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Quorian Debatist
Quorian Debatist

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on May 19th 2019, 2:01 am

Introduction


I'll try and keep this somewhat concise, and expand where I feel necessary. This will mostly depend on the actual trilogy telling us what the context is, instead of me purely trying to mislead you into my own perversion of events. I will ask how prior explanations can be considered fact in light of the evidence from the novel, and provide an alternate take of the events in question.

What I plan to cover here (in order) is:


  • The Brotherhood contained thousands of Dark Lords at the time of the Rituals
  • The Firestorm created by the first Ritual was shown to decimate the entire planet
  • The Orbalisks were shown to stack Bane's power hundreds of times depending how many surrounded him
  • The Orbalisks were shown to give Bane planetary power
  • DOE Bane was portrayed above Orbalisk Bane
  • DOE Bane was portrayed to then have Planetary power


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Stick around if you're interested.  



Dark Lords


"There were now a hundred or more Dark Lords following Kaan, but most were weak and inferior. The Sith numbers were greater than they had ever been, yet they were still losing the war against the Jedi."
- Darth Bane: Path of Destruction

---

Context: It was only the Dark Lords involved in the ritual. There were only around 50-100 Sith. The Sith were missing Kas'im, most were incredible weak, some numbers depleted, and all of their vehicles fit on a cliff to further doubt it was hundreds.

When he arrived back at the camp twenty minutes later, he wasn't surprised to find it completely deserted. All the Dark Lords had been on the plateau for the ritual, and they had all flown off in Kaan's wake to face the suddenly vulnerable Jedi. The soldiers, servants, and followers who made up the bulk of the Sith army had originally been left behind at the camp, but they had since received commed orders from Kaan and the others to join them at the battlefield.

---

Kaan, Githany, and the rest of the Dark Lords had gathered atop a barren plateau overlooking the vast forests where Hoth and his army were hiding.
- Darth Bane: Path of Destruction

Further Context on their numbers: including Farfalla after hearing the plan, thinking 100 Jedi would give Kaan's Dark Lords no chance of escape.


Basically, ALL of the Dark Lords only numbered around 100 at their theoretical peak. 50 reinforcements were stronger than half of the Dark Lords on Ruusan, and the pre-existing Dark Lords were only described as "a few" so it's very possible we had much less than 100 Dark Lords involved in the ritual. This is corroborated by Farfalla suggesting a number high enough to overwhelm Lord Kaan, after hearing a warning from one of Kaan's closest allies.



Firestorm


Accomplished via trees
The storm rolled down from the plateau and rumbled across the forest. Hundreds of forks of searing lightning shot down from the sky-and the forest erupted. Trees burst into flames, the blaze racing through the branches and spreading out in all directions. The underbrush smoldered, smoked, and ignited; and a wall of fire swept across the planet's surface.

---

She remembered what Laa had said just before the entire forest had exploded in flames: Bad dreams, Rain. Death dreams.
The fires had killed most of the other bouncers. The survivors had all gone mad. All except Laa. Somehow Rain had saved her. She'd used the Force, shielding them both from the burning death and destruction, though she wasn't quite sure how she'd done it. It had just sort of... happened. Now she and Laa had nobody left but each other.

---

The general, though still exhausted by the desperate escape from the flames and the fighting that followed, refused to sleep. There were too many details to see to, too many things that needed his attention.

In addition to organizing the patrols to protect against the bouncers, he also had to oversee the distribution of fresh supplies. Farfalla's ships had delivered desperately needed food, medpacs, and fresh power cells for blasters and personal shields. With most of their other stores lost to the unnatural wildfire that had devastated the forests, the general wanted to make sure all his troops were properly reequipped and tended to before he granted himself the luxury of rest.

- Darth Bane: Path of Destruction


Context: The planet was dry and hot at the time. Most of the forests were destroyed on the planet beforehand. Vegetation and forests still remained after Bane's razing, and perhaps most importantly; the Jedi actually outran the blast.


Without the trees, the fire couldn't be spread, nor was it shown to. The entire ritual amounted to a force forest fire where hundreds of bolts of lightning were used to light trees on fire. We've seen this sort of event happen in real life with a smaller igniter, and less use of the Force to spread the fire out. The advancement of this firestorm was only attributed to the forests, so how would we assume this would - or rather - DID stretch around the planet? What was going to ignite as it spread across the planet when MOST of the forests were destroyed beforehand? Had the fire not been started and spread out through the trees, are we to believe that Bane could have spread fire across an entire planet with no fuel and 'tinder' to keep it going?

