"The Great Galactic War. Even the Hundred-Year Darkness of five centuries ago cannot compare to the devastation that this war has the capacity to bring. In truth, the Great Galactic War is composed of a multitude of smaller wars: the rebellion against the Sith Empire, the Mandalorian Uprising, and the Sith Civil War. It is the culmination of five centuries of Sith dominion; and, ironically, it was the Sith that started it." —Jedi Historian Saa'liss Pictured Above: The Battle of Coruscant The Republic had suffered greatly due to its part in the Hundred-Year Darkness, having aided the Jedi in fighting their Dark Exiles across the galaxy. Many lives were lost, along with control of the Mid Rim, and countless resources were spent for ultimately little gain. As the Exiles became the Sith, the Empress Andraste used her considerable talents with her subtle and silver tongue to turn the still recovering Republic slowly against the Jedi. From treaties of non-aggression to even aid in their war with the Hutt Cartel, the bonds between the Empire and the Republic began to tighten ever so slowly. When the Sith finally came calling, having eclipsed the Republic in military power at the end of the Cartel War, it was only natural that the Republic merge with the Sith else face destruction, much like the Jedi. Thus was born the Imperial Republica, the culmination of a masterful campaign of politics and "diplomacy." The tipping point came when the Jedi decided to meet the Sith Empire in combat over the planet of Coruscant, generating outrage over putting a Republic world in danger and validating the decisions that Supreme Chancellor Vincent Deryck had made in the latter days of the Cartel War. The Empire was successful in it's fight thanks to the size of their fleet and the training of their soldiers, wiping out all the Jedi forces that had been assembled to seemingly destroy the monastic order once and for all. The Empress had another goal in mind for the battle, however, and had commanded her Strategist for the fight to prepare for the true coup de grace. Towards the end of the battle part of the Imperial Fleet moved to put the Senate into their crosshairs, the Empress done with the tiresome politics and double talk of the Chancellor and the Senate. That was when Andraste made her offer, to annex the Republic into the Empire in order to not only help restore the beleaguered nation but also be a part of one of the greatest Empires that the galaxy had ever seen. The Chancellor agreed, knowing that the Empire would destroy the core of the Republic in one quick bombardment if he refused. History still is undecided on whether Vincent Deryck was one of the wisest or most foolish Chancellors due to this choice, as well as whether he truly held the Republic's safety in his heart or was only concerned with his survival. The first Sith Empire flourished during the waning years and aftermath of the Hundred-Year Darkness as the former Jedi Exiles adopted the religious rites and traditions of the red-skinned Sith species, which they conquered during their exodus into the Outer Rim Territories. Under the first Sith Empress, the Empire grew and eventually swallowed up most of the known galaxy, absorbing their Outer Rim neighbors in Hutt Space and even the Republic in the coveted Core Worlds. Soon after, the Imperial capital was moved from Korriban to the former Republic capital of Coruscant. But the Empire quickly learned that governing the entire galaxy was no simple task and, so, the galaxy was divided into three quadrants: Imperial Republica, Imperial Hutta, and the Old Empire, which was defined as the old worlds that made up Sith Space. This “Old Empire” was overseen by the Dark Lord of the Sith and was originally loyal to the throne on Coruscant. However, five centuries deepened the cultural divide between the Sith in the Core and the Sith in their original home-space—so steeped were they in the ways of the ancient Sith... The cultural difference between the Coreward Imperial Republica and the Old Empire was almost immediately apparent. Andraste established a family dynasty that spat in the face of Sith culture and, in the minds of many red-skinned Sith, ensured that the Empire would eventually decay and collapse. Over the next five hundred years, the red Sith began to breed with humans, completing Andraste’s vision of merging her Dark Jedi with the Sith people; but the strongest concentration of those with Sith blood and culture remained in the Old Empire, which was overseen by a relative of the Empress who also held the title of “Dark Lord of the Sith.” For a time, the Dark Lord oversaw the Old Empire and there was peace. But the Old Empire could never forget its heritage. While the lords of Imperial Republica flaunted their wealth and political power, the Sith Lords of the Old Empire retained the ancient prefix of Darth and preferred to win their stations in the old ways—through death-enabled combat. These kaggaths pit power base against power base, Sith Lord against Sith Lord, with the winning lore absorbing his or her opponent’s minions and power for themselves. As a result, the Old Empire remained strongest in the ways of the dark side of the Force and in combat, eventually growing disdainful of their Coreward brethren. For the longest time, this bitterness did not infect the Dark Lord of the Sith, who was also chosen by birthright and by relation to the Drast dynasty; but that all began to change when, five hundred years after the defeat of the Jedi Order, a new, younger Dark Lord rose to claim the throne. This new Dark Lord believed his distant cousin in the Core to be weakened by the decadence of the innermost province. The Emperor was a master politician and ruled by blood-right, but the Dark Lord viewed him as weak in all the areas that mattered—martial strength and power with the dark side of the Force. He began to preach a return to the old ways—to the “Rule of the Strong,” where Sith were ruled only by those who proved themselves to be the most capable of holding the throne and leading the Sith to greatness. As a symbolic