Alderaan is a mountainous world of lush forests and grasslands, ruled by an assembly of noble houses and an enlightened and advanced citizenry. A founding member of the Republic, Alderaan has been traditionally admired for its wealth, its art and its thinkers, while the deadly intrigues and politics of the nobility have been downplayed.
Recently, those intrigues erupted into civil war, and Alderaan--now officially withdrawn from the Republic--sees conflict it hasn't known in ages. The Republic is backing House Organa's quest for the crown, whereas the Empire backs the former House Thul exiles. Palaces and fields have become pockmarked by cannon fire, and house armies clash on the battlefield.
- faction: Independent, levels: 28 - 32
- location: Distant Outer Rim, status: Several of Alderaan's noble houses are battling for the throne in a brutal civil war
- terrain: Forests, Hills and Snow-Capped Mountains
- key facts: Following the Treaty of Coruscant, Alderaan seceded from the Galactic Republic
Companions from this world: Risha (Smuggler companion), Vector Hyllis (Imperial Agent companion)
The Kaamos Territory is the ancestral homeland of House Thul, one of the major houses of Alderaan and a contender for the throne. After Thul returned from exile with its Imperial allies, the nobles set about rebuilding on the grounds of the ancient Thul palace--abandoned long ago but not entirely destroyed, ready to be returned to glory. Thul's grip on the territory is still tenuous, as the house faces incursions from both the native Killiks and enemy houses.
The Lerantha Dam is also located in the Kaamos Territory--a long-standing landmark and generator plant built at the edge of the Lerantha Lake. Currently, House Ulgo controls the dam, threatening the edges of House Thul's territory.
Thousands of years ago, before the noble houses had united to form the Alderaanian parliament, the warring families gathered for a decisive battle at the ravine now known as King's Pass. Before the fighting could commence, Darrus Alde, the head of House Alde, parleyed with the other noble families and convinced them to abandon their centuries-old rivalries. His decisive leadership ended generations of strife and led to the construction of the Elysium, where Darrus was elected and anointed as the first king of Alderaan.
In recent years, the native Killiks have repopulated the area, provoking increasingly violent skirmishes with the neighboring Alderaanians. The ravine's strategic location has also made it a hotbed of violence between the major noble houses as they struggle for control.
The Apalis Coast
South of the Juran Mountains, the Apalis Coast is a rich green flatland separated from the sea by a sheer cliff face. The ancestral home of House Organa, it has been a reliable source of wealth for generations, as the noble family has made the coast into productive farmland.
Unfortunately, this fruitful land has now been marred by invaders from House Thul. After a failed assault on House Organa itself, Thul forces have dug up Organa's fertile farms and turned the area into a massive army camp. Thul forces are there to stay, a constant challenger in the face of their rivals.
For millennia, the Elysium has served as the symbolic center of Alderaanian politics. Years before the capital city was founded, the various noble houses met in the Elysium to elect and anoint their first king. Until recently, every dispute over succession in Alderaan's history had been peacefully resolved within its stone walls, and the houses' greatest treasures were placed in Elysium vaults as a symbol of trust.
When Gaul Panteer was assassinated and Alderaan's ailing queen passed on in a mysterious transport crash, the parliament assembled in the Elysium to elect a new sovereign. It was then that House Thul made its move, returning to Alderaan after decades of exile. Violence and accusations erupted almost immediately, and since then, the Elysium has remained an empty, forgotten symbol of Alderaanian unity--its ancient halls cracking as distant bombs fall, and its beauty quickly fading.
The Glarus Valley
Glarus Valley has long been the ancestral home of House Panteer, the royal family of Alderaan, and the site of the Elysium and Castle Panteer itself. The valley was once the seat of culture and democracy on Alderaan, a place where squabbling nobles could resolve their disputes peacefully.
Like so much of Alderaan, the land is now ravaged by war. Castle Panteer has fallen to House Ulgo, and the Elysium is all but abandoned. Although House Thul and House Organa maintain a small presence in the area, the disciplined soldiers of House Ulgo tighten their hold every day. There are rumors that the royal family is still in hiding somewhere in the valley, but even Ulgo has been unable to find them.
