- Jul 15, 2011
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HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION
The Hutt Cartel is a criminal syndicate unlike any in the known galaxy. Unified and controlled by Vero the Hutt (who has since been succeeded by a number of figures, most recently Addipos the Hutt), the Cartel saw expansion that it did not see in centuries, and today represents the most powerful criminal entity in the galaxy and a galactic super power at the same time. Two things that truly stand out about the Cartel are: patience and savagery. For the Hutts it is about money; that's all it's about, and they are very good at looking at the long term gain, evidenced by their significant investment in the Bacta market. The Cartel is also the type of organization to abduct your family and broadcast the savage torture of your loved one over the HoloNet while eating all your pet orokeetes, and force you to watch or participate and, at the end of it all, consider that a "mild slap on the hand" for what they could have done.
Intimidation and deception are tools that the Hutts use daily, while loyalty is a trait that they reward in their employees. While the Cartel has its own members, it heavily relies on employing talented, often independent, individuals to do their bidding for them. More often than not, the Cartel will also use dummy corporations to cover its tracks. The Cartel's motives and actions, in the grand political scheme, are as of now still unclear but one thing is certain: they have big things in mind judging by their actions in the last decade.
The Cartel’s expansion also saw a lot of, formerly independent, organizations come under its umbrella, like the infamous Ona'bak Retrade, the Guild, various bounty hunting guilds, and smaller crime syndicates.
Another thing worth mentioning is the Nal Hutta HoloNet Hub, through which the Hutt Cartel controls the HoloNet Acces Point in the Galactic East area. Through this means their influence and propaganda covers not only Hutt Space, but also partially extends in to some of the Imperial and Indie space as well.
Hutt Cartel HistoryAs an organization, the Hutt Cartel is familiar to a lot of historians. Formerly a dominant power in the galaxy, by 1000 ABY it was little more than a story from the old Republic taught at Universities and schools. Having been out from the galactic picture for well over a millennium, their return was both unexpected and difficult to hear about. The lack of expectation made preparations for their return quite easy. Originally, the new Hutt Cartel was the alliance of some of the most powerful Hutts alive coming together to once again become a dominant force in the galaxy.
Before the War (–1011 ABY)
Before the War (–1011 ABY)
But their beginnings weren't easy. Power plays and betrayals were a daily concern, with greed reigning over the Cartel instead of unity and a single goal. It wasn't until Vero and Yagoo the Hutts joined the top echelon that things started to change. With Vero the Hutt coming in to power as the leader, backed by Yagoo, he established himself as a dominant force within the Cartel and managed to do what no Hutt before him even tried, as no one thought it could be done: he unified the Hutt Lords in 1007 ABY and set the Cartel on one single, unified, goal. The Galaxy.
However, the preparations for such an ambitious plan took years, but Vero and the other Hutts had patience. Acting through various other organizations, such as the RKD Syndicate, the Cartel slowly gathered and built up its forces as its influence grew on Nal Hutta and Nar Shaddaa. By 1009 ABY the Hutt Council was the unofficial ruler of the Hutt homeworld and its city moon.
From Behind the Scenes (1012–1015 ABY)Once their dominance was unquestioned in the heart of Hutt space it was time to spread out in to the galaxy. But realizing that they could, and should, do so indirectly Vero created and funded another new organization from the old days: the Ona'bak Retrade. Completely removing himself from the picture, the Cartel brought the Retrade back to life and funded them with ships, manpower and credits to start out in the galaxy.
As the Cartel recruited talented individuals from all over the galaxy their successes and rise in the galactic underworld wasn't expected by anyone, even Vero himself. In just two short years the Galactic Alliance fell to the combined forces of the Empire, the Mandalorians, and the Chiss Ascendancy despite enjoying the advantage in both man power and resources. The Ona'bak Retrade was directly involved in their defeat. Assassinations, espionage, infiltration and various other tactics made the Retrade the player that struck from the shadows and couldn't be found.
Even in the final battle on Coruscant the Retrade took part. Even when everyone thought they knew what the Retrade was after, their true goals and motivations remained a secret. Gaining influence around the galaxy, the Retrade took control of various small cities and planets around the galaxy and its name and reputation became a public secret, more or less. The Ona'bak Retrade, a product of the Hutt Cartel, had become one of the most influential and feared criminal organizations in the entire galaxy.
The Retrade set the stage for the return of the Hutt Cartel. Integrating itself in to both Chiss ranks as Fleet Admirals and fighter pilots, the Retrade directly contributed to the Chiss taking up massive loans from the Hutt clans that Vero and Yagoo controlled, of course, in their quest for galactic dominance.
After Coruscant fell the Retrade continued to work with the Empire, Mandalorians, and the Chiss, though there was a subtle change in their ways as the Retrade's top echelon learned of the Hutt Cartel at the end of 1013 ABY. For the next two years they continued to gather contacts and do business as usual while the Hutt Council observed their Chiss "friends" closely. It didn't matter to the Hutts whether or not the Chiss would be able to pay them back, they would get their investments back one way or the other.
