|Chronological and political information|
- "Born Teneb Kel, the Lord of the Sith known as Darth Thanaton rose to prominence in the years before the Treaty of Coruscant, in an Empire newly reintroduced to the galaxy. The apprentice of a disgraced master, the young Thanaton was forced to fight for his place in the Empire. His love of Sith culture and tradition was reinforced by the knowledge that power is not something given, but something fought for. He learned to despise and distrust the machinations of Sith like Lord Zash, who eschew Sith customs in favor of their own deceptive power gains, and to admire the sentinels of Sith history, embodied in the ancient Sith Lords Ajunta Pall, Marka Ragnos, Tulak Hord and Naga Sadow."
- ―In-game Codex (Persons of Note)
Darth Thanaton, born as Teneb Kel, was a Human male and Dark Lord of the Sith who fought in the Great Galactic War, Cold War and Second Great Galactic War. As an apprentice, he learned the ways of the Sith under Lord Calypho and was frequently accompanied by a male Abyssin slave named Maggot.
After the arrest of Lord Calypho, Kel was sent on a dangerous mission by the Dark Council to hunt down the Emperor's traitorous apprentice, Exal Kressh. On the way, he experienced a Force vision in which he saw himself become a powerful Sith Lord named Darth Thanaton. He had even learned that Exal Kressh was a Child of the Emperor, an infiltrator among many who would do the Dark Lord's internal bidding. He had tracked Kressh all the way to Korriban and struck her down.
Once the success of his mission, Kel returned to the Dark Council and demanded that he be granted the title of Dark Lord of the Sith and be renamed what he had been given in his vision. The Dark Council granted his wish and Darth Thanaton became a member of the Council - an honor he held for almost four decades until he was defeated by his powerful rival, the future Darth Nox, on the floor of the Council chambers on Korriban. He was then executed on the spot by one of his fellow Councillors, Darth Mortis.
- "My master learned at the feet of Lord Calypho!"
The Battle of Begeren
- "Sir! Incoming!"
- ―A Sith trooper, in response to Teneb Kel's air support
With the palace retaken, the Republic forces retreating and the Governor slain, Kel reported the victory back to Imperial Command. His next order of business was to check on his Abyssin slave, Maggot, who he had used to keep contact with the main forces during the battle. Finding him passed out and surrounded by dead Republic soldiers, he awakened his friend and commended him for being a fine soldier before departing. On their way, the pair was approached by a Sith major, informing them both of his own personal gratitude, and the gratitude of the Dark Council, as well as of their immediate arrest for the crimes of Kel's master, Lord Calypho. Kel reluctantly surrendered himself and was escorted to the Imperial capital of Dromund Kaas, to face the judgment of the Dark Council.
On the Council's demand
- "We have need of a weapon, and a masterless apprentice may suffice."
- ―A member of the Dark Council to Teneb Kel
After having bested Calypho, Teneb Kel rejected him as his master. Still, the Council saw use and potential in the "masterless apprentice" and they chose him to carry out a most special mission. They told him that in order for him to redeem himself for the crimes of his former master, he would track down and assassinate the Emperor's own apprentice, a female Sith Pureblood by the name of Exal Kressh, who had betrayed the Emperor and fled into Republic Space.
Mission for the Emperor
- "Don't blame yourself. Your masters should've known better."
- ―Exal Kressh
Kel traveled to Lenico Colony Blue, a medical treatment facility, and made his way to the suites of the Colony's Baron-Surgeon Ybann the Hutt. After defeating Ybann's guards, Kel was able to obtain information from Ybann that Kressh had come to Lenico Colony Blue some weeks before. After searching four of the other colonies circling Lenico IV, Kel eventually found Kressh in stasis within a secure medical area on Lenico Colony Blue. After Kressh awoke from stasis, they commenced a duel. However, the inexperienced apprentice was easily beaten, and Kel was forced to flee for his life. In an attempt to finish Kel off, Kressh destroyed the colony's orbiting system, sending the colony crashing into Lenico IV. Kel was able to escape however, and was flown away from the planet by Maggot.