How could the Jedi have outrun a planetary blast when Bane was standing over the forest directing his attack at that specific area? Did they run all the way around the planet out of the forest back in an open plain? They had only been depicted to run out of the forest into the plains; not run a planetary marathon. The Jedi outrunning the entire attack disproves the notion that it was planetary on its own.

A "wall of fire spreading over the planet's surface" does not carry stock when nothing depicts this event, nor is it actually wrong. The wall of fire did spread across the planet's surface, it just didn't go very far.

As for Bane thinking he could destroy the planet - Bane was simply drunk in his power and basking in how powerful he felt, but that doesn't mean that he could have lit the entire planet on fire. This is an in-universe statement made by an inexperienced user who had never felt near this level of power before. Hyperbole.

The ritual was stopped once the Jedi exited the forest which further casts doubt on the whole thing. The Sith knew they could draw the Jedi out of the forest and the Jedi would run out of places to hide even without the ritual. The planet simply didn't have enough vegetation left for the Jedi to safely hide. The entire planet didn't need to be lit on fire to draw the prey out.

"Battlefield"=/= Planet
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Orbalisks


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Context: The Orbalisks were pumping adrenaline and hormones into Bane to set him into a mindless rage. Bane theorized that he might be getting weaker after they fully multiplied as well.

{*}
Hey, who here loves BANE? Ket7ly10 Hey, who here loves BANE? Fd36eu10


I'm not saying he was getting weaker as a result, but Bane pondering about it doesn't lead much for him getting what... 100 times stronger after they cover his body? He certainly didn't think it amped his power hundreds of times when he cast doubt. There's simply no evidence that it multiplies his power to the degree most present this feat under. The amplification to this degree is made even more questionable when agitating the parasites - that feed on his darkness - creates a mix of adrenaline/hormones for him to accomplish his tasks. Are we under the impression that 200 doses of adrenaline would allow Bane to draw on 200 times the Dark Side he normally does?  Or, to shift this into a more real-world example; you're not going to get a multiplication effect by upping your Steroid stack 'x' amount of times. It simply gives him a greater pool to draw from, not necessarily double the amount every time.

The only evidence I have seen that attribute Bane's increase in Orbalisks to an increase in power, state that it's a percentage of the body covered{*}; not the number of Orbalisks. An increase of 5x power is a lot more realistic than an increase of hundreds of times, and a lot better of a guideline to work with. The alternative is to just release the comparison between the numbers - "He did this with 2, now he has 200" - and let everyone involved fill in their own assumptions on what this means without verified proof of exactly how it works. I personally would much rather have a realistic set of limits that might follow along with the rest of the novel, as opposed to assuming Bane amped himself hundreds of times over when none of his feats support this...

Which leads us to our next point:



Orbalisk Limitations


Context: Darth Bane with 200 orbalisks only manages to destroy a campsite in a full rage. Fight fodder in a lot more limited space than a planetary firestorm for an hour (clipped parts where he uses the force). Gets his force push withstood by a random Sith assassin. Can barely push back 3 Jedi unamped by Battle Meditation/starts losing to them once BE starts again. And gets a full charged up force storm blocked by a dying Jedi Master.

So Bane goes from a planetary firestorm capable of incinerating Jedi casually, to not being able to one shot shambling bones of a rusted metal army in a 20-meter radius? If Bane were truly meant to be portrayed above the Firestorm, then why is he incapable of spreading his power out over relatively small spaces (in comparison)? Space isn't impacted by the beings that reside in it, so why can't Bane just spread a massive amount of power across say 20 meters? A power that can again, kill Jedi within this scope; yet it takes him an hour to fight beings he can one shot with the force.

I feel the other feats speak for themselves against the popular consensus of his power, but we will place emphasis on his most powerful blast entirely blocked by a random dying Jedi Master. Let's keep in mind we're still operating on the belief that:

Firestorm Bane = planetary < 2 Orb Bane <<<< 200-300 Orb Bane

So if that's the case, we have a wildly above planetary Bane's full power (his most powerful attack actually) being blocked by a dying Jedi's barrier. The Jedi contained the entirety of his power, not just shielded himself from a small part of a massive wall of fire (like Zannah did). A comparison would be that the Jedi contained the entire "planetary firestorm" inside a bubble no bigger than a room. That would be more heavily concentrated and, would be a lot more potent within said limited space. The Jedi still contained it.

---

In summation, Bane was NOT depicted as planetary in any way after gaining the full benefits of the Orbs, and every feat he did further calls into question the claim that he would scale from such a firestorm... had such a storm existed.



