at that time. Darth Bane’s sole goal was to return the Sith Order to its roots, to empower and honor and use the dark side of the Force.
My opponent next argues that the Sith Academy worked, comparing it to our current Dark Brotherhood, and recounting the various powerful Sith who would take the title “Darth”. Close to its founding, yes, the Sith Academy was a bastion of the dark side and fully invested in the empowerment of such, but as time grew, it stagnated and grew to become a mockery of the Sith ideals. By the time Bane entered the academy, instruction was regimented such that students were discouraged from choosing their own path, as shown by Bane being effectively barred from the archives. Also, the title “Darth” was even prohibited from being taken, by Lord Skere Kaan; to prohibit something runs completely counter to Sith doctrine. The Sith Academy, and the Sith Order itself, by the time Darth Bane entered it, was not something to be admired and was not worthy of the name Sith.
My opponent also makes a few arguments that I believe can be summarized as such: to be Sith is to show overt power and dominance through open conflict and warfare. This is not how I define the Sith; as I stated in my previous argument, I believe that to be Sith means to gain power through any means necessary; if those means include hiding and biding your time, so be it. Darth Bane’s Grand Plan and Rule of Two, however long they took, eventually resulted in the downfall of the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order, goals which the Sith have long wanted to accomplish.
I’d also like to make the argument that Darth Bane, in his research that was discouraged or prohibited by the Brotherhood of Darkness, empowered the Sith by implementing Darth Revan’s Rule of Two. This brought back the Sith to a place of power and stability. In the Sith Academy and the Brotherhood of Darkness, while there was the semblance of power, the shifting alliances meant that any weaker enemies could gang up and pull down a stronger rival, weakening each individual Sith, and therefore the order as a whole over time. With the Rule of Two, if you started with a strong master, as was Darth Bane, a single apprentice would by definition need to be stronger to bring their master down, ensuring over time the Sith would grow in strength, concentrated in two people.
My opponent raises many good points, and concerns over my opening statement. I would like to note however that I did not refute any of his points previously, because it was my opening statement, and would have been very rude to just attack his points without first laying out my own points for why Darth Bane was destroyer of the Sith Order. I would now like to address the points he raised in his opening statement as well as his issues with my own opening statement.
My opponent opens with a statement saying that Darth Bane turned the Sith into a surgical tool capable of action from a bloated, decaying organization. This is an interesting point to come out with. The Sith had experienced ups and downs throughout the millennia. This organization achieved accomplishments such as driving back the Mandolorians from taking over the galaxy and multiple conquering’s of large sections of the galaxy. Even today, our own Brotherhood completely ignores Bane’s Rule of Two. Are we a bloated and decaying organization? We may not have control of the entire galaxy, but together this Brotherhood stands strong, even against the forces of the One Sith.
My opponent then delivers his own definition of what it means to be Sith. His definition clearly comes from aspects of the Ancient Sith code. “My chains are broken, the force shall set me free.” My opponent directly states that to be Sith is to be free of all restrictions. Sith are “willing to do whatever it took to gain power through the dark side of the Force”. He also says directly that “By imposing artificial limits on oneself, or by obeying outside forces for no other reason than the request was made, you are not being true to the tenets of the Sith.”
This definition is one I can completely agree with. Sith are not bound by limitations. Sith do whatever is necessary for power and freedom. This definition is the exact opposite of what Bane’s Rule of Two accomplishes. Bane goes to lengths to ensure that there are only ever two Sith, a master and an apprentice. This is an artificial limit. The Sith had shown for ages that they can survive and even thrive in large numbers. By my opponent’s own definition of what being Sith is, he contradicts what Bane’s actions accomplished for the Sith order.
The events of Bane’s early life are inconsequential. As is the fact he repeatedly failed to follow his master’s orders. Sith have always been encouraged to be rebellious, but only if they can succeed with it. Getting away with breaking the rules is a large part of the training they underwent.
A large part of Bane’s concept from the Rule of Two, is that the student would eventually kill and become the master themselves. With only two Sith around, this would ensure there was always a strong hand as the master. This already was occurring when the Sith were in larger numbers. Students overthrowing their masters wasn’t just common place, it was expected by every Sith that at some point their apprentice would attempt to destroy them.
As for the ancient prophesy. We do see that Bane did infact “kill” the Sith. He removed the mass numbers there had been to two. This then led to almost a thousand years of the Sith being next to nothing. It was only after the plans and wisdom of Darth Sidious that the Sith returned to truly accomplish anything. And even then, it led to his own downfall and the destruction of his great Empire. We here in the Brotherhood understand the failings of Bane’s Rule of Two. This is why our numbers are like unto the past before Bane’s crazy and failing idea.
My opponent has also taken some time to attempt to refute my own points. First he insists that Bane did not create the Rule of Two for his own legacy. Just because he did not attempt to crush the Republic like so many of the other Sith Lords in history does not mean it was not part of his own deep seated need for power. By instigating the Rule of Two, Bane insured there was a direct lineage of all future Sith Lords directly back to himself. What greater legacy can there be than to insure that the successes of ALL future Sith linked directly back to himself?
My opponent then argues that at the time of Bane, the Sith Order was completely against the concept of being Sith. But I must ask, what are rules to a Sith? It is far from uncommon for a Sith Lord to create rules to secure their own rule and delay the time for their students to over throw them. As my opponent pointed out in his first post, to be Sith is to be free of restriction. Successful Sith didn’t just follow the rules. They broke them and took power for themselves. In a way it can be argued that this is exactly what Bane was attempting to accomplish during this time in his life.
However, the Rule of Two is truly the greatest part of Bane’s legacy and it was completely hypocritical to decry the Sith Order of his time for having rules in place (that were meant to be broken by those who had the will and drive to succeed) and then instigate the largest and most drastic rule of all.
