The New Sith War, also known as the Draggulch Period, and known to the Sith as the War of the Fittest, The Betrayal and The Curse of Qalydon, is the name given to the thousand years of conflict between the Jedi and the Sith, which lasted from approximately 2,000 to 1,000 BBY. The last century of the conflict is commonly known as the Republic Dark Age, and the name Light and Darkness War is sometimes specifically applied to the final series of battles between the Sith Brotherhood of Darkness and the Jedi Army of Light.
For almost a thousand years after the final Alsakan Conflict, the galaxy had enjoyed an era of relative peace and social and economic stability. The Sith had not been heard of since the end of the Cold War sixteen hundred years prior, and what little remnants of that order existed, posed no threat to the now unchallenged, if complacent Jedi.
During this period, a Jedi Master named Phanius resigned his commission, citing ideological objections to current Jedi dogma. Though his peers disagreed with his views, the parting was amicable, and Phanius would be commemorated as the first of the Lost Twenty, a special group of revered Jedi who had nevertheless felt the need to leave the Jedi Order.
Behind such amiability, however, the Umbaran Jedi harbored darker thoughts, ones unknown to his Jedi peers. His true reasons for abandoning his Jedi committment was linked to his intention to pursue prohibited teachings. Phanius disappeared from public view, and when he re-emerged, it was as Darth Ruin, the first Dark Lord of the Sith in a thousand years, and preaching a creed of malevolent solipsism. Ruin's transformation was total, and such was the disconnect between his original persona and his new mantle, that Ruin's former Jedi peers never realized that their new foe was once their cherished friend, Phanius.
Darth Ruin's nascent order quickly grew - fifty Jedi Knights deserted to join shortly after, in an event that would be later labeled the Fourth Great Schism of 2,000 BBY. He filled out the rest of his new order's ranks by first infiltrating and then uniting the surviving Sith clans under his own leadership.
Merciless and supremely-self-centred, Ruin's capricious and egocentric whims led to the deaths of many of his own followers and, eventually, Ruin's single-mindeness proved to be his undoing - he was eventually killed by his minions after a defeat. Despite Ruin's death, the rebirth of the Sith was complete.
In the ensuing decades, the Sith quickly carved out a sprawling dominion, labelled the New Sith Empire, and their relentless attacks wore away from the reeling Republic. They quickly recaptured ancient Sith worlds such as Yavin IV and Ziost in initial attacks, and secretly sabotaged the Republic's own defence.
After Ruin's demise, the first quarter of the New Sith Wars was dominated by the Dark Underlord, who was supported by the Black Knights, a faction of Sith commanded by a Zeltron General. The Black Knights and the Underlord ravaged space stations along the Zona Miki route until the Republic counterattacked. The Underlord's final confrontation with the Jedi and the Republic came at Malrev IV, where Jedi Master Murrtaggh forged a Faustian pact with the traditionally hostile Mandalorians to bring the Underlord down. Though successful, the assassination came at the cost of Murtaggh's own life.
The Jedi were frequently at the forefront of the Republic's war effort, though not always to their own benefit - a disastrous intervention to contain an outbreak of Ubese aggression in the Battle of Uba IV led to accusations of xenocide. Just as in the Old Sith Wars, the Republic assembled a mighty fleet, mainly provided by Kuat Drive Yards.
Just over five centuries after Ruin's betrayal, the Sith scored one of their most decisive victories in history, when they crushed the Republic and Jedi forces in the Battle of Mizra, a bloody conflict later immortalized by the poet Felloux. Over five hundred thousands soldiers died in a single battle and hundreds of Jedi converted to the Dark Side.
The terrible defeat caused a crisis in the Republic, and despite victories at Gap Nine, Corephelion and King's Galquek and the defeat of Darth Rivan at Almas, the Republic plunged into turmoil. Mineral mines ran dry, corporations failed, and the Republic's borders began to shrink for the first time since the Cold War as colonies were abandoned to the Sith advance and the economic collapse. Law and order suffered as the Jedi found themselves overstretched.
The collapse of the HoloNet and interstellar commerce and the general downward spiral of the Galactic Republic continued unabated. Jedi were forced to assume greater leadership, commanding the Republic military, and even becoming Supreme Chancellors, despite the public opinion against them. In 1,400 BBY the last non-Jedi ended his service as Supreme Chancellor. For the next four centuries, only Jedi would serve in the post. An outbreak of Candorian plague killed two-thirds of the inhabitants of some Republic worlds.
The period from 1,250 to 1,230 BBY was known as the Sictis Wars. In that era, Belia Darzu ruled as Dark Lord of the Sith, unleashing Technobeasts against the Jedi forces from her power base on Tython.
The Sictis Wars came to an end with Darzu's death at the hands of the Mecrosa Order, who, though nominally allied with the New Sith Empire, poisoned Darzu due to unwanted Sith incursions on Tapani territory.
After nearly a thousand years of war, the Sith were in near-collapse—although the eleventh century BBY would later be described as the "Republic Dark Age", there is little evidence for any coherent Sith threat for much of the period.. The Sith, though exponentially increased in number, were divided against one another, as the various warlords and self-proclaimed Dark Lords fought each other for supremacy. The Republic officially branded the war a "series of protracted military engagements" against an illegal organization but in reality the Sith were rampaging across the galaxy virtually unhindered, oppressing entire star systems.
The Republic, for its part, was a shrunken remnant, a pale shadow of what it once was. Much of its former territory was in the hands of independent Sith warlords who squabbled over the dying embers of the New Sith Empire. While they remained divided, the Republic was given some respite.