The Surface of Lenico IV
Severely injured, Teneb Kel requested Maggot to find shelter. With the ship damaged, Maggot was forced to land upon the surface of Lenico IV. Although still grievously wounded, Kel left the safety of the ship to try and salvage some of the wrecked pieces of Lenico Colony Blue to repair their ship. After defeating a large beast, Kel began to weaken from his wounds and made camp to rest. While meditating Kel had a force vision of Exal Kressh accompanied by Darth Thanaton, a masked Sith who was to guide him in his Force vision. The two led him through an Ortolan colony as Kressh recounted to Kel her history with the Emperor and hinted at the Emperor's plans. After Kressh's image dissolved, Thanaton's vision confronted Kel and destroyed him.
Kel awoke from his vision only to be confronted by Jedi Master Jerbhen Hulis. After a brief duel, Hulis revealed to Kel that he was also on Lenico Colony Blue to search for Exal Kressh. Hulis convinced Kel to aid him in rescuing the surviving colonists on Lenico IV's surface. After aiding the colonists, Kel traveled back to his ship. Upon ascending the ship's entry ramp, Kel impaled Hulis' Padawan, who had been talking with Maggot. Kel then commenced travel to Korriban as he realized the Kressh had traveled there to disrupt the Emperor's plans.
Final confrontation on Korriban
Kel arrived in the Horuset system, to find Korriban under attack by Republic forces. After skilfully making his way through the battle, Maggot piloted Kel to the Sith Academy. While Republic drop teams were battling the Academy guard, Kel entered through a secondary entrance into the Academy. In the Academy's tombs, Kel located Exal Kressh who was planning to destroy the Academy. Kressh revealed to Kel the Emperor's plans to develop a number of initiates which the Emperor could use as an extension of his will.
Kel and Kressh then again crossed lightsabers. Over the course of the duel, Kressh demonstrated her superior dueling skill and outmaneuvered Kel towards the Academy walls. Maggot then appeared and blasted Kressh, distracting and wounding her. Kressh responded by unleashing a burst of Force lightning upon Maggot. Kressh then refocused her attention upon Kel and attacked him with lightning, which destroyed Kel's lightsaber. Now disarmed, Kel was paralyzed by a Force choke from Kressh. Before Kressh could deliver the fatal blow, Kel used his telekinetic powers to summon a fallen Sith's lightsaber, with which he impaled the unwary Kressh, completing his mission.
After the duel, Kel found Maggot alive, but killed him when he learned that his slave had overheard Exal Kressh talking of the Emperor's plans during the duel. The young Sith then returned to Dromund Kaas to meet with the Dark Council: at the meeting, he refused to kneel before the Dark Council, demanding instead that they confer on him the title of Dark Lord of the Sith in exchange for information as to the Emperor's plan about creating his children for which he was undoubtfully preparing the members of the Dark Council. In demanding that hereafter he be known as Darth Thanaton, Teneb Kel identified himself with the mysterious Sith he had seen in his vision on Lenico IV. In the end, the Dark Council had consented to his demands.
As a Dark Council member
- "Tradition. Principles. History. The threads that compose our society. Zash refused to acknowledge how one little tug could ruin the whole tapestry."
- ―Thanaton lectures his future successor.
When Thanaton's underling, Darth Skotia, wound up murdered, he accused his other servant, Lord Zash, of the deed, unaware that it was in fact her new apprentice, an aspiring Sith Inquisitor (and, unknown at the time, heir to the legacy of Sith Lord Aloysius Kallig), who was responsible. Zash denied any involvement, as she was at a party in the Nexus Room Cantina. When she walked into a reprimand, Zash emerged a Darth, though Thanaton confined her to Dromund Kaas.
As Zash's apprentice ventured out into the galaxy to acquire the artifacts of Tulak Hord, Thanaton contacted them via holo, warning the apprentice not to go down with their master.
