Shortly after the Battle of Naboo, Yoda said, "Always two there are -- no more, no less: A master and an apprentice." He was referring to the Rule of Two instigated by Darth Bane at the end of the New Sith Wars. In this organizational structure, the apprentice answered to the master and the master answered to no one. During the era of Star Wars: The Old Republic we know that there were numerous apprentices, each with a master that guided their training. The hierarchy, however, did not end there. These masters answered to the feared Dark Council on Dromund Kaas.
Over a thousand years before the Treaty of Coruscant, the Sith began to rebuild their defeated empire and the Emperor shared his vision for the future. Part of his plans included the creation of a Dark Council to oversee the restructuring and consolidation of the Empire's resources. The group consisted of twelve Sith Lords and resided in the Citadel in Kaas City, the Imperial capital. The circular chamber walls lined with angular recesses where the individual members stood separated from each other and had a holoprojector accessible at its center where all could see the Emperor's mighty visage.
The Dark Council met with the Republic dignitaries to discuss peace when Darth Malgus lead the assault that brought Coruscant to its knees. Once they signed the treaty, the Lords returned to Dromund Kaas. Shortly thereafter, the Emperor isolated himself and left control of his Empire in the hands of the Dark Council. As Bane discovered centuries later -- a discovery that lead him to establish the Rule of Two -- a group of Sith given equal power is a toxic formula. When the Emperor departed, he left the twelve members to argue over the power structure of the Empire. One can only imagine the political intrigue lurking in the shadows of the Citadel's dark corridors.
Known members included Darth Howl, Darth Jadus, Darth Marr, Darth Vowrawn, and an unnamed skeletal female Dark Lord. Shrouded in mystery, most of them went to great lengths to hide their faces from any Sith Lord brought before them. Many of the council members wore masks to cover their faces. It is unknown if this was merely cosmetic, was used to instill fear in the lower ranks, or was a tactic to disguise their identities.
The members were the only Sith to have the privilege of seeing the Emperor's true face, but they were not originally privy to the entirety of their ruler's plan. Twenty-five years before the Treaty of Coruscant a Sith Acolyte named Teneb Kel discovered information about part of the Emperor's dark plan on a mission for the Dark Council. Kel's prey, the traitorous Exal Kressh revealed to him that the Emperor planned to "hollow out" numerous initiates and force his will upon them in order to create an army made up of his extended self. In return for this information, Kel demanded that the Dark Council grant him the title of Dark Lord.
Now that the council has set up a powerful Imperial military, they have begun to focus their energy on recruiting new Sith Acolytes to help them carry out their goals and do their bidding. It is unknown how one of these acolytes ascends to become a member of the Dark Council. Theories suggest that an acolyte's primary goal is to become the apprentice of a council member. One can assume that the apprentice would one day take his or her master's place when the vacancy presented itself by natural or not-so-natural means. Will your character's actions catch the eye of a member of the Dark Council? Will a council member seek your assistance in usurping power from the other members? Will your ambition drive you to gain the council's favor no matter the cost, or will you search for a way to disrupt their plans in favor of your own agenda for the betterment of the Sith Empire?