Dynasty of Evil


"A decade earlier he would have eagerly engaged them in physical combat, his body pumped full of adrenaline released by the orbalisks that had covered his flesh. Swept up in a mindless rage, he would have carved a bloody swath through their numbers, hacking and slashing at his helpless enemies while relying on the impenetrable shells of the orbalisks to protect him from their blows.
But the orbalisks were gone now. He was no longer invulnerable to physical attacks, yet he was also no longer a slave to the primal bloodlust that used to overwhelm him. Free from the parasitic infestation, he was able to dispatch his enemies using the Force rather than relying solely on brute strength."
- Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil

Context: Bane was slower than he was at an unspecified time - the only on panel time he might have been faster is with the Orbs. He was beyond his physical limits with the Orbs. He was worried about being overwhelmed by an unspecified amount of low trained priests, and he was smarter in a fight.


Bane was slowing down with a noticeable hand tremor
And there was nothing he could do about it. The Jedi could draw upon the light side to heal injury and disease. But the dark side was a weapon; the sick and frail did not deserve to be cured. Only the strong were worthy of survival.

He had tried to conceal the tremor from his apprentice, but Zannah was too quick, too cunning, to have missed such an obvious mark of weakness in her Master.

Bane had expected the tremor to be the catalyst Zannah needed to challenge him. Yet even now, with his body showing undeniable evidence of his growing vulnerability, she seemed content to maintain the status quo. Whether she acted out of fear, indecision, or perhaps even compassion for her Master, Bane didn't know-but none of these traits was acceptable in one chosen to carryon his legacy.

There was another potential explanation, of course-yet it was the most troubling of all. It was possible Zannah had noticed his deteriorating physical abilities and had simply decided to wait. In five years his body would be a ruined husk, and she could dispatch him with virtually no risk.

...

His apprentice didn't move. She stayed in her defensive stance, her brow furrowing as she weighed her chances. Then her gaze fell on Bane's left hand, quivering ever so slightly with one of the uncontrollable tremors.

...

The first was the tremor she had noticed in his left hand several months ago. He tried to hide it from her, but she noticed it more and more. She didn't know the cause of the tremor, but regardless, it was an obvious sign of his degenerating skills.
- Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil

The only basis that I can think of, for DOE Bane being above Orb Bane is because Zannah said he moved faster than she could imagine. We can explain this by a jump in skill.

Think about this; is it going to be harder to defend against a sloppy fighter who rages directly at you, or would a fighter utilizing angles - along with far sharper skill - going to be perceived as faster for the defender? Not only this, but Bane sprung this new style on her when she was expecting a far different style. Bane went from a raging bull who attacks in a "sloppy" manner, to a highly skilled boxer in Zannah's eyes. Vasyl Lomachenko certainly isn't the fastest boxer in history, but the perceptions from his opponents are that he's nigh-untouchable, and that's because he utilizes all facets of skill and movement to help shell up any possible speed deficiency. Bane was not standing around being there when Zannah went to counterattack or defend. Bane did not telegraph any of his attacks. He was completely random and, all over the place to the point that she was never allowed to get the measure of him - something she had to figure out mid-battle since he changed his entire fighting style from what she knew.

Bane was able to bully ahead with mindless rage and brute strength with the Orbalisks. Yes, he was amping his speed to a degree, but that wasn't his main focus. It was to overwhelm opponents with no fear of retaliation... and that was something Bane was very aware of without the protection of the Orbalisks; he couldn't tank lightsaber attacks. Focusing on amping his speed would carry more priority than pure strength and rage. His mind held more clarity (without Orb hormones) and, he had to use all available tactics to overcome his opposition as opposed to pure power. So yes, even if he was faster, that doesn't mean that he had previously capped out on his speed. DOE Bane knows how to prioritize the attributes he needs in battle, and utilized it to reinforce his new fighting style. Bane knew Zannah and her style. He knew he was stronger than her with minimal amping, which would allow him to draw on more speed than power.

Most importantly, Zannah knew his physical condition was worsening at the time; which on its own can answer the question - he was faster than she imagined a deteriorated Bane to be. He had physical issues at that point in time, and she would be expecting that to impact his fighting speed.

---

Heavy emphasis was placed on Bane losing a step in his strength and speed as well. This directed us (the readers) to an unspecified timeframe. The last time we saw Bane in action, he had a massive amp over his personal power. So do we think it's more likely that Drew meant to portray Bane as reaching the level of the Orbs off-panel, then he started slowing down; or do we think it more logical to assume Bane had slowed down since the last time we read about him? This doesn't need to be answered, although it is something to think about.

