Taris was once a city-world, home to a planetary metropolis. Three centuries ago, however, it was bombarded by the great Darth Malak and left a toxic ruin. The years since have not been kind to Taris, as vegetation and animal life struggle to gain a foothold in shattered skyscrapers and habitats.
The Republic began to recolonize Taris less than a decade ago, aiming to make it into a symbol of Republic hope and steadfastness. In response, the Empire is mobilizing troops and beginning a full-scale assault. Early reports speak of fierce resistance from the Republic, as well as natural hazards in the form of wildlife and the mysterious "rakghoul plague."
- faction: Independent, levels: Empire 32-36, Republic 16-20
- location: Distant Outer Rim, status: Republic Re-Colonization Efforts Have Begun
- terrain: Swamplands, Modern Ruins, Frequent Rainfall
- key facts: Razed by Sith Lord Darth Malak 300 years ago during the Jedi Civil War
Companions from this world: Elara Dorne (Trooper companion), Lieutenant Pierce (Sith Warrior companion), Torian Caldera (Bounty Hunter companion), Doctor Lokin (Imperial Agent companion)
The remains of an old swoop track, Brejik's Run is named for Milos Brejik, a famous Tarisian swoop racer who turned scavenger after the destruction of Taris, using his swoop skills to quickly forage and deliver supplies to the few unfortunate survivors of the bombardment. Brejik's Run has had many occupants over the centuries, as its large overhangs make good shelter from the harsh elements, but it currently hosts a Republic settlement and outpost--one of the earliest attempts to tame and rebuild Taris.
The Brell Sediment refers to a large area of Tarisian ruins dominated by a massive acidic lake and a former chemical plant. It gets its name--somewhat ironically--from Ark Brell, a leading environmentalist on Taris in the days before its destruction. Before the bombardment, Ark Brell set up several water purification and waste disposal plants on Taris, with the aim of turning the waste from Taris's factories into alternative fuel sources and minimizing the waste produced by the massive city-world.
Legend has it that the collapse of one of his factories during the bombardment created the acid lake, although present rumor suggests that other, less well-intentioned groups on Taris may be the cause.
Dynamet General was Taris's foremost research hospital and led the galaxy in the development of cures for rare neurological diseases such as Cathington's Disorder. Originally founded as Mercy General, the hospital was renamed a century before Taris's destruction after the Dynamet Corporation, which donated a large sum of credits for the construction of a wing devoted to developing a cure for the rakghoul virus. Rumor states that a cure was found, but Taris was bombed shortly after and the hospital destroyed.
The Republic cruiser Endar Spire was shot down over Taris during the Jedi Civil War in an attempt by Darth Malak to capture the young Jedi Bastila Shan. This event led directly to Taris's ultimate destruction, securing the ship's place in history.
Over the centuries, the Endar Spire's husk has become a shelter to many different groups on Taris, including surviving settlers, pirates and scavengers. Its internal systems are believed to contain a bounty of information and useful materials to anyone with the will and ability to recover them.
As part of its efforts to rebuild and restore ruined Taris, the Republic has set up a reclamation base that acts as the headquarters and point of arrival for all who come to help with the reconstruction effort. The base was first established shortly after the Treaty of Coruscant, when it became clear that the Republic needed to shore up morale and show it could still stand strong. The Taris reclamation effort has become symbolic of the Republic's will to restore life where the Empire brings only destruction.
Republic Resettlement Zone
After the Treaty of Coruscant, the Republic set out to rebuild the demolished planet Taris and forge a symbol of renewed strength. As the operation grew, the Olaris Reclamation Base rose from the ashes and Republic forces tamed the surrounding jungle. But progress stalled after repeated setbacks in Taris's hostile wilds.
It wasn't until the arrival of Governor Saresh that Republic reconstruction finally took hold. Through sheer will and ambition, Saresh turned the reclamation around and established the Republic Resettlement Zone. As the heart of the reconstruction, this zone houses the tens of thousands of machines, administrators and soldiers that make the reclamation possible. Although Governor Saresh has since relinquished her post on Taris, the Republic Resettlement Zone still stands as a haven for the Republic and a sign of the rebirth to come.
The Sinking City is where the heart of old Taris collapsed into the world below during the bombardment. Taris's most lively business and cultural districts have become a morass of urban decay. The ruins of Dynamet General Hospital, as well as massive building plates that once supported towering skyscrapers, provide shelter for rakghouls, pirates and scavengers. But the Sinking City promises to rise again--several attempts have been made to begin new construction in the area, and the Republic is focusing its reconstruction efforts on returning Taris to its former glory.
Transport Station Five
Before the planet's destruction, billions of citizens visited Taris's transport stations daily to quickly travel across the massive city world. Speeders ran on schedule and trams hauled freight and passengers safely to their destinations. As Taris's alien population took to the Lower City, Transport Station Five was built to serve their expanding needs.