Rise of the Hutt Cartel (1015–1017 ABY)The same year that the Sith suffered their first major setback of the war, the Chiss Ascendancy began to collapse from economic mismanagement. Having long been the pawns of the Sith, the Chiss were keen on establishing themselves as a major galactic power in their own right. They spent years acquiring fleets, major defensive systems, weapons, personnel, and more, believing that their destiny was one of galactic conquest as well. Most of these acquisitions were made using loans from the Hutt Cartel. With so much of their resources devoted to acquisitions, however, commerce and other sources of income were neglected to the point that the government ran out of money to pay the Hutts. The Chiss defaulted on their debt, so the Hutt Lords repossessed the fleet. The Chiss economy began to collapse, and the territory they had gained from the Battle of Endor slipped out of their hands and became independent from any major government. With the Chiss unable to launch any sort of offensive or provide a meaningful contribution to the Sith war effort, the Sith broke all ties with them, content to let the government collapse into irrelevancy.
The decline of the Chiss and the repossession of their fleet gave the Hutt Lords reason to believe that the time was ripe to begin military conquest of their own, something they had not been prone to do on a large scale since the Great Hutt Wars millennia earlier. The Cartel turned its attention to neighboring Bothan space, believing that taking over Bothawui and adjacent planets would provide critical intelligence and military resources needed to take on additional campaigns. With the Sith in no position to stop the Cartel, and the Remnant still in a weakened state, the Hutts sent their forces to the border.
What the Hutt Lords assumed would be an easy campaign was immediately stalled by major military resistance from the Bothans. Despite bringing in elite soldiers and mercenaries for two years, the Hutt forces attempted to drive further into the region, but they were only able to modestly push back the borders of Bothan space, a drawback of having no real trained army. It was Bothawui that proved to be impenetrable, with a massive planetary energy shield that prevented bombardment and penetration to anyone who did not have the codes. The only course of actions the Hutts could take was to put up a blockade to try and starve the Bothans out, all while attempting to bribe Bothans to destroy the generator or give the Hutt forces the codes needed to lower the shields. They could not find any willing participants to bribe to their side.
As the stalemate continued, the Bothans gained control of the hyperspace lines into their space, preventing critical Hutt resources and reinforcements from arriving. The Hutt Lords finally decided that it was too costly to continue the war effort. Once their forces retreated, the Hutt Lords realized that outright military might was not as effective as economic manipulation. Knowing that bacta would be the galaxy’s most precious resource as the war dragged on, the Hutts began investing in the Bacta Cartel of Thyferra, which they would continue to do over the next several years.
Rebel Dawn (1,022 ABY–)The failed Siege of Manaan and the long and exhaustive invasion of the Hapes Consortium proved to be major turning points in the war. With Imperial forces spread thin across ever-expanding territories, and with causalities mounting, the need for medical supplies like bacta began to rise at an exponential rate. Within a few short months of the Manaan and Hapan campaigns, military forces across the galaxy were faced with bacta supplies dwindling to critical levels. The Bacta Cartel on Thyferra, now owned by the Hutt Cartel, found itself under increasing pressure to supply armed forces across the galaxy with their limited resources. Production was soon eclipsed by demand. Subsequently, bacta prices began to skyrocket, as what little reserves remained dwindled to nothing.
However, where crisis rose, so too did opportunity. The Hutt Cartel, having foreseen a prolonged conflict and an opportunity to capitalize on the needs of the galaxy, revealed an enormous stockpile of bacta. With prices at exorbitant levels, the Hutts easily made trillions of credits selling the substance in limited amounts. At the same time, the Hutts began to organize clandestine raids on planets bordering their territories, worlds that were still recovering from the war between the former Alliance and the Mandalorians that had occupied the territory some ten years ago. Capitalizing on the economic frailty of the region, the Hutts used their newfound monetary resources to buy out entire systems, expanding their territory considerably for the first time in centuries. With the Alliance gone, and the Sith without a foothold in the region, there was no one to stop the combined greed of the Hutt Lords.
That did not mean that there was no one to keep the Hutts in check, however. Having escaped a catastrophe in their war with the Hutts, the Bothans remained a preeminent force in intelligence-gathering and infiltration. Bothuwai officially declared themselves neutral; they vehemently opposed the Sith, but there was no coherent force to stand against them and the Sith were not yet a threat to Bothan space. The Bothan spies instead monitored all sides of the war, especially their former Hutt enemies. Despite the Cartel’s apparent retreat from military-based tactics, there remained a concern that the Hutt Lords would become greedy enough to once again launch an incursion into Bothan territory.
The Hutt monopoly of the bacta trade was rivaled only by the Selkath of Manaan, who revealed significant stockpiles of kolto that had survived the siege of their homeworld. As the Sith had suspected when they first launched their campaign on Manaan, kolto was enjoying market prices that it had not seen in millennia, and it became a go-to resource for military forces. Between the combined forces of the Selkath, Quarren, and Mon Calamari, as well as their ability to capitalize on the legends surrounding Defiance Squadron, Manaan once again enforced a rule of strict neutrality, threatening to destroy the source of the precious fluid should any faction seek to conquer their world. To further assist with defense, Manaan formed a mutual defense pact with Cato Neimoidia and Commenor, declaring that if any of those two planets were attacked, the Selkath would consider it an attack on Manaan. This buffer zone essentially stopped Sith expansion in the region due to those planets standing in their way. Even the Empire knew that it could not afford to risk losing the remaining bacta supplies and all of the kolto supply in the galaxy.
The Hutts responded in kind to the Sith expansion in the southern Mid Rim, once more stalling their expansion by way of Thyferra, where the Hutt-controlled Bacta Cartel had all but seized control of the planet. Imperial expansion had slowed significantly since the Manaan and Hapan campaigns, but now ground to a complete halt as a result of the bacta shortage and the threats posed by the Hutts and Selkath.
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