So, at best it's ambiguous as to whether Bane was more powerful than Orb Bane. At worst... well, you get the picture.



Death Field


But the orbalisks were gone now. He was no longer invulnerable to physical attacks, yet he was also no longer a slave to the primal bloodlust that used to overwhelm him. Free from the parasitic infestation, he was able to dispatch his enemies using the Force rather than relying solely on brute strength. Bane extinguished his weapon and stood perfectly still, allowing the swarming horde to close in on him as he gathered his strength. He called upon the power of the temple itself, feeding on it to bolster his own abilities as he created a deadly field around his body. It began as a tight circle, but quickly spread outward until it extended to a radius of ten meters, with the Sith Lord at the center. The air within the circumference of the field suddenly became darker, as if the light from the red sun above had been suddenly dimmed.

Cloaked in the shadowy gloom, Bane simply held his ground against the enemy assault. The front ranks of onrushing cultists shrieked in agony as they entered the field, their life essence violently sucked out of their bodies, aging them a thousand years in only a few seconds. Muscles and tendons atrophied instantaneously; their skin withered and shrank, pulling tight across their bones. Eyes and tongues shriveled, turning them into mummified husks before their desiccated flesh crumbled away, leaving only skeletal remains and a few strands of hair.

The effort of creating an aura of pure dark side energy would have quickly exhausted even Bane. However, as his enemies fell he was able to draw their essence into himself, feeding on their energies to revitalize his fading strength and reinforcing the field in preparation for the next wave of victims.

The mass of cultists continued to charge forward. Those in the middle ranks had seen the fate of their companions and tried desperately to stop. But the momentum of those behind swept them forward into the field to suffer the same agonizing death as those who had already fallen.

Only those at the very rear of the crowd were able to see the danger and pull up in time to save themselves. Of the more than twenty cultists who had attacked him, only a handful were able to save themselves. They stood at a safe distance, hovering on the edge of the deadly field with weapons raised, uncertain how to proceed.

Bane ended their confusion by letting the field drop and drawing his lightsaber. His opponents were too slow and too few to challenge him, and their crude vibro-weapons couldn't even parry his glowing blade. Completely helpless against a superior foe, their mindless devotion to Andeddu still compelled them to attack the invader of the sacred temple. Bane cut them down like dogs.

- Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil


This was Bane at supposedly the height of his power only being able to direct a Death Field of 10 meters to kill random fodder.  He almost gassed himself out doing this task and, needed power from the Temple, and all who he killed.

Again, this was yet another case of his "higher forms" being displayed far below a planetary firestorm level in terms of scope. For that matter, it was displayed far below controlling a massive forest fire as well.



Final Thoughts


I do think Darth Bane was still immensely powerful, and that is not what my contention here is; it's to try and display the context and an alternative thought process to some of Bane's feats that he has commonly been used to scale off of. It is my personal opinion that the firestorm ritual has been taken wildly out of context, and as such has been attributed to later forms of Bane that go against the level he was portrayed at in the actual novels the feats come from; hence why I callback to the firestorm in many of my points. I feel the need to put these things into perspective, and I hope I have. This is not meant as a hit piece on everything Bane has ever done, but rather to clear up some misconceptions.

Thank you for your time. If I feel up to it, I will try and answer concerns that arise from this post.
DarthSkywalker0
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on May 19th 2019, 2:11 am
The table is set for DMB's return.
DarthAnt66
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on May 19th 2019, 2:49 am
For those reading, note that you can click on the blue text to be directed to a page with quotes. I didn't realize that until half-way in.
DarthAnt66
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on May 19th 2019, 2:56 am
Great thread, @Quorian Debatist. I think you raised a lot of strong points. I'd be interested to hear other opinions.
Azronger
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on May 19th 2019, 3:27 am
Great post. You made me raise Bane a lot.
DarthSkywalker0
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on May 19th 2019, 3:29 am
@Azronger wrote:Great post. You made me raze Bane a lot.

Could not agree more.
O-Siri
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on May 19th 2019, 5:27 am
Pretty much agreed with all major points. I think it's self-apparent in the source material he isn't planetary(nor would I want him to be). DoE Bane vs RoT Bane is one of the more contestable topics, but yeah I'm in the camp that says RoT Bane was Bane's peak in terms of raw power, though DoE Bane is more skilled and tactically inclined and much more powerful than PoD Bane.

