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Darth Havok, born Eshkar Niin, was a male Iktotchi and a member of the Imperial Knights, a Force-using Order loyal to Emperor Roan Fel of the Galactic Empire. Niin became a Master within the Order and the instructor of Antares Draco, to whom he taught strategy and philosophy while training the Human in the ways of the Force. Niin later abandoned his vows as an Imperial Knight and deserted the Order. He attacked the Empress Elliah Fel and killed her, but was subsequently defeated by Draco, who had been sent to kill him by the Emperor. Draco believed Niin to be dead, but the Iktotchi survived and joined Darth Krayt's Sith Order, becoming the Sith Inquisitor Darth Havok. Krayt's Empire seized control of the galaxy from Fel in 130 ABY, and seven years later, a group of Sith took Fel's daughter Marasiah captive and brought her to the galactic capital of Coruscant. From there, Havok took her to the Sith planet Korriban and began torturing her, hoping to learn valuable secrets of her father's.

In between interrogation sessions, Draco arrived on a mission to rescue her and remained on-world to buy her time as she escaped the planet. Havok confronted his former student and defeated him in a lightsaber duel before taking him prisoner deep in the planet's dungeons. Havok inflicted agonizing torture on Draco in an effort to learn Imperial secrets, and eventually used Draco's love for Marasiah to prompt the prisoner to reveal the existence of a Jedi Hidden Temple on Taivas. Krayt's forces then attacked the temple, but the Jedi and their allies evacuated and then counterattacked at Coruscant. Krayt was slain, and his Sith trooper army, whose members were linked to his will, went insane. Havok and several other Sith escaped from the mad troopers on Korriban and fled the planet, and Havok rendezvoused with Darth Nihl, his new Master. Under Nihl's leadership, the Sith went into hiding.