Sometime later, Zash ended up dead, killed by her own apprentice, but not before becoming a Lord of the Sith. Thanaton invited Kallig to the tomb of Darth Andru to discuss their position in his power base. He sent the Inquisitor to collect some of Andru's writings, expecting his foe to become the deceased Dark Lord's latest victim like all the others he despised. What he didn't count on was Kallig's ancestor Aloysius Kallig intervening and showing his descendant the Force Walk, which could enable them to bind a Force ghost and take their power. When Kallig returned to Thanaton to take revenge, the latter outsmarted his rival, revealing to have mastered powers that overwhelmed his foe. He left Kallig for dead, unaware that the two ghosts bound to Kallig kept them from dying. As Zash in Khem Val's body explained it, Thanaton would have needed to purge the ghosts in order to kill Kallig.
Learning of the Kallig's survival, Thanaton begin to systematically obliterate their power base, including Zash's other apprentices, but not before they gave their master the key to Thanaton's private meditation chamber. Eventually, after gaining control of four ghosts, Kallig did come to face Thanaton. Unfortunately, the power of four ghosts proved too much to handle, forcing Kallig to find a cure on both Belsavis and Voss. By then Thanaton had overthrown his superior on the Dark Council and took his place.
Thanaton was present in the duel between Darth Baras and his former apprentice, which exposed the former combatant as the false Voice of the Emperor. After this, Thanaton had to solve his problems with Kallig.
Kallig gained allies within the Imperial military after successfully testing the Silencer weapons project, which obliterated an entire Republic fleet, allowing Kallig to build a power base to rival Thanaton's. Thanaton called a Kaggath on Corellia to finally settle things once and for all.
Defeat and death
- "No... I won't be defeated. I can't be!"
- ―Darth Thanaton's last words
Seeing his status threatened, Thanaton used his full power to subdue his rival. Using the dark side and with the aid of the powerful spirits from the deceased Sith Lords, Kallig overpowered Thanaton and the Dark Lord was left to die. Close to death, he slowly crawled to his fellow Council Members, and begged them to kill his enemy, but they turned against him and in the end, Darth Mortis used the Force to break Thanaton's neck.
Moments after Thanaton's death, Kallig took his place and was granted the title of "Darth Nox".
Personality and traits
- "As you wish."
- ―Teneb Kel
When Kel became Darth Thanaton, he took it upon himself to keep lower Sith in their place, Darth Zash in particular. He was a strong traditionalist and anyone who disregarded tradition was beneath his contempt, deserving only of death. Mostly, he relies on his servants and allies to perform his tasks for him, only desiring to take direct action as a last resort. Eventually, his traditionalism was one of the main reasons that led to his downfall.
Thanaton used "tradition" as a way to hold onto his power but was in fact afraid of powerful upstarts. He set out to destroy Darth Zash's powerbase which included Kallig. He continued to argue about tradition to the Council as he tried to avoid facing a superior opponent.
Powers and abilities
- "Fear gives him strength."
- ―Darth Marr
On Lenico IV, Kel displayed the ability to not only be able to Force Jump his way across the Baron-Surgeon Ybann's suite to avoid the blaster shots of the Hutt's guard droids, but also to render the droids in question hostile towards one another while doing this, using only the Force. In addition to that Kel managed to mind trick a guard to let him through the secure area. Kel has also shown himself capable of producing Force lightning. In his first duel with Exal Kressh, Kel utilized Force Throw to toss crystalline permaglass at Kressh even though the attack was deflected by the renegade Sith apprentice. In his final duel with the Emperor's apprentice, he ultimately defeated Exal Kressh by using Force Pull to skewer her through the chest with a lightsaber.
By embracing his former Master's teaching that "vision becomes clearest as death draws near", Kel was able to see vivid Force visions, which was demonstrated during the time he spent on Lenico IV's surface. It is possible that this vision drew Kel deeper into the dark side since his eyes briefly turned sulfurous yellow when he awoke. This deep immersion in the dark side also appeared when he asked the Dark Council to name him Darth Thanaton.
During his time as a Dark Council member, Thanaton gained more power and was more powerful than his master ever was. During his last stand against Kallig, he showed his most powerful Force Lightning, which was capable of subduing a Sith on a level like his fellow Council Members. He was also capable of forming a sphere out of lightning to protect himself, with the additional effect that the sphere caused pain to anyone who touches it. Thanaton also displayed the ability of Force Flight which he used to move through the air quickly.