Homebrew Reference Book: The Old Republic Sourcebook
See also: Eras of Play
As keeper of the Jedi archives, the Jedi Council requests I perform a daunting task- to revise the Order's historical records in light of new revelations about the formation of The Sith Empire. Specifically, I am to trace the conflict between the Empire and the Republic, The Sith and The Jedi, to uncover the roots of the struggle which now plagues us.
The Republic and the Empire sit on an uneasy truce. A long bloody war has left both sides severely depleted and weary, and a fragile truce has many galactic citizens fearful of a return to open hostilities. The millennia-old democracy, protected by the ancient Jedi Order, is now locked in a Cold War with the secretive Sith Empire, the entire galaxy seeming like a primed thermal detonator, ready to explode... This is the setting for Star Wars: The Old Republic!
The galaxy has a long memory. While it would be impossible to recount all of the Republic's history here, what follows may act as a primer on the last century of galactic events for those so inclined.
|32,800 BTC||Force "Discovered" on Tython|
|22,140 BTC||The Force War|
|22,130 BTC||The Jedi Order is established|
|21,400 BTC||The Old Republic is founded|
|21,300 BTC||The Jedi join The Old Republic|
|3,347 BTC||The 2nd Great Jedi Schism|
|3,247 BTC||The first dark Sith Lords originate on Korriban|
|1,347 BTC||The Great Hyperspace War|
|1,251 BTC||Rebirth of The Sith Empire|
|347 BTC||The Exar Kun War|
|311 BTC||The Mandalorian Wars|
|303 BTC||The Jedi Civil War|
|103 BTC||Peace for the Republic?|
|28 BTC||Onslaught of The Sith Empire|
|18 BTC||The Battle of Bothawui|
|14 BTC||The Empire changes strategy|
|8 BTC||The Mandalorian Blockade is formed|
|7 BTC||The Mandalorian Blockade is broken|
|0 ATC||The Treaty of Coruscant|
The Galactic Calendar Edit
The signing of the Treaty of Coruscant led to the new galactic standard calendar dating of BTC and ATC, Before and After the Treaty of Coruscant. For our measurements, ATC 0- the signing of the Treaty- took place in 3,653 before the Battle of Yavin (During The Rebellion Era, or BBY).
The current galactic state of affairs assumed in The Old Republic Sourcebook guide is ATC 10.
Three centuries after the death of Darth Malak and the end of the Jedi Civil War, the true Sith Empire returned from deep space, attacking the Republic. They began a war unlike any other in the galaxy's history. The Great Galactic War dragged on for decades. Thousands of Jedi and Sith were slain, countless star systems were ravaged. Though he now controlled half the galaxy, the Sith Emperor grew impatient- he had expected his triumph to come quickly. The Lords of the Emperor's Dark Council surprised the Republic Senate with an offer of peace- a reprieve the Republic could not afford to ignore.
The following are the major galactic events surrounding the time of the Great Galactic War:
Peace for the Republic? (103 BTC-29 BTC) Edit
I have spent much time now piecing together the puzzle of the Emperor's initial designs, and I have a theory that is quite surprising.
The centuries preceding the great war were a time of peace and growth for the Republic. Dozens of new star systems joined the Galactic Senate. For The Sith Empire, however, these centuries were marked by a rapid acceleration in the preparations for war- an effort in which The Sith showed surprising cooperation and sacrifice.
I have long suspected that during this extended period, The Sith spent generations infiltrating Republic political circles and even The Jedi Order. Reviewing historical records, I have uncovered strong evidence of one such case. Eison Gynt was a fourth generation Jedi, widely considered to be the most promising padawan in the Order. Having a similar heritage, the venerated Jedi scholar, Master Barel Ovair, took Gynt as his new apprentice. Together, Ovair and Gynt traveled the galaxy, studying the mysteries of The Force.
Over the years, the pair became more and more ambitious, eventually undertaking a daunting mission. They set out to explore the ancient Sith Temples on Yavin 4. Their goal was to investigate the final resting place of Naga Sadow- one of the most powerful Sith Lords who ever lived.
Arriving on Yavin 4, Ovair and Gynt discovered that Naga Sadow's twisted Massassi warriors had survived the centuries. The Massassi originated as a Sith sub-species, forming the backbone of the earliest Sith armies. But Naga Sadow subjected his Massassi followers to heinous experiments- turning them into dark Force-wielding monsters.
