Important to know! "Lord of Shame" is a sestina, a poem formed of a pattern of repeating end-words, and its complexity is such that it is considered one of the most difficult forms of poetry. This particular sestina was written by the Sith Lady, Darth Vastina of Wayland. The subject of "Lord of Shame" is the Sith Lord Exar Kun, a historical figure of some mystery who is credited with great military success and scorned for foolish alchemical creations (namely the vicious Terentateks, voracious and indiscriminate killers of Force-sensitives) and ruining property that was not his to ruin.
Sith poetry – of any type – is a rarity, as Sith Lords rarely waste their time with such worthless artistic efforts and intellectual pursuits. Most are more concerned with ruling their tracts of territory and combating various internal and external rivals. What Sith poetry there is, is usually kept under lock and key in secret Sith libraries, away from the prying eyes of the public. The only poems that are open for examination are imperfect copies smuggled out by servants, who are usually killed shortly thereafter if their thefts are discovered.
From what little is known, Sith poetry glorifies the Sith who authored it, or some long-dead ancestor who the author greatly admires. Death, destruction, mass murder, torture, domination, war, conquest, and rape are among the sorts of things applauded by Sith poets. If it is not used for glorification, it is a tool for denouncement of rivals or those who are perceived as failures. "Lord of Shame" is a sort of melding of both characteristics of Sith poetry. Exar Kun's early years and successes are praised, but his conduct near the end of the war he participated in and his creation of the blood-thirsty Terentateks is reviled. Most scholars agree that "Lord of Shame" is a warning to ambitious young Sith. Lord Kun was once great, but ended his life in exile and madness, and it is implied that he still haunts his prison, an unspecified moon of Yavin.
Little is known of Darth Vastina, and few wish to risk life and limb to discover any more information. She is a Dark Lady of the Sith, a female Sith Lord, who is believed to have originated on or near the world of Wayland. She ruled her territory with a cruel hand, making her capital the technologically backward planet, Wayland. A few other of her poems have been leaked over the years, and while the quality is inconsistent (probably due to poor copying by the individuals who stole them) most rate her as a decent poet. She is believed to have composed this poem a century after Kun's exile, so her knowledge of the events is very reliable. Darth Vastina'a death is one of her larger mysteries. While most believe she was killed in some manner by a rival or apprentice, rumors persist that she somehow managed to die of natural causes in her sleep at the ripe old age of one hundred standard years. However, considering the Sith culture and lifestyle, this is highly unlikely.
Lord of Shame
—Darth Vastina, Dark Lady of Wayland
Child of potential, son of great darkness,
his beginning was grand and his mind sharp
and truly wicked, his soul was ruthless
ice. With great cunning, skill, strength, and knowledge
he worked his way up the ranks to Dark Lord.
Exar Kun: Lord of Alchemy and Shadow.
It was a time of arrogance, and shadows
of the past rose from the shielding darkness
Unprepared for old enemies, the Lords
drew together to pool power and sharp
vengeance. This unity bred knowledge
into the Sith, whose frozen and ruthless
army marched to battle. Ruthlessness
ruled the day, as did blood and hot shadow.
Lord Kun brought to bear his dark arts, knowledge,
and power, and his deep, utter darkness
spread to all corners. Double blue blade, sharp
with burning ice, cut down foes as he lorded
over the carnage. Mighty and terrible, Lord
Kun gains total victory through ruthless
killing and alchemical monsters. Sharp
Terentatek teeth join red blades in shadow
and Kun's great weapons turn on the darkness
that birthed them. From this shame, there's no knowledge
that could save him. Beasts he bred with knowledge
hard-won betrayed him. Allies among the Lords
abandoned him for wasting their lands. Darker
his life became as rivals ruthlessly
pushed him down to a moon in Yavin's shadow
where he lived in Massassi temples, sharp
with bitter fury. Blood still black and sharp
from war, he simmered. What terrible knowledge
he'd used! Built monsters, crushed suns to shadow,
slaughtered thousands, broken the Jedi again! Lord
of alchemy and death! And now shame. Ruthless
thoughts, bitter failings, and years fuel his darkness.
Drawing on his wealth of knowledge of darkness
and shadow, he gathered souls and ruthlessly
forged a sharp blast that made him a ghostly Lord…