Bumping this thread to share my revised thoughts on the identity of the being described here:
Namely I'd like to propose that it was not in fact Venamis but Sidious whom Plagueis was sensing, and what that means for Tenebrous (hint: it's better.)
This being something I picked up while in the process of compiling a new, updated respect thread for Plagueis (stay tuned darlings ), namely that contrary to what's been believed, Palpatine did feel something similar when the title of "sole Sith Lord" was conferred to him:
Logically, the only being this could really be is Anakin. No other being in the galaxy possesses greater power than him, bar perhaps Yoda or the Ones. Neither of which are at all thematically relevant to the story. Anakin is, and fundamentally. The final line could also well be an extended metaphor of the "dark before the dawn" notion that Plagueis uses in premonition of Anakin's rise earlier in the text.
Why is this important? Because Anakin's presence was concealed in the Force:
Eliminating the idea that Plagueis couldn't have being sensed Palpatine because he too failed to perceive his power in person. Instead it would appear this brief state of "apotheosis" offers a unique moment clarity.
What makes it a likelihood however if not a definite is the fact that after defeating Venamis, Plagueis remarks that though possessing a high midi-chlorian count, his opponent remained "inept" by his standards:
Referred to again here:And though Plagueis is being a bit snobbish here he's nonetheless making an empirical assessment. One he'd be highly unlikely to make had Venamis' abilities truly rivalled his own. And in terms of whose potential is likely more a "near-equal" to Plagueis, it's obviously Sheev.
There are textual parallels here too, both Plagueis and Palpatine suspect they may be feeling the presence of their deceased masters, but were arguably in fact both sensing the agent of their ultimate demise, it is, in a word, a premonition of their downfall, putting a suitable dampener on a moment of triumph.
So what does this mean for Tenebrous, you ask?
Well for starters, it means that Plagueis as of Tenebrous' death is around as powerful as as base-Palpatine is strong in the Force, by which I mean before the ritual plus the gravitic shift triggered by Plagueis own death reshaped his connection to the Force.
Tenebrous as it's been proven (and remains proven regardless of whether or not Venamis was being referred to) was significantly more powerful than his apprentice immediately prior to his death. We know that Plagueis got stronger after becoming the sole Sith Lord, but the fact he only notes this afterwards suggests it wasn't particularly profound, logically not enough to make him stronger than his master (especially given he was challenged by Venamis), and by association, Tenebrous would remain stronger than Palpatine as well.
Naturally the argument can be made that resultant of the ritual, Sidious surpassed Tenebrous. But given that Palpatine had yet to even fully realise his base potential (just a decade earlier his master's power remained beyond his comprehension), let alone through the ritual eclipse it, such an argument would bear little weight. Instead Tenebrous should be nebulously close to Sidious up until the point he surpasses Plagueis, and becomes factually the most powerful. Which I feel solidifies his standing much more so than Venamis did.
Last edited by Beniboybling on Mar 6th, 2017 at 03:46 PM
That is a decent analysis. Darth Tenebrous should be (logically) one of the most powerful Sith in galactic history. No need for a lengthy essay to acknowledge this.
However, I get the impression that the Bannite Sith weren't necessarily one-upping each other in raw strength. They were one-upping each other with innate talents and specialties.
Darth Venamis, for example, is noted to have the potential to do well in the era of Darth Bane but same is true for a large number of powerful Sith. Also, whether Darth Venamis would be able to challenge Darth Bane himself in a fight (or not), is a matter of debate.
In short, one must be careful with straightforward power-scaling. Nothing is that black and white in Star Wars.
I find it extremely difficult to power-scale characters of TOR timeline as well. A simple reason is that some TOR era characters have fantastic showings at individual capacity but failed to tackle an opponent in a fight who doesn't have feats on their level otherwise.
Last edited by S_W_LeGenD on Mar 6th, 2017 at 05:00 PM
"Darth" Venamis was not a full-fledged Sith Lord, nor in fact a Darth at all. And Plagueis was referring to his attitude, not his abilities, when he made that assessment. Altogether not sure what relevance this has to supporting your "impression."
On the other hand, the straightforward intepretation tends to be the correct one, in my experience.
I approach with the general assumption that TOR characters and shit, then work from there. You should try it.
I am not sure what my mom has anything to do with this? Keep it civil.
Let us take a look at the first 3 examples of Bannite Sith.
Darth Bane - specialized in light saber combat
Darth Zannah - specialized in Sith Sorcery
Darth Cognus - specialized in Force suppression
Darth Zannah didn't had more raw power than Darth Bane. She defeated him in a setting where she could bring her Sith Sorcery talent to bear against him. So this wasn't a straightforward victory for her. Not sure how Darth Cognus got the better of Darth Zannah.
We also know how Palpatine bested Darth Plagueis; it wasn't a fair contest. Heck, we also know how Darth Tenebrous fell. That wasn't a fair fight either. In both cases, trickery and/or cheating came into play.
Get my point now?
Therefore, straightforward interpretations and generalizations do not cut it.
Last edited by S_W_LeGenD on Mar 6th, 2017 at 07:45 PM
None of these abilities are intrinsically "better" that the other, so that only disproves this idea of one up-manship.
And Bane believed Zannah had the potential to surpass him, given her proximity to him in DoE, it's only logical that she did.
No not really, besting your master in fair combat doesn't preclude you being more powerful in the long run, and indeed, both Plagueis and Palpatine did. On the other hand, multiple sources attest to the Banite line producing more powerful Sith with each generation, so it seems fairly clear cut.
Interesting new thoughts, Beni. One problem with Plagueis and Sidious' senses during their "apotheosis", which can of course be fairly said to grant them a brief moment of extreme clairvoyance. However, Sidious failed to sense the Force in Anakin prior to his apotheosis, whereas he was able to sense the Force in Anakin in person afterwards. Whereas Plagueis failed to sense the Force in Sidious after his ascension to Dark Lord.