Out of the ashes of the New Sith Empire, a former Jedi Master, Lord Kaan, reorganized the Sith into the Brotherhood of Darkness, over 20,000 strong. In an attempt to end the intercine feuds that had torn their empire apart, Kaan ended the tradition of a sole Dark Lord of the Sith, and recognised each and every claim to the title by the rival warlords. Kaan forged his alliance with the creed of "Rule by the Strong" and "All are equal in the Brotherhood of Darkness". He made his headquarters on the planet Roon.
Beginning in around 1,010 BBY, this new group launched a series of attacks designed to destroy the Jedi and the Republic. Kaan, along with the two strongest of the former warlords, Qordis and Kopecz, began their campaign with a daring and symbolic assault on the ancient Sith homeworld of Korriban, which at that time was still under nominal Republic control. The successful capture of that world sealed their alliance, and enabled the reopening of the ancient Sith academy under Qordis' leadership.
As Qordis trained new recruits, Kaan and Kopecz continued their war, seizing worlds like Kashyyyk, and even briefly Corulag, Chandrila and Brentaal IV. By 1,001 BBY, they seemed almost poised to conquer Coruscant, pressing the Republic on many fronts with the assistance of allies such as the turncoat Jedi King Lahzar, who battled the Republic in the Tholatin system. and a colony of Chiss on Thule, abducted from the Unknown Regions by agents of Kaan.
However, Lord Hoth, a Jedi Master and Republic General, had been scoring victories of his own against the Sith. Driving the Brotherhood from their home in the heavily-defended region of space known as the Cloak of the Sith, Hoth chased them from world to world, from Hoth to Dromund Kaas to Malrev IV. In many of his earlier campaigns, he commanded Republic fleets and armies, but around 1,002 BBY, he forged the bulk of the Jedi Order's fighting strength into an independent military force known as the Army of Light.
The war ended with the armies of Hoth and Kaan facing each other on the world of Ruusan. Lord Hoth was supported by such Jedi as Lord Valenthyne Farfalla, Lord Gale, Lord Saleeh and General Kiel Charny, while Kaan's Brotherhood was led by himself, Qordis, Kopecz and less familiar Dark Lords such as Seviss Vaa, LaTor and Githany.
The Army of the Light and the Brotherhood of Darkness clashed seven times on the world, each battle causing terrible casualties as Sith and Jedi died in their thousands. The campaign would later be considered to be the most deadly clash between Jedi and Sith in galactic history. So many Jedi died that Hoth was forced to enlist younger and younger force-sensitive recruits, and Jedi scouts such as Torr Snapit began to bring pre-adolescents to the battlefield. Though Hoth and his advisors found this distasteful, they reluctantly agreed to accept the child recruits, reasoning that it was better for them to be found by the Jedi than by Kaan's Sith.
Finally, with both armies decimated, and the once lush planet totally devastated, the seventh and final Battle of Ruusan took place, ending with Kaan's decision to use an ancient Sith technique known as the thought bomb. Lord Hoth, knowing of his opponents final gambit, took 99 of his most trusted knights with him and confronted the Kaan in an attempt to dissuade the Sith Lord from unleashing the weapon. The attempt was fruitless, as Kaan's mind had broken during the conflict and the Sith Lord, insanity clouding his vision, was determined to destroy himself and his followers, hoping to annihilate the Army of the Light at the same time.
As Kaan unleashed his weapon, both his own army and Hoth's were destroyed in an instant. Those Jedi that survived quickly rallied under Lord Farfalla, and the remaining Sith were easily defeated. After a thousand years, the New Sith Wars had finally come to an end.
With the apparent destruction of the Sith, Farfalla, as highest ranking surviving Jedi, used his authority to remove the Jedi from the position of galactic leadership they had acquired during the past centuries, and hand control back to civilian leadership. Tarsus Valorum became the first non-Jedi to serve as Chancellor for six hundred years and, with Farfalla's assistance, Valorum passed far-reaching legislation that restructured both the Republic and the Jedi Order.
Unknown to the Jedi and the Republic, one Sith Lord survived: Darth Bane, retreating from the carnage of Ruusan, found a Force-sensitive child named Rain from among the child recruits of the Army of Light. After the final battle the pair escaped the effects of the thought bomb and made their way, separately, to Onderon.
Bane would accept Rain as his apprentice, dubbing her Darth Zannah, and from her would continue an unbroken line of Sith Lords culminating in Darth Sidious and Darth Vader, who achieved what the Sith of the past never could: the destruction of the Republic and the Jedi.
The development of the New Sith Wars' backstory is perhaps one of the more convoluted productions of the Expanded Universe.
The New Sith Wars were included in one other major crossover, again from George Lucas. In Attack of the Clones, Lucas retconned the Republic as having been only one thousand years old, presumably a misremembrance of Obi-Wan Kenobi's "[For] over a thousand generations" dialogue in the 1977 Star Wars film. However, it still managed to tie in with the new backstory involving Bane and the rampaging Sith. As a solution to this new discrepancy, the HoloNet News website created the Ruusan Reformation, stating that the Republic reset its measurements and reformed its government in totality following the end of the war on Ruusan.
Of lesser importance are the revelations that the New Sith Wars were responsible for the previously-established destruction of the Ubese homeworld, and the construction of the Sith temple on Malrev IV. In addition, as with most major Star Wars events, a number of lesser events and personalities of the New Sith Wars have been covered by a variety of sourcebooks and articles. Notably, Abel G. Peña has written all of the latter.