The Juran Mountains
The majestic Juran Mountains have been the site of many conflicts in recent years. During the Battle of Alderaan, Republic resistance fighters sought refuge in the mountains, using the natural cover to hide from the invading Imperial forces. It was here that Captain Jace Malcom led Havoc Squad in an ambush against Darth Malgus; with the help of Satele Shan, the Republic troopers were able to triumph over the powerful Sith Lord.
After a few short years of peace, violence has once again erupted in the area. House Ulgo, backed by its vassals in House Rist, has occupied the region and is locked in a brutal conflict with the forces of House Thul and House Organa.
Alderaan's oldest surviving noble house by far, House Alde is obsessed with antiquity and lineage. Its nobles studiously avoid polluting their bloodline with foreign influences, preserving the blood of King Alde, the first ruler of Alderaan.
These practices have left the family isolated and eccentric, but its scholarly grasp of history and Alderaanian lore is equal to none. Its obsessions are widely considered unusual, but not dangerous--Alde pride and pomposity rarely devolves into genuine arrogance. For over a century, Alde has stayed closely allied with House Organa, appreciating Organa's devotion to Alderaan's historical ties with the Republic.
House Baliss (Smuggler)
A relatively minor noble family, House Baliss has amassed much of its influence currying favor with the larger houses. Many aristocrats joke that Baliss has served as vassal to every noble family of any significance. Baliss remained neutral when war broke out between the major houses, preferring to wait for a decisive victor to emerge before declaring any allegiances.
Recently, the Baliss estate was overrun with Killiks, forcing the nobles to abandon their home. Baliss sought refuge with another minor family, House Teraan; the head of House Baliss, Duke Yun, decided to capitalize on the chaos engulfing Alderaan and make the Teraan estate the new Baliss home.
House Girard (Bounty Hunter)
Girard is a relatively minor noble house that remained independent in the grand scheme of Alderaanian politics until the recent civil war left it dangerously exposed. Since then, House Girard has pledged its resources and influence to House Thul (and Thul's Imperial backers) in exchange for protection.
The whole of House Girard's nobility now resides in a wing of the Thul estate. There, the Girard nobles await their inevitable victory and the reclamation of their imperiled lands--along with the receipt of new territories as reward for their loyal support.
House Organa is perhaps the most respected noble house on Alderaan. Organa ancestors were among the first to settle the planet and were pivotal in the formation of the Galactic Republic. The Organas have remained vocal supporters of the Republic for millennia, believers in patient negotiation over aggression, and were outraged when Senator Gaul Panteer announced Alderaan's independence.
The current Duke Organa epitomizes what the house is known for. During the war, the duke was a fierce opponent of the Empire and the Sith who saw his family treated brutally during the Empire's short-lived invasion of Alderaan. This neither soured the duke and his house on peace, nor weakened their resolve to battle evil; when Alderaan's civil war began years later, Organa was among the last houses to take up arms... but the duke had privately trained a talented and honorable battalion for such an eventuality, and readily turned to the Republic for advice and assistance during the crisis. Today, Organa remains the Republic's fiercest ally on the planet.
Arguably the most blue-blooded of the noble houses, House Panteer has put more kings and queens on the Alderaanian throne than all other families combined. Panteer rulers have been called both patriots and pragmatists--traditionally, they have been believers in the beauty of Alderaan and patrons of the arts who nonetheless accept that a lie, a betrayal or even a dagger can be a sad political necessity. The last uncontested ruler of Alderaan was a proud Panteer queen who had earned the respect--if not always the love--of both friends and adversaries.
When Bouris Ulgo declared himself king, House Panteer immediately challenged his rule. Ulgo responded by burning the Panteer estates to the ground and forcing the survivors into hiding, bringing the family low after millennia. While many nobles still see the Panteers as rightful heirs to the Alderaanian throne, and many others seek Panteer's blessing to legitimize their own claims to the crown, the Panteers remain suspicious--wondering about the circumstances behind their downfall, and hoping to reclaim lost glory.
Legendary assassins and spies, the members of House Rist trace their roots to an Exchange crimelord who provided illicit services to the Alderaanian nobility. After years of underhanded dealings, the crimelord was granted his own lands, and the Rists were legitimized as a minor noble house. Rather than abandon their criminal roots, however, the Rists continued to discreetly ply their murderous trade while enjoying the trappings of privilege, earning favor and leverage with the other nobles in the process.