My opponent also misses the point of my argument that many of that many of these Sith Lords accomplished nothing by waiting and hiding. He comes to the conclusion that I believe Sith are only successful through open warfare and conflict. This is false. My point was however that there is little evidence that a majority of the Sith Lords accomplished anything by waiting in the shadows. Sith Lords have to leave some form of mark on the universe, and that can be through conquest or through knowledge. Yet how many of the Sith Lords between Bane and Plagueis can you name? How many can we point and say “this is what they added to dark side”?
He finally says that the Rule of Two ultimately lead to the continuing growth of power for the Sith. With age can come wisdom and knowledge, but every student of the Sith knows that it also makes the body weak. And eventually the mind itself can deteriorate. The Rule of Two in no way insures that a student would overthrow their master at the HEIGHT of their power and capabilities. Even the great Darth Sidious, killed his master in his sleep. But he later admitted that not even he learned Plagueis’ knowledge of how to create life and prevent people from dying.
What the Rule of Two does however, is create a great opportunity for the line of Dark Lords to be ended completely. With only two Sith, there are so many things that can happen which would result in the death of both Master and Student.
In summary, by my opponent’s own definition of what it means to be Sith, Darth Bane failed. And the argument that it would ensure the growing power of Dark Side is a weak assumption at best. While before Bane, the Sith would have its ups and downs of success, he insured almost a thousand years of nearly blank history. Darth Bane destroyed the Sith Order and ignored the very fabric of what it meant to be Sith. It is only recently, that the Dark Side and the Sith Order has begun to recover.
I wish to apologize for my late response to this debate, to my opponent and the moderator. I thank my opponent for his concerns about my statements, and his counter-refutation. I don’t wish to spend too much time rehashing earlier points, so I will quickly summarize.
First, he speaks about the accomplishments of the Sith Empire and indeed, there were many. However, just before the rise of Darth Bane, the Sith Empire had devolved into infighting and civil war, creating a myriad of less powerful Sith Lords. Skere Kaan was able to easily come in and defeat the remnants of the ancient and storied Sith Empire, and re-invent it in the Brotherhood of Darkness.
In fact, it may be said that the Sith tradition was already destroyed due to Skere Kaan’s new order, and Darth Bane brought it back on the ruins of this new ideology. The Sith Empire was absolutely bloated, and Skere Kaan’s new academy was a mockery of the old Sith Academy on Korriban. The comparison between our current Dark Brotherhood and Skere Kaan’s is not accurate. Our organization moves with a strict purpose, and no member is discouraged from knowledge and power. The Brotherhood of Darkness had but one goal; to increase Kaan’s power. The ancient tradition of the Sith was discarded before Darth Bane ever arrived.
I am glad we agree on the definition of what it means to be Sith, but one important note my opponent ignored from my words is the idea that limitations should not be artificially imposed, and that rules should not be blindly followed. This is why I do not view following the Rule of Two as a limitation in the traditional sense. In fact, Darth Bane himself didn’t follow the Rule of Two strictly. He had two apprentices, Darth Zannah and eventually Darth Cognus, who were alive simultaneously. The idea of the Rule of Two is just a logical conclusion from the facts. It’s more of a guideline, really. The teaching of the Rule of Two is that many weak opponents can drag even a behemoth down. With foresight, and caution, this weakness can be mitigated, but if you do not know this is a weakness in the first place, you cannot predict the danger. And my opponent misses my point with the apprentice overthrowing their master. The issue wasn’t that a single apprentice would overthrow a single master; the problem was that four or five apprentices would pool their strength to overthrow a Sith Lord when they would not normally have a sliver of a chance to do so alone.
I concede my opponent’s point that little was “accomplished” in the galaxy at large between Darth Bane and Darth Sidious, but I argue that was Darth Bane’s plan all along. He knew that the Sith as they stood would not prevail in a frontal assault on the Jedi Order, so a more insidious method (no pun intended) would be necessary. I’m unfortunately not a student of history, and so my opponent’s other point that the lineage between the two Darths was useless cannot be refuted by me, but the fact that we are able to trace from Sidious back to Bane shows that Bane’s ideas and methods worked.
As with my opponent I do not wish to spend too much time rehashing all the points brought up during this excellent debate.
Darth Bane was a Sith Lord who would easily make the list of any top five most impact Sith Lords. He changed the game and methods of the Sith Order completely from how it had been established for thousands of years. This change was in effect for over a thousand years itself. It was not until our recent history that the disciples of the dark side have begun to recover in numbers. This change put the entire survival of the Sith Order at risk.
My opponent insists that the ancient traditions of the Sith Order were already destroyed. I do not see it that way. Was it far from what it could and should have been? Yes. But it was Bane’s actions that brought about a thousand years of the Sith Order not recovering to its former glory. His actions held the Sith both perilously close to destruction, but also prevented it from obtaining the glory it once had.
Nor did I ignore the points of artificially creating and blindly following rules. There were thousands of years showing the power of the Sith Order and what it could accomplish without the rule of two. Our own Brotherhood continues to show that today. Much like Skere Kaan’s rules limiting knowledge, Bane’s Rule of Two lacked a basis from the thousands of years of history the Sith Order had already endured. It was an artificial rule created by Bane to cement his own line of Sith Lords and give his own view of the Dark Side a lasting legacy.
This rule was very much blindly followed, as evident by the THOUSAND YEARS of it being in place. There is not a single other Sith Lord who implemented a rule on how the Sith were to conduct themselves that lasted such as this one.
I will not deny that Darth Bane was a powerful, wise and capable Sith Lord. Nor will I ever wish to understate the massive impact that he had on the followers of the Dark Side. But I stand absolutely with the side that his impact was far from being a savior of the Sith and much more inline with being a crippling one.