When the planet was bombarded in the Jedi Civil War, transport stations on the upper levels of Taris were incinerated and turned to rubble. Now only the ruins of Transport Station Five remain intact, a ghostly reminder of a planet once teeming with life.
Swampland has overtaken much of the area now called the Tularan Marsh. The origin of the name is unknown--before the bombardment, the Tularan Skyway was a major thoroughfare through the industrial zone surrounding one of Taris's primary power plants, but who or what it was named after is a piece of history lost in the rubble.
Now the area is infested with rakghouls and pirates, and only a few intrepid representatives of the Republic venture this far into the unknown, untamed wilds of Taris.
One of the key elements in the Republic effort to restore Taris to its former glory is the establishment of a small Cathar colony on the planet's surface. Coming from a homeworld ravaged by war, the Cathar species has come to symbolize the Republic's resilience and fortitude in the face of overwhelming odds... much like Taris itself.
Officially, the colony has the full support of the Galactic Senate--yet key infrastructure is still lacking, and the settlers always seem to be low on supplies. Recently, some have questioned whether the colonization efforts began too soon, pushed forward by self-serving politicians looking to exploit the brave Cathar settlers to further their own agendas.
The Morgukai are a secretive cult of Nikto warriors united by their ritual combat techniques and strong suspicion of Force-users. Renowned as Jedi-killers, the Morgukai are often courted by the Empire--frequently unsuccessfully, as the cult has a strong sense of honor and is keenly aware that the Empire views Nikto as a lesser species. In truth, many Morgukai view Sith as unfavorably as they view Jedi.
Fighting with cortosis weapons built to survive the blow of any lightsaber, Morgukai rely on a master-student relationship to train new initiates. Beyond their incredible abilities in combat, however, the philosophical teachings of the Morgukai cult are a mystery--they do not speak of their beliefs to outsiders, even under threat of death.
Pirates and Scavengers (Empire)
The former wealth of Taris is well known throughout the Outer Rim, and the planet has no shortage of eager treasure hunters looking to stake a claim. While there are those content to scavenge the ruins and sell their findings offworld, others find it easier to simply take the valuable salvage at blaster-point.
Although once at odds with the pirate and scavenger gangs, the Republic recently brought a group of these dangerous thugs into line, dragging their operations into the realm of legality and enlisting them in the reconstruction effort. With the Empire's invasion, the gangs have had little choice but to flee the planet or become a brutal mercenary force--protecting their investment by slaughtering any Imperial troops they can trap, ambush or murder.
Pirates and Scavengers (Republic)
Valuable treasures lay buried in the ruins of Taris, attracting a wide range of individuals and groups willing to brave the dangers and claim a small piece of the fallen city's vast wealth. Most of these can be loosely categorized as either scavengers or pirates.
Scavengers tend to stake out a small section of the ruins and generally avoid military confrontation, although they frequently ambush civilians passing through areas they have "claimed" or pillage choice sectors after a Republic cleanup crew has sorted out the debris.
In contrast, pirates are far more aggressive. Traveling in armed bands, they typically attack on sight. Some of the larger pirate bands, like the Death's Claw, have been known to brutalize small settlements and armed patrols if they have superior numbers and position.
As the Republic began its reconstruction of Taris, the planet's hostile jungles and ruins became habitable for the first time. Offworld refugees from across the galaxy petitioned for the chance to be among Taris's first settlers. Republic politicians eagerly publicized the humanitarian resettlement and showered the lucky colonists with gifts of aid. Although there were severe difficulties early on, the refugees eventually took root and thrived.
But the flourishing recolonization was not to last. The shadows of an Imperial fleet soon blotted out the sky, and as the sunlight faded so too did any hope for the Tarisian settlers. Thousands fled into the Republic military's protective arms, while more pessimistic settlers abandoned Taris entirely. The Cathar and Nikto colonists, however, refused to move. Taris was their new home, and they are prepared to die defending it.
The 75th Legion
As the personal legion of Lord Vago, the Seventy-Fifth carries out its master's will with unflinching devotion. Each soldier serves his or her lord with a cult-like fervor, proudly marching into the deadliest of conflicts in Vago's name. Their dedication is not undeserved; Vago has brilliantly led them into victory after victory, and treats his legionnaires as he would his own children.
Those who fail in their duty to the Seventy-Fifth and survive are removed from service. However, although many are adamant that these failures are only transferred into lesser companies, rarely are they actually seen again. Whatever punishment Vago delivers, he makes sure to keep it private and mysterious.
Persons of Note
Ashara Zavros (Sith Inquisitor)
- Companion of: Sith Inquisitor
- Melee Damage
- Crew Skills Bonus: +10 Synthweaving Efficiency, +10 Diplomacy Efficiency
- Primary Weapon: Lightsaber
- Secondary Weapon: Lightsaber
A twenty-year-old Togruta Padawan, Ashara Zavros descends from a long line of Force-users. From an early age, she has aspired to study the Force and become one of the best Jedi the order has to offer.