Eventually House Ulgo sought and acquired House Rist's pledge as a vassal. The promotion was a controversial move, but a shrewd one, as the Ulgos now had sole claim to the Rists' vast underworld resources. The recent death of Gaul Panteer has cast suspicion on Rist and Ulgo alike, as many believe Rist assassins were responsible for the Senator's demise.
House Teral (Jedi Consular)
Closely related to the royal House Panteer, House Teral enjoyed several generations of growth and prosperity through trade and its connections to the royal family. Unsurprisingly, House Teral's troubles began after House Ulgo usurped the throne and effectively obliterated House Panteer. Seeing that House Teral's trade fortune could allow its Panteer cousins to rebuild, House Ulgo began a campaign against Teral's holdings and property. King Bouris Ulgo used his influence to shatter House Teral's trading contacts and forced Teral--never a military house--to raise massive armies to face Ulgo attacks.
Today, harried and nearly bankrupt, House Teral is a shadow of its formerly prosperous self. The last straw was the recent death of its diplomatic delegate. Although officially judged an accident, no one is fooled; it is clear that House Ulgo will be satisfied with nothing less than Teral's utter destruction.
The members of House Thul are descended from a wealthy and ambitious merchant who bought his way into the nobility. The Thuls considered this a point of pride, specializing in brokering trade and acting as caretakers of Alderaan's economy--yet for generations, the relative youth of the Thul house carried a stigma.
Unable to marry a Thul into royalty, the house made a desperate bid for the throne--Thuls switched an Organa infant with a Thul baby and supported the changeling as a potential bride for the crown prince. A young Jedi exposed the treachery and stopped the wedding, creating a scandal that led to the disgraced Thul's exile from Alderaan.
Thul maintained its pride and its culture in exile, though the house became impoverished and isolated in its offworld estates. It was decades before Thul nobles were contacted by the Imperial Diplomatic Service; the Empire promised to restore Thul to its rightful glory, to train its soldiers and educate its children and one day help it return to Alderaan.
At last, in the aftermath of Alderaan's withdrawal from the Republic and the death of its queen, a generation of Thuls raised alongside the Empire came home--eager to restore the family name and take vengeance against Thul's enemies. Thul has already gained the allegiance of a number of lesser houses, and with Imperial support stands as a true contender for the throne.
The noble House Ulgo has a long history of military excellence. The family values discipline and duty above all else, and Ulgos pride themselves on forsaking the pampered, aristocratic lifestyles the other noble houses have gravitated toward. The Ulgo tradition of requiring every member to serve in the military has produced generations of distinguished officers.
In recent years, the Ulgos became increasingly frustrated with the political stalemate in the Alderaanian parliament. When the queen died and House Thul returned from exile with the support of the Empire, General Bouris Ulgo pleaded with the collected nobles to act quickly to push Thul back off the planet. When it became clear the nobles were too fractured to stop what he saw as a second Imperial invasion, Bouris Ulgo declared himself king and declared war on House Thul. Unfortunately, grabbing the crown forced the hand of the other noble houses and they declared war against Ulgo. House Ulgo now finds itself beset on all sides as it struggles to defend the crown and brutally reinstate order on Alderaan--no matter the cost in blood and resources.
Persons of Note
Stiff and arrogant, Bouris Ulgo is nevertheless a patriot who believes himself the last sane noble on Alderaan. The former head of the planet's fighting forces and a decorated Republic general, Ulgo anticipated a swift return to his farming estates after the Great War. To his surprise and dismay, he was not released from duty, and the military was asked to remain on high alert as Alderaan's nobles played at politics.
Alderaan's withdrawal from the Republic, the deaths of the queen and her heir, and the return of House Thul forced Ulgo to take matters into his own hands; while the nobles bickered over their next ruler, Ulgo deployed his troops, declared himself king and instituted martial law. Sources close to the king say he was genuinely surprised to face opposition, but he swiftly razed House Panteer's estates and declared war on any house that dared defy him. Many now question Ulgo's mental state, whispering that the once great man has become brutal and paranoid.
Captain Cormac (Trooper)
Unlike the nobles he has been charged with protecting, Captain Balic Cormac is a commoner, a working-class soldier serving the noble house of Organa. He originally had hopes of enlisting in the Republic military, but those dreams were shattered when Gaul Panteer withdrew Alderaan from the Republic.
Cormac bears some resentment toward the nobility for its treatment of and seeming disregard for lower-class people like himself, but he is still completely loyal to House Organa and ready to lay his life down in defense of its banner.