Edit: A few comments:


Context: Darth Bane with 200 orbalisks only manages to destroy a campsite in a full rage.
Why this always gets brought up is beyond me. He only manages to destroy a campsite because ... that's all that was in range; the rest was open countryside.  Was he supposed to go supernova or something? Melt a hole down to Ambria's core?

Gets his force push withstood by a random Sith assassin.

An outlier. A less powerful Bane ripped through the Force shield of Qordis like it wasn't even there. Shadow Assasins scale below sith apprentices who in turn scale below sith masters, which Qordis is. It's also possible the 5 assassin's shields had a cumulative effect. Conjecture yes but one reasonable explanation to reconcile the discrepancy rather than lowball. Even if it is a legitimate feat, it's simply a good feat for the assassin who was overqualified for his station.  

Can barely push back 3 Jedi unamped by Battle Meditation

Even unamped three Jedi, two of them the best in the order the third being helpful, should be winning with their three to one advantage and perfect synergy. Don't underestimate the advantage of three skilled fighters attacking all flanks, think Dooku vs Ventress and the nightsisters. He wasn't "barely" pushing them back, he was "slowly", just like Sarro was "slowly" but decisively wearing Zannah down.  Bane was solidly and convincingly overmatching the Jedi without their advantage, just as Sarro was beating Zannah.
And gets a full charged up force storm blocked by a dying Jedi Master.

The quote doesn't imply he "fully charged the blast" Zannah felt him "gathering his power" just like he was "gathering his power at the speed of thought" when he shredded Farfalla's BM amped Force shield. Plus the globe was reflective like a mirror, unlike a regular Force shield like the one amped by Worror's power Bane shredded. The lightning was being reflected, not deflected. Worror obviously isn't anywhere near as powerful as Bane.


Last edited by O-Siri on October 22nd 2019, 1:45 am; edited 9 times in total
Sam
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on May 19th 2019, 7:00 am
Bane is underrated af. People think everyone and their grandmother's great grandfather can stomp him.
DC77 (Reborn)
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on May 19th 2019, 8:15 am
Nice blog.
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on May 19th 2019, 11:03 am
Hey, who here loves BANE? 1289255181

Gewd work.
LSDMB
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on May 19th 2019, 12:32 pm
There's nothing here that's particularly damaging to me personally. I'll respond at some point.
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on May 19th 2019, 12:38 pm
Would love it if you could wank Bane in other ways( eg. his connection to the Orbalisks and equating that to Nadd), more creative or ingenious ways. I have to admit the whole Trainee Bane=razing a planet thing really isn't convincing. Maybe a strong argument might change my mind. Either way, when is your argument coming?
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on May 19th 2019, 12:53 pm
@LOTL wrote:Would love it if you could wank Bane in other ways( eg. his connection to the Orbalisks and equating that to Nadd), more creative or ingenious ways. I have to admit the whole Trainee Bane=razing a planet thing really isn't convincing. Maybe a strong argument might change my mind. Either way, when is your argument coming?
Well that's not exactly Trainee Bane is it. Trainee Bane is the Bane who had only studied at the academy thus far and kicked the shit out of Sirak. Bane with the knowledge of Darth Revan and Freedon Nadd as Dark Lord of the Sith is a different beast.

But yeah my response is mostly gonna be focused on the stuff other than the ritual that I think is less defensible here.

Don't really know when it'll be. Yesterday was my last final for the semester, so I might take a few days to enjoy my freedom.
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on May 19th 2019, 3:18 pm
I don't think DMB was ever a big proponent of ritual scaling. He mostly argued on the basis of Bane's clear cut feats and accolades.
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on May 19th 2019, 3:32 pm
@ILS wrote:I don't think DMB was ever a big proponent of ritual scaling. He mostly argued on the basis of Bane's clear cut feats and accolades.

Hey, who here loves BANE? 1289255181
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on May 20th 2019, 1:44 am
Really good work. This raise Bane higher than what I think. In addition this fit perfectly with the theory of an non-permanent growth in the Banite lineage.
Azronger
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on May 20th 2019, 9:15 am
@ILS wrote:I don't think DMB was ever a big proponent of ritual scaling. He mostly argued on the basis of Bane's clear cut feats and accolades.

Yeah, the bulk of his blog was responding to arguments no one in the pro-Bane camp had seriously made in over a year. No one here actually believed that Bane with two orbalisks can raze planets by himself and that he grows hundreds of times more powerful from there. It was a wasted effort, really. I didn't buy the other debunks either.

The orbalisks increasing his strength being proportional to the percentage of his body they cover was new information for me, though, and could be used to raise Bane. So that's a good thing.
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