Dark Lord of the Sith
The title of Dark Lord of the Sith, or Jen’ari in the Sith language, originally referred to the ruler of the Sith Empire, and later was taken by the recognized leader of the Order of the Sith Lords. Before Kaan, there was only one Dark Lord of the Sith at a time, who was the head of the Order, with the exception of the members of the Dark Council of the Sith Emperor Vitiate’s Sith Empire who held the title of Dark Lord at the same time. In more recent periods, it was a title shared by multiple individuals simultaneously. The term referred to individuals of both sexes, though Lumiya claimed the title of Dark Lady of the Sith.
The title Dark Lord of the Sith is often thought to be synonymous with the title Darth. Contrary to this, however, is the fact that Sith apprentices have been known to carry the title as well. Two examples would be Darth Malak as Darth Revan’s apprentice, and Darth Vader as Darth Sidious’. Many Sith Lords have used the Darth title, but there is no evidence as to the synonymic relationship of these two appellations.
Sith Lord was a title that was conferred on a powerful master of Sith knowledge. Before Darth Bane established the Rule of Two, The Brotherhood of Darkness gave all Sith Lords nominal equal status among the Sith. This strategy was created to prevent the Sith from killing each other, which had been the natural order of the dark side up until the formation of the Brotherhood. Bane saw this as a violation of the natural order of the Sith and cleansed the Order by destroying Lord Kaan’s Brotherhood and supplanting it with his own Rule of Two; two Sith, one master to embody the power and one to crave it. The term “Sith Lord” generally encompassed members of both sexes, although some female Sith, such as Lumiya and Olaris Rhea, were styled Sith Lady.
Originally, “Sith Lord” referred to a high-ranking member of the Sith race’s society. As the Sith civilization progressed, many claimed the title and battled against each other to earn the superior title of Sith’ari: the Sith Overlord; Adas and Dathka Graush were such Overlords.
History of the title
The first Dark Lord of the Sith was Ajunta Pall, the leader of the exiled Dark Jedi who, after their defeat in the Hundred-Year Darkness conquered the Sith species and ruled over them as gods.
Xendor, believed to be the first Dark Jedi, is possibly the predecessor of the Dark Lords of the Sith, though he himself was never a Sith Lord (although he may have returned from the dead to take the position as the Dark Underlord many millennia later).
After the fall of the Sith Empire, Naga Sadow gave the title to his apprentice, Freedon Nadd. The spirit of the dead Dark Lord Marka Ragnos then declared Nadd’s apprentice, Exar Kun, Dark Lord of the Sith. 3,000 years later, Lord Kaan began the practice of giving the title to all members of the Order, thus making it a title shared by many Sith for the first time in their long history. After the institution of the Rule of Two, the title was naturally held by only two members at a time, one being the Sith Master and the other being the Sith apprentice.