Duke Corwin "The Durasteel Duke" (Bounty Hunter)
The nobleman dubbed "The Durasteel Duke" is both a celebrity and local legend, a charismatic and fearless leader and politician who has never once backed down in the face of threats or intimidation or refused to meet a rival face-to-face. Many a schemer has attempted to take advantage of the duke's brash and audacious nature to lure him into a trap, only to find himself staring dumbfounded and slack-jawed at the duke's unperturbed and unmolested person upon their next meeting.
It is said that the duke's invincibility is so assured that he has never had to raise a hand against another living being--a claim supported by his famous refusal of a pistol during an honor duel. By all accounts, the duke's aggrieved opponent chose to turn the weapon upon himself rather than face the duke's unrelenting gaze.
Duke Kendoh (Sith Warrior)
A wily and self-serving noble of House Thul, Duke Kendoh has never seen a situation that he could not transform into an opportunity. Born and raised during Thul's exile in Imperial space, Kendoh is by no means an unquestioning Imperial supporter; as much as he enjoys the luxuries Imperial credits buy, and despite being well aware of the debt his house owes the Empire, he also understands that the life of an Alderaanian noble can depend on his ability to out-think and outmaneuver his rivals... and that an ally can also be a political liability.
At the same time, Duke Kendoh makes no claims to valor and knows how to be discreet. For this reason, the rest of House Thul indulges and supports him.
General Gesselle Organa (Sith Warrior)
One of the most famous members of her house, General Gesselle Organa is a capable, authoritative military commander known for her ability to evaluate risks and outcomes impartially and apply ruthless and effective tactics. After the usurper Ulgo took the throne of Alderaan, Gesselle was responsible for Ulgo's first real military embarrassment--a feint in which two hundred of her soldiers died, while three thousand Ulgos were defeated.
Gesselle's hard-heartedness is rumored to extend into her personal life. She was nearly married to an undistinguished earl of House Alde on her eighteenth birthday, but the wedding was postponed, then cancelled for reasons never publicly discussed.
Intelligence Profile: Vector Hyllus (Imperial Agent)
- Companion of: Imperial Agent
- Melee Damage
- Crew Skills Bonus: +5 Bioanalysis Efficiency, +5 Diplomacy Critical
- Primary Weapon: Electrostaff
- Secondary Weapon: Generator (non-shield)
- Name: Vector Hyllus
- Gender: Male
- Species: Human (enhanced)
- Age: 26
Background (Summary): Second-generation Imperial; mother native to Jurio, married Captain Adronik Hyllus after Jurio was granted Imperial governance. Expressed desire to join Diplomatic Service at early age and displayed appropriate traits. Ranked high academically during training, and soon after graduation was granted (by request) post aboard exploration and first contact vessel (see service record).
Reassigned to Alderaan due to diplomatic manpower needs (see House Thul). Served ably until encounter with Killik species and subsequent "Joiner" transformation. Current status is unclear.
Personality: Vector Hyllus has repeatedly expressed admiration for Imperial accomplishments while indicating a desire to spread Imperial influence through diplomatic channels. His attitudes were likely shaped by the Imperial reconstruction of his homeworld and are appropriate for a Diplomatic Service member. Hyllus is obedient, intelligent, charismatic and effective. He is unlikely to advance further within diplomatic or military hierarchies.
Notes: Personality profile compiled from performance reports from before Hyllus's "Joiner" transformation. Data should be considered non-comprehensive.
Lord Nefarid (Jedi Knight)
Small, ugly and brilliant, Lord Nefarid is the most cunning of Darth Angral's apprentices. The Force was never particularly strong in him, and few thought he would survive his training--much less rise to become Angral's favored servant.
Unable to match his peers' raw power, Nefarid has endured by keeping to the shadows and using pawns and spies to carry out his wicked schemes. He delights in sowing terror and paranoia among the frightened masses, but his true passion lies in besting those who believe themselves more powerful than him. The universe has treated Nefarid like garbage, and that has only made him more determined to prove his superiority.
Markus Thul (Trooper)
Markus Thul is a loyal and high-ranking member of his house. Like the rest of his family, Markus was eager to return to Alderaan and see House Thul take its rightful place in the aristocracy, and he welcomed the Empire's support, confident Imperial strength would put House Thul on the throne.
