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Battle of Alderaan
Countless star systems fell to the Empire during the Great War, yet many in the Republic believed the Core Worlds were safe from attack. That all changed when the Empire invaded Alderaan; the Sith Lord Darth Malgus led the attack, timing his invasion with a feint that drew the Republic's fleet light years away.
Unknown to Malgus, a small contingent of Republic soldiers was stationed on Alderaan. The soldiers were outnumbered and disorganized, but among them were the members of Havoc Squad, the Republic's most decorated military unit. Under the leadership of Captain Jace Malcom, the Havoc Squad commandos rallied the Republic troops and waged a fierce guerrilla campaign against the Empire.
The resistance fighters harried the Imperial forces constantly, delaying their advance long enough for the Republic fleet to race back and repel the invasion. In the end, Darth Malgus was defeated and the Empire was driven from Alderaan. The victory was a costly one, though; Alderaan would not soon forget the devastation.
XP Level: 28
History of Alderaan
Originally inhabited by the insectoid Killiks, Alderaan's pre-colonial history is lost, save for in the hive mind of the aliens. By the time the first human colonists came to Alderaan from Coruscant--about 2,500 years before the founding of the Galactic Republic--the Killiks had migrated into deep space, leaving only a scattered few nests hibernating underground and the empty shells of their hives.
Alderaan's pristine beauty attracted thousands of settlers, and the human colonies quickly developed into thriving provinces. The Alderaanian monarchy made preservation of the environment a top priority in the planet's development, a policy that holds true today.
Later, the planet would become one of the Core Founders of the Republic and among the most powerful voices in the Senate. The princes and princesses of the ruling family typically served as Alderaan's representatives, though other members of the Alderaanian nobility have held the position as well.
Alderaan's recent departure from the Republic and the resulting civil war are among the darkest moments in a bright and optimistic history. Whether the planet will ever regain its former glory is an open question.
XP Level: 28
Joiners and the Killik Hive Mind
Joiners are non-Killik individuals who have been absorbed into the Killik hive mind. Prolonged exposure to the powerful pheromones released by Killiks causes an alteration of the subjects' brain chemistry, making them subservient to the nest's desires. Long-term exposure can turn a subject's eyes completely black, though this appears to be the extent of visible physiological changes.
Initially, Joiners retain many characteristics of their own personality, as well as some sense of individual identity. At this point Joiners often describe the relationship as symbiotic, feeling they gain more from the Joining than the Killiks. Over time, however, their personalities become more and more subsumed, until they cannot conceive of any existence away from the hive mind.
In turn, a nest also absorbs the knowledge, skills and personality traits of its Joiners. A single Joiner rarely changes a nest's nature, but a nest that Joins an army of warriors may become war-like, and a nest that Joins a party of explorers may gain a degree of curiosity and wanderlust.
It is possible to medically reverse the Joining process even in the later stages. However, most Joiners--even those experiencing the initial transformation--refuse to willingly submit to the procedure.
XP Level: 28
The nobility of Alderaan is responsible for ruling the planet and choosing the reigning monarch in often vicious, always intricate games of local politics. Each noble house bears the family name of its original founders, and many nobles can trace their lineage back over hundreds of generations. However, noble blood is not a requirement for house membership; in less traditional houses, it is not unheard of for an ambitious servant or farmer to rise above his or her station.
Three main houses currently compete for Alderaan's throne: House Organa, House Thul and House Ulgo. Although these three are the most powerful houses on Alderaan, might is not the only path to survival. In many cases, a larger noble house will take a smaller, like-minded one under its protection. Referred to as a "vassal," these smaller houses typically provide support and fealty to the larger. A strategic alliance can mean the difference between ultimate ambition or permanent extinction.
XP Level: 28
The War for Alderaan's Throne
Despite its arguable necessity, the Treaty of Coruscant was extremely controversial. Senator Gaul Panteer, heir to the Alderaanian throne, opposed the treaty and arranged Alderaan's withdrawal from the Republic in protest. Gaul was said to be secretly negotiating the terms of Alderaan's return, but he was assassinated before he could do so; his ailing mother, the queen, died days later in a mysterious crash, leaving Alderaan without a ruler and without Republic protection.
The ensuing power vacuum allowed House Thul--now supported by the Empire--to return from exile. With the nobility in chaos and a possible Imperial takeover on the horizon, Bouris Ulgo, a former Republic general, declared himself king. House Panteer challenged Ulgo's rule, but its estates were quickly overrun and destroyed. House Organa, still loyal to the Republic, opposed House Ulgo diplomatically until it could marshal its forces. It wasn't long before all-out war broke out between House Ulgo, House Organa and House Thul, with all three families and countless lesser houses vying for the Alderaanian crown.
XP Level: 28