Gynt and Master Ovair fought bravely against the Massassi, but they were defeated and forced to flee deep into the temple. There, they encountered the dark energies still lingering in Naga Sadow's tomb. Weeks later, Master Ovair returned to The Jedi Temple on Coruscant alone, wounded and half insane from the tortures he had endured. After a lengthy recovery, Master Ovair told a tale of the horrors he faced, and of Gynt's tragic death. Several years passed.
Then one day, Eison Gynt mysteriously reappeared on Coruscant, wearing the garb of the Massassi warriors and bent on killing Master Ovair. Possessed by the dark spirit of Naga Sadow, Gynt attacked his former master in broad daylight. The brutal battle between the two was staged with all of the Republic watching. Gynt's borrowed powers were formidable, but Master Ovair won the day.
Ovair's triumph over darkness was celebrated and the Jedi Council assumed that all was well. The question no one asked was this: Why would Naga Sadow's spirit seek vengeance, specifically against Master Ovair?
The answer has become clear after a closer look at Ovair's Jedi heritage: His father and grandfather also went out of their way to visit the tombs of the ancient Sith Lords. They were a family of Sith infiltrators. Ovair's mission on Yavin 4 was not for The Jedi- it was on behalf of his true master, the Dark Emperor of The Sith.
The Emperor knew the spirits of the ancient Sith Lords could be a threat to his power when he returned to the known galaxy a century later... Ovair's trip to Yavin 4 was a pre-emptive strike... To seal Naga Sadow's tomb and ensure the Emperor's only enemies when he returned would be The Jedi and The Old Republic.
How unfortunate that we've only learned the terrible truth about Master Ovair more than a century too late. Of course, this revelation only raises further questions... What other acts of dark subterfuge were Ovair and his family involved in...?
The Battle of Bothawui (18 BTC) Edit
When the Emperor planned the Republic's destruction, he did not foresee the need for alliances. The Sith would sweep through the galaxy, systematically exterminating their age-old Jedi enemies and dismantling the proud Republic.
But the Emperor's vision was cynical. He did not count on the brave sacrifices the Republic's heroes were willing to make. After the Sith offensive seized the Seswenna Sector of The Outer Rim, the Imperial armada turned its sights closer to The Core. The Mid Rim.
Believing the Republic was still recovering from its heavy losses, Imperial forces charged into Bothan Space, where they were caught off guard by the full force of the Republic fleet. The Republic fleet obliterated the Imperial squadron and the Battle of Bothawui became the Republic's first major victory in the war.
The news spread across the galaxy, rekindling lost hopes and re-energizing exhausted defenders. The Republic fleet moved on, but a courageous force of Jedi and Republic soldiers remained on Bothawui to await the Empire's return.
The vengeance of The Sith came swiftly. Imperial battle cruisers from around the galaxy closed in on Bothan Space to recoup their losses. A high-powered planetary shield protected Bothawui from bombardment, forcing the Imperial forces to engage on the ground.
Jedi Master Belth Allusis, seven dozen of the Order's finest Knights, and four thousand of the Republic's strongest soldiers dug in to defend the shield generators... or die trying.
The disparity was staggering. An unprecedented Imperial army, fifty thousand strong, descended on Bothawui's brave defenders. The defenders were undaunted. With no expectations of survival, they were mindful of their duty. But overconfident Imperial commanders threw all their armies' might into the direct assault and their ground forces fell in droves. For every Republic soldier who died, ten Imperials were killed. The Empire was forced to call in reinforcements.
Despite the defenders' determination, their lines were whittled away until only a handful of soldiers and Jedi remained. They rallied to Jedi Master Allusis for a final stand.
Imperial Grand Moff Zellos offered to spare Master Allusis if he and his brave comrades would surrender. Neither pride nor foolhardiness drove the defender's decision. They were guided by The Force. They had passed beyond the fear of death. Their glorious last stand will never be forgotten. Allusis and his men fell, but not before the Imperials were driven to retreat. The Battle of Bothawui was a draw.
The heroes of Bothawui inspired bold new Republic strategies that eventually halted the Empire's advances. In retrospect, though, the Republic lost too many systems in the early years of the Great War. The execution of the Emperor's brilliant strategy was flawless. Survival was the best the Republic could hope for.