However, years of watching his kinsmen cater to the Imperials' whims has made Markus question this so-called "alliance." He now fears that House Thul has lost its way and willingly sold itself into servitude to the Empire.
Nomar Organa (Sith Inquisitor)
The youngest son of the third brother of the lord of House Organa, Nomar Organa showed Force sensitivity at a young age and was given to the Jedi Order as a gift by his uncle. As a young man and Padawan, he returned to Alderaan for the first time and soon fell in love with a daughter of House Rist.
At the time, House Rist was weighing an alliance with House Organa and both houses saw the match as an opportunity to seal their relationship. But the Jedi Order refused to consent to such a politically burdensome marriage; Nomar broke off the engagement and has served the Jedi Order dutifully ever since.
Rehanna Rist (Sith Inquisitor)
Twin sister of Markos Rist, Lady Rehanna Rist is an enigmatic figure among the nobility, preferring her work training House Rist's renowned assassins to the politics of court.
A dangerous woman in her own right, Lady Rist is known for her tough, cold demeanor and for the many suitors she has rejected over the years. While her brother would prefer that she marry and raise House Rist's profile on Alderaan, Rehanna is stubborn in her refusal, and her brother does not dare force her.
- Companion of: Smuggler
- Ranged Damage
- Crew Skills Bonus: +15 Diplomacy, +1 Critical Slicing
- Primary Weapon: Sniper Rifle
- Secondary Weapon: Scattergun
Petty criminal, starship mechanic, woman of mystery, royal queen: all of these terms apply to Risha, daughter of notorious crime lord Nok Drayen. Considering her upbringing as a violent gangster's child, it's a wonder Risha turned out remotely normal. Wise and experienced beyond her years, she has led an adventurous life containing some extremely dark chapters.
Despite her biting sarcasm and general selfishness, one can never shake the feeling that Risha would be a better person if only she knew how. Years spent among the galaxy's dregs have fostered layers of personal self-defense mechanisms and a cynical shell around her. Only the most persistent friend has any hope of meeting the "real" Risha hiding beneath the surface.
The original inhabitants of Alderaan, the insectoid Killiks spread across the planet and throughout neighboring star systems millennia before the foundation of the Republic. By the time human colonists found Alderaan, however, the Killiks had long since migrated into deep space for reasons unknown; the only evidence of their existence was their empty hive mounds.
In fact, a few Killiks had remained behind on Alderaan and lived in hibernation deep underground. Every few hundred years, these Killiks would emerge and come into conflict with the colonists before retreating and sleeping once again. The Alderaanians viewed the Killiks as monsters out of legend, and no one's certain how the Killiks view the Alderaanians.
Killik society is comprised of a collection of hive minds--some violently territorial, others gentle and reclusive. Individual Killiks possess no sense of identity or self, and each would unquestioningly sacrifice its life for the benefit of its nest. As a result, Killiks cannot comprehend the value other species place on individuals, making them difficult to interact or negotiate with. They do, however, have values of their own, creating beautiful works of art and engaging in complex ritual behavior.
The strength of the Killik hive mind is such that it can even absorb individuals from other species, altering their brain chemistry so that they respond to the will of the nest. These transformed individuals are commonly called Joiners.
Utterly at odds with the tranquility of their native Alderaan, bolraidas are one of the most aggressive species in the galaxy. They are brutally effective hunters, running down prey with their powerful front legs before gouging them with the hook-like tusks on their lower jaws.
Early Alderaanian settlers were shocked to encounter such violent beasts on their paradisiacal new home, and it wasn't long before bolraida attacks became a leading cause of death. Unlike their distant relative, the iraida, bolraidas are impossible to train; nearly every attempt to domesticate the beasts has ended disastrously.
Iraidas are a species of predatory reptomammals native to Alderaan, known for their exceptional hearing and extreme resistance to cold. Although they are distantly related to the bolraida, iraidas have demonstrated a level of intelligence far superior to their vicious brethren; this has not only made them more cunning predators but has also led to their limited use as trained watch-beasts and gladiatorial challenges.
Thrantas are a species of flying animals indigenous to Alderaan. Their powerful wing muscles and internal air sacs allow them to stay aloft while carrying large amounts of weight, making them perfect aerial mounts. Early Alderaanian colonists made extensive use of thrantas, using them for personal and military transport.
