- Jason Dietzel
Force Organizations: Believers
By: Jason Dietzel
The Believers was a Sith-worshiping dark side cult that came to prominence shortly after the Battle of Naboo, circa 32 BBY. Though not a Force user himself, the founder of the group, Len Markus, formed the group in order to study the ways of the dark side of the Force and Sith magic. Hoping the Believers would be the catalyst to bringing forth a new age of the Sith, Markus designed the cult to be loosely affiliated, with no centralized hierarchy.
The Believers had most of their operations centered in the Cularin system – on planets like Almas, Cularin and Genarius – but did boast a secret base deep in the Coruscanti underworld. Subsects of the cult within the Cularin system were controlled by dark Jedi Gar Granga, artificially Force-sensitive Garvin Delquist and Sith historian Murk Lundi.
To flaunt their supremacy in the system, the Believers first major offensive was to drive the Jedi from their academy on Almas. Their first task was to eradicate a plant engineered by the Sith Lord Darth Rivan to make Almas hospitable during the New Sith War, roughly a millennium prior. The operation spanned about three months and was
mostly successful, destroying large swaths of the plant.
Next, the Believers engaged in terrorist attacks on the academy and museum, succeeding in causing chaos that disrupted the Jedi’s ceremonies, and in the aftermath capturing a Jedi padawan. Using their connections to crime lords in the system, the Believers took on acts of piracy to augment their supplies. However, this gained the attention of the Jedi, and they were able to infiltrate one of the Believers’ secret bases, handing the cult a tough defeat, and rescuing their lost padawan.
The Believers sought retribution for their losses by attempting to steal a Sith artifact the Jedi
were transporting to Almas. When their initial plan to abduct it enroute failed, they tried to instead raid the Almas academy to steal it; and when this plan failed as well, the cultists committed mass suicide to prevent being taken prisoner by the Jedi.
Admitting to the grave threat the Believers posed, the Jedi decided to relocate this artifact back to Coruscant.
Unbeknownst to the Jedi, one of the fleet’s crew was undercover crime lords associated with the Believers. They worked out a deal with the cultists of the secret base in the undercity of Coruscant that they would help them acquire the artifact after their ship docked on Coruscant. Luckily, the criminals did not know their ship was transporting a decoy, so when the crew helped the cultists, the Jedi were able to follow the Believers to their secret base and crush it.
Shortly thereafter, the founder of the group came across the Darkstaff, a Sith artifact that possessed him, and he was able to unify the cult under his rule. Somehow, the staff was able to teleport the whole Cularin system ten years into the future and the onset of the Clone Wars. Under Markus’ leadership, the cult once again became a significant
threat. To once again try to gain dominance in the system, the Believers first aimed their attention at wiping out the crime lords and pirate groups they felt were their initial competitors. The Jedi, seeing the various crime organizations as being less of a threat as the cult, helped the local forces and prevented the Believers from unleashing a deadly virus.
The Believers tried one last time to gain control of the Cularin system by allying with the Separatists to infiltrate the neutral, self-governance government of the system, but even with the support of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, they were unable to achieve their goals. It is unknown what became of the cult following the culmination of the Clone Wars and rise of the Galactic Empire. It is safe to assume any Force-sensitive members that remained following their trail of failures either joined other dark side groups, or were absorbed, along with the Believers, into any organization designed by Emperor Palpatine to aid in his grip on the galaxy.
The Believers made their first appearance in The Kaluthin are Always Greener adventure from the Living Force campaign by Wizards of the Coast, though were not explicitly identified as the Believers until a later adventure in the same series.