The Empire Changes Strategy (14 BTC) Edit
The arrival of Imperial allies into the great war was a devastating blow from which the Republic never fully recovered. This was the second step in the Sith Emperor's master plan. Recent Republic strategic information reports proved that the rise of The Mandalorians was orchestrated by Imperial Intelligence.
We know extremely little about this shadowy organization, but Imperial Intelligence operatives are clearly just as deadly as their Sith superiors. The galaxy's criminal networks wavered endlessly during the Great War, debating whether to back the Republic or the Empire. Although the Hutt Cartels resented the Sith Emperor for not including them in his pre-war conspiracy, Imperial Intelligence somehow blocked the Republic's efforts to win the Hutts' support.
Scattered around the galaxy, Mandalorian mercenaries and bounty hunters faced the same choice as the Hutts. Some signed on with the Empire but most remained independent. Imperial diplomats made repeated attempts to recruit the galaxy's most infamous bounty hunters, but were turned down every time. The Empire began shifting its tactics. Mandalorian mercenaries and bounty hunters often fought as gladiators for money and glory- a mark of honor in Mandalorian culture. Imperial agents used this to their advantage, infiltrating the most prominent gladiatorial arenas in the galaxy as managers, as sponsors, and even in some cases as gladiators themselves.
The Imperial agents singled out a proud young gladiator to be their pawn. This young gladiator had always fared well in the arena, but with his new Imperial allies, his rise was accelerated to unprecedented levels. Rigging arena fights is not unheard of, but Imperial agents brazenly sabotaged the entire system and drugged their champion's competition. None could stand against him. The whispers of Imperial agents became cheers in the arena... "Mandalore! Mandalore!" the ancient title of the ultimate warrior king was thrust upon the young gladiator. His infamy grew, and when he called, The Mandalorians rallied to their new master.
The new Mandalore secretly served masters of his own, however. Imperial agents pulled their puppet's strings, and the Mandalorian army blockaded the Hydian Way and challenged The Jedi. Though the blockade was eventually broken, the stage was set for the sacking of Coruscant and the uneasy truce which now paralyzes the Republic. The Mandalorian-Sith Alliance remains intact to this day. That could change if the original ruse were brought to light, but Imperial Intelligence covers its tracks too well. Mandalore was slain recently, and his killer, the new Mandalore, has taken his place.
Whether or not he's an Imperial puppet remains to be seen, but we must watch him closely. Imperial agents' success in bringing The Mandalorians into the war was the counter-play to the Republic's first string of victories.
The Mandalorian Blockade (8 BTC) Edit
At the time, many believed the Empire was behind the Mandalorian Blockade. My research indicates a far more elaborate explanation...
Mandalorians... trained from birth to fight in battle, their bodies are honed into killing machines. These independent warrior-nomads have challenged The Jedi for centuries. The Mandalorians embrace conflict and admire strength. But they are different from our dark counterparts. They are not like The Sith. Mandalorians believe confrontation is required for growth- on the personal, as well as the cultural level. War is The Mandalorians' way of life. Combined with their thirst for conquest, it makes them undeniably dangerous. However, we must acknowledge that their commitment to self-improvement is not unlike our own... And there is even something respectable about their rugged sense of honor. But they are not our friends. The Mandalorians' allegiance to our enemies has cost us dearly. After The Sith Empire's initial onslaught, star systems continued to fall, until The Jedi finally managed to stop the enemies' advance in The Mid Rim. For the first time in decades, the Republic Senate breathed a sigh of relief.
But it was short-lived. In the arenas of Geonosis- a young gladiator had risen to prominence, calling himself the new 'Mandalore'- a title unclaimed for centuries- a title reserved for the greatest warrior in the galaxy- a warrior worthy to lead The Mandalorians. Though it had been centuries, the descendants of the once-proud culture had not forgotten the legends of the Mandalores who had gone before. Spread far and wide, working as mercenaries and bounty hunters, when the new Mandalore called, his loyal subjects came. Mandalore's call was simple- to confront the galaxy's greatest challenge and fight the legendary knights of The Jedi Order.
Amassing an army overnight, Mandalore planted his forces in the path of the Hydian Way trade route- cutting off the Republic's most critical supply lines. We were initially hesitant to pull back from the battle with The Sith in The Outer Rim- but after several pleas from the Senate, the supply crisis could not be ignored.