Their popularity on Alderaan generated an enormous demand for the animals on Coruscant; thousands of thrantas were transplanted, but they were unable to survive the city-world's heavy air pollution. Since that debacle, the Alderaanians have refused to export the thrantas offworld and hunting them on Alderaan is strictly forbidden. This has only made thranta smuggling and thranta poaching more appealing in certain circles.
Vorn tigers are a dangerous breed of feline predators distinguished by their distinctive horns and sleek coats. They are solitary hunters by nature and most are extremely territorial. They typically avoid major settlements but are absolutely merciless to anyone unlucky enough to wander into their hunting grounds.
Vorn tigers often mark their territory by gouging bark from trees with their horns. Zoologists have noted that these markings are both unique and consistent--each vorn tiger seems to scratch in a consistent and unique pattern.
Vulagools are a species of small, hunched bipeds most commonly found on Alderaan. They are primarily scavengers, though they are known to bring down larger animals in packs.
While their planet of origin is unclear, some researchers believe vulagools were once a sentient species driven to near-extinction by the Killiks and brought to Alderaan to work in the Killik hives millennia ago. Others suggest the vulagools are themselves descended from Killik Joiners who mutated unexpectedly and were driven from the nests. Whatever their true nature, vulagools seem to both fear and hate the Killiks and do whatever they can to steer clear of the insectoids.
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.
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.
Jedi Diplomacy (Jedi Consular)
Galactic diplomacy and the Jedi Order have been intertwined for thousands of years. Renowned for their sense of justice and wide cultural awareness, Jedi negotiators are in high demand. Sometimes a Jedi will represent the interests of the Republic or the Jedi Order, but Jedi often act as a neutral third party between two factions; an outsider who can be trusted to arbitrate disputes fairly.
The talents of the Jedi and their adherence to the Jedi Code make them well suited to diplomatic endeavors. Jedi are trained in galactic law and history, often understand obscure languages and customs, and are famed for their devotion to peace. In addition, anyone trying to bribe or lie to a Jedi diplomat will be met with polite amusement at best--and at worst, heavy sanctions and criminal charges from the Republic.
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.
Operation: Silverplate (Imperial Agent)
Operational Summary: Funding for the Eagle's terrorist network was traced to Alderaan; Cipher Nine was sent to identify and eliminate source. Imperial Diplomatic Service member Vector Hyllus was chosen to assist despite uncertain status (see cross-reference).
Cipher Nine and Vector Hyllus identified local negotiator Denri Ayl and Baroness Chay Cortess as primary funders of the terrorist network. House Cortess was not implicated as a whole; however, appropriate responses and precautions have been taken. Vector Hyllus was flagged as an asset, and permanent transfer from the Diplomatic Service was granted.
Cross-reference: Cortess, Vector Hyllus, Killik, Protean, Eagle, Dominator
The Death Mark (Jedi Knight)
A top secret Republic prototype, the Death Mark is an orbital platform that fires an incredibly accurate beam of superconcentrated energy at a specific individual, resulting in instant death. The energy beam can penetrate virtually any structure or shield, making escape almost impossible.
The orbital platform tracks individuals who have been marked with a special targeting device. The targeting device is only effective at extreme close range, meaning an operative must get within several meters of an intended victim to use it. The targeting process is undetectable, and once marked, an individual can be tracked indefinitely, allowing the killing blow to be dealt hours or even days later.
In theory, the Death Mark could save hundreds of lives, as key enemy leaders could be eliminated without the need for armies or the risk of collateral damage. In the wrong hands, however, the Death Mark becomes a weapon of terror, raining murder down from the sky.
The Head of Darth Bandon (Smuggler)
The apprentice of the legendary Darth Malak - the Sith Lord responsible for the destruction of Taris--Darth Bandon was a promising young Padawan before he joined the Sith Order. He was slain by the Jedi Knight Revan during the Jedi Civil War, but his remains were confiscated by a group of particularly fanatical Sith acolytes who (for reasons best left unexplored) used Sith alchemy to preserve Bandon's head.
After Revan cut down Darth Malak and ended the war, the leaderless and disillusioned Sith turned to Bandon's head for guidance, claiming they could use it to communicate with the deceased Sith Lord. The cult eventually caught the attention of the Jedi during a misguided attempt to find Bandon a fresh body; the Jedi dismantled the cult, but found no trace of the fabled head.
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.