gesture, he forsook his Drast name, which had for five centuries been the names of the Dark Lords of the Sith, and took the ancient title of Darth and an accompanying Sith name for his own. Followers flocked to him; almost the entirety of his province stood behind him, and, soon, tensions began to rise as the Dark Lord became more vocal in opposition to the Emperor’s rule. In the midst of these tensions, the Dark Lord gathered his followers on a farm world known as Medriaas. It was a world he thought would be unsuspecting, allowing him to foment his coup d'etat against the Emperor. But the Emperor’s spies had already seen through the smoke and mirrors and so he sent the fleet to Medriaas in order to wipe out the Dark Lord’s followers and his rebellion in one fell swoop. The bombardment of the planet killed millions, but rather than quash rebellion, it sparked rebellion all over the galaxy. The Dark Lord proclaimed himself the true Emperor over the Old Empire and the Sith Civil War began alongside the larger Great Galactic War that consumed the galaxy. This was the sign of weakness the disgruntled senators on the Imperial Republica had long been waiting for; but senators alone lacked the might to oppose the Empire, so they began to scour the galaxy for allies to aid them in their cause. It did not take as long as many of them thought it might. Criminals and smugglers had long had free reign during the Hundred-Year Darkness. With the old Jedi Order fighting against their dark brethren, many crime syndicates flourished. But the Sith Empire’s reign challenged their supremacy once again and, soon, Jedi antagonism was replaced with Sith antagonism. In light of this, the galaxy’s criminal element found an odd kinship with the dissenting Senators and an uneasy alliance was forged between them to fight back against the Empire. At first, the fledgling rebellion was reduced to simple piracy and harrassing Imperial supply lines. They did not yet possess the firepower necessary to challenge the Imperial fleet, even in its divided state. But their early action was not without purpose and did not go unnoticed. For five centuries, the survivors of the Jedi Order remained hidden in the Outer Rim Territories. There, they trained new Jedi and quietly waited in exile for the moment they could reveal themselves to the galaxy and assist it in throwing off the shackles of the Sith Empire that had once defeated them. The handful of remaining Jedi also sensed the opportunity in the division. They also took notice of the actions these early rebels were taking to harass the Empire and saw the opening they had long awaited. A number of them gathered and revealed themselves to the leaders of this small rebellion in the ruins of an ancient Jedi enclave on Dantooine. The early rebels were initially distrusting of the Jedi—as the ripples of the Hundred-Year Darkness had not yet calmed—but ultimately decided to accept them due to their long-standing opposition to the Sith. These Jedi knew that, if the Sith were to ever learn they were still alive and in-league with a cell of rebels, both would be obliterated before the rebellion could fully take-off. As a result, the Jedi resolved to keep themselves in the shadows and advise the leadership with their precognitive Force abilities. They would only reveal themselves when the Force designed them ready to do so (or whenever the rebellion needed them most). The trio of disgruntled politicians, criminals, and Jedi subsequently made Dantooine—a relatively remote and unassuming farming world—their headquarters. Since ancient times, the sons and daughters of Mandalore have been renowned throughout the Outer Rim Territories as the greatest warriors the galaxy have ever seen. Some, in fact, feared that these Mandalorians would one day rise up and leave their homeworld on a conquering crusade that would end in their dominance over the entire known galaxy. But, due to widespread civil war amongst each other, the Mandalorian clans never thought to use their vast technological superiority to leave Mandalore; and so, for a time, the galaxy was safe from the fires their wars would bring... until the rise of the first Sith Lords united the clans for the first time and introduced them to the galaxy at large. Over the next five hundred years, the Mandalorians lacked a Manda'lor and were instead driven by their singular hatred of the Jedi Order. As they eradicated the Jedi one-by-one, their evolution continued. Their armor and technology grew in direct response to Jedi abilities and, soon, the Mandalorians became the most efficient Jedi killers in the galaxy, developing anti-Jedi technology that allowed them to quickly counter their enemies Force powers and lightsabers. But, over time, the Jedi began to dwindle until they were thought entirely extinct. The Sith Empire had spread across most of the known galaxy and began to slow—no longer focused on continued conquering. As a result, the Mandalorian crusaders became a standing army and a standing Mandalorian army was a restless one. To add insult to injury, the Sith Empire, looking to enact new social policies that encouraged homogeny, began to crack down on Mandalorian culture and religion; they sought to assimilate Mandalorian culture into their own, earning them strong pushback from the Mandalore sector. Some in the sector began to question why they continued to acknowledge Sith rule; their technology had grown to the point that it could be used just as well against Sith as it was against Jedi, and the Sith continued to believe themselves superior due to their ability to wield the Force—a concept that the Mandalorians loathed equally in both Jedi and Sith. Five hundred years of working alongside the Sith had not endeared the Mandalorian people to their conquerers and, before long, there were calls for a continue to the crusade, to the Purge. But every Mandalorian knew that a true crusade could not be carried out without a leader. And so the call went out — a cry rose from the lips of a people: Manda'lor... Manda'lor... Manda'lor... And, so, the search begins.