The Jedi Order answered the new Mandalore's challenge- we attacked the blockade. Our Order was defeated quite profoundly... The Mandalorian Blockade held strong until the day the intrepid smugglers took their shot at The Mandalorians, and managed to rescue the Republic.
Mandalore went on to lead many of his followers to seek new challenges while others again struck out on their own. The true enigma in the resurgence of the Mandalorians was the rise of the new Mandalore himself.
The Blockade is Broken (7 BTC) Edit
After the sacking of Coruscant, the Jedi Council agreed that the Republic had been undone by the bold cunning of the Empire's strategy. A closer look, however, suggests the sacking of Coruscant was not the crowning moment of the Empire's campaign, but a rather risky maneuver undertaken after all other efforts had failed. The Sith only considered turning to such measures after their efforts were undermined by an unlikely Republic ally- the criminal smuggling contingent that broke the Mandalorian Blockade.
The blockade choked the primary trade route for providing Republic military support to The Outer Rim... and the main Hyperlane for bringing raw goods from the colonies to The Core Worlds. Longstanding holdouts in The Outer Rim began folding to the Empire, and critical supplies vanished from The Core Worlds almost overnight. As starvation swept through the lower levels of Coruscant, riots broke out planetwide.
Talk in the Senate veered sharply toward a complete surrender to The Sith Empire. It was at this critical hour that a Mirialan smuggler named Hylo Visz recognized an extraordinary business opportunity for her and her partners. With the Republic willing to pay any price for raw goods, Hylo's plan was simple- break the Mandalorian Blockade.
Loading massive freighters with all the goods The Outer Rim had to offer, Hylo and her fellow smugglers hauled their loads to within a parsec of the blockade and stopped still. Distracted by suspicious freighters, The Mandalorians never knew what hit them- a motley fleet of small Starships dropped out of Hyperspace and opened fire. A massive space battle ensued. The smugglers' light freighters ran rings around the Mandalorian cruisers- but even so, Hylo Visz and her band were outmatched. Fortunately, Republic strategic information systems was tipped off and Starfighters were scrambled from nearby systems. With their assistance, The Mandalorians were quickly overcome.
The blockade broken, Hylo Visz brought freighters full of raw goods into Coruscant and walked away with more wealth than she had ever imagined. An elaborate medal ceremony was held in her honor, but Hylo never showed- she was long gone. Rumor has it Hylo Visz was killed a year later for double-crossing the Hutts. Regardless, through this unlikely hero's efforts, the Republic war effort gained a reprieve.
The Treaty of Coruscant (0 ATC) Edit
Matters had become complicated for the Republic war effort since the critical trade route between The Outer Rim and The Core Worlds was recovering from the Mandalorian Blockade. The Jedi Council urged caution as the Senate considered the Sith's offer, but even they had to agree- the war was unwinnable- peace was the only hope.
Republic and Imperial diplomats convened on the planet of Alderaan to discuss a galaxy-wide cease-fire... But The Sith still had one play to make. The Imperial fleet launched a surprise assault on the Republic capital of Coruscant. Bombarding the planet from orbit and storming the city-world's bottomless towers. With Coruscant's defenses incapacitated, the Imperials annihilated The Jedi Temple, captured the Senate Tower, and held the entire planet hostage.
Back on Alderaan, Republic diplomats had no choice. Despite unfavorable terms, the Treaty of Coruscant was signed. Jedi and Republic troops began withdrawing from battlefields around the galaxy, leaving star systems to fend for themselves and to be quickly swallowed up by The Sith Empire. The Jedi returned to Coruscant to find their temple in ruins and irate senators blaming The Jedi for all the Republic's troubles.
Thus began the unprecedented stalemate- The Jedi reconnecting with their roots, the Republic nursing its wounds, The Sith consolidating their power, and a galaxy divided between darkness and light. In retrospect, this outcome was inevitable, and would have come sooner were it not for some of the Republic's less savory allies.
This concludes my primary report on the last century of galactic history. Though the previous centuries are filled with important events- leading all the way back to the founding of the Republic and the formation of The Je'daii Order- these are outside the purview of my immediate research into the roots of the current crisis. However, should one wish to pursue research of deep galactic history, the Jedi Archives on Tython have fortunately survived the war's destruction mostly intact.