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As the only true ally of the Sith Empire, the independent systems of the isolationist Chiss Ascendancy occupy a unique position within Imperial power structures. Mandalorians serve the Empire for wealth and conquered factions submit out of fear, but the Ascendancy aligned itself with the Empire for mutual benefit. The exact details of this agreement remain a mystery to all but the highest-level Imperials and Chiss, but it effectively renders the Ascendancy a vassal state--self-governed, but a source of resources and manpower for the Empire as a whole.
The Chiss Ascendancy's internal governance mystifies most Imperials. The web of hierarchies and political influence networks that links the Chiss Ruling Houses is complex at best and impenetrable at worst, with political, family and military ties all playing a part in determining a person's role in the Ascendancy. Internal power plays are common, but always occur within the accepted boundaries of Chiss society--even at their most vicious, the Chiss always maintain order.
XP Level: 36
The Hailstorm Brotherhood
Republic forces first noted a radical subgroup of the White Maw pirates when scanners detected a massive ice spire rising above the Glacial Fissure sector. Scouts sent to investigate the sculpture reported encounters with half-naked warriors wearing wampa furs and screaming poetry as they charged into battle.
The Hailstorm Brotherhood represents an extreme version of "going native." Originally a murderous cult from a nameless ice planet, the brotherhood became a legend when its White Maw members relocated to Hoth, abandoning all pretenses of civilization and instead embracing the call of the wild. They are more than a tribe of survivalists, however. There is a strong spiritual aspect to the Hailstorm Brotherhood that makes them dangerously fanatical.
XP Level: 36
The White Maw Pirates
The army of thugs, mercenaries and murderers operating beneath the White Maw banner is actually composed of many smaller pirate crews, joining forces to pillage one of the greatest "buried treasures" in the galaxy: Hoth's starship graveyard. As often happens in criminal confederacies built on greed and violence, members of the White Maw vie for power and settle old scores even as they battle Republic and Imperial forces.
The White Maw might have collapsed into anarchy years ago if not for its powerful leadership, a legendary group of cutthroats who rule their subordinates with a zero tolerance policy. While mutinies still occur, the risks often outweigh the rewards.
XP Level: 36