Ashara came to Taris to train under Jedi Masters Ryen and Ocera, whose philosophy is that Padawans best learn the travails of using the Force through firsthand experience of the galaxy. In Ashara's case, the Masters brought her to Taris for two reasons: First, to teach her compassion amidst the destruction that had occurred there and warn against the dangers of pride and the dark side. Second, to complete her trials by helping to drive a dark ghost from the ruins of a Jedi enclave.
Beryl Thorne (Smuggler)
Beryl Thorne is a freight hauler who specializes in getting cargo to places other spacers consider hazardous to their health. She's run weapons past Imperial blockades, medical supplies into quarantine zones and most recently took charge of the biggest supply depot on the dangerous post-disaster world Taris. Although she is always accompanied by her terminally malfunctioning droid assistant AR-G0, Beryl has never kept a first mate on her crew for more than a few months. This has given her a reputation for being unlucky to work for, but that's probably just spacer superstition.
Rumors persist of Beryl's shady past and brief stay at an Imperial prison, but she has operated as a legitimate business owner for years. That doesn't mean Beryl hasn't had her share of run-ins with Republic law enforcement--only that the charges never seem to stick. Whether through guile or genuine innocence, Beryl always remains a step ahead of the law.
Cin Tykan (Jedi Consular)
A Kaleesh Jedi Master, Cin Tykan's expert survival skills allow him to thrive in the deadliest and most dangerous environments. Master Tykan has put his unique talents to use throughout the galaxy, exploring and studying dozens of ravaged worlds and finding ways to reverse the catastrophic damage to their ecosystems.
Devoted to his work, Master Tykan waited many years before taking on a Padawan. Unwilling to pass on his knowledge to one who didn't share his deep-felt compassion for nature and life in all its forms, he finally found a worthy student in the eager and earnest Aris Vauranelle. Together, they have been tackling one of the galaxy's greatest environmental challenges: the restoration of Taris.
Doctor Godera (Jedi Knight)
Even his detractors admit that Doctor Nasan Godera was born a genius. As a young man, he was impatient and intolerant of "lesser intellects" and was never shy about making his blunt opinions known to all. His abrasive, politically insensitive attitude would have doomed his career if he hadn't made himself indispensible to the Republic's war effort.
Doctor Godera was behind some of the greatest scientific breakthroughs in the Republic, including some of its most deadly superweapons. He was notorious for his strong conviction that the Sith Empire must be utterly annihilated without mercy, and his weapons were designed to fulfill that dogmatic belief. When the Republic signed a peace treaty with the Empire after the sacking of Coruscant, Doctor Godera angrily abandoned the Republic for its cowardice and disappeared. He remained hidden for many years, but eventually his network of hideouts was discovered on the shattered world of Taris.
Elara Dorne (Trooper)
- Companion of: Trooper
- Ranged Healer
- Crew Skills Bonus: +10 Biochem Efficiency, +10 Bioanalysis Efficiency
- Primary Weapon: Blaster Pistol
- Secondary Weapon: Generator (non-shield)
A highly talented field medic, Elara Dorne was born Imperial and served in the Empire's military for two years before defecting to the Republic. She has since served with distinction as a search-and-rescue squad leader, earning several commendations for aiding wounded men under direct enemy fire. Her operational record is flawless.
What no record can show is that Dorne's background, combined with her strict adherence to regulations and rigid, uncompromising personality, has made her fairly unpopular with her fellow soldiers. In truth, she's widely regarded as a cold, asocial killjoy, an unfortunate side effect of her dedication to embodying the laws and ideals of the Republic.
Intelligent, charismatic and ambitious, Governor Saresh escaped Imperial slavery as a young Twi'lek and went on to achieve a prominent position in the ranks of the Republic Senate. One of the most vocal opponents of the Sith, she has openly called for the complete eradication of the Empire on numerous occasions.
Perhaps because of her uncompromising views, she was granted the governorship of Taris--a post that has destroyed more than one promising political career. Unlike her predecessors, however, Saresh has embraced the seemingly impossible situation, throwing all her considerable resources at the myriad problems of the ravaged world.
Should she achieve any kind of success on Taris it would be seen as a remarkable achievement, giving a major boost to her already impressive political profile.
Jicoln Cadera (Bounty Hunter)
Once an honored leader of a respected clan, the man known as Jicoln Cadera is now nothing but a specter--the lingering memory of a dark time for the Mandalorians.
When the warrior Artus claimed the title of Mandalore and called the clans to fight alongside the Empire, Jicoln refused. He would not serve the enemy his ancestors had spent generations waiting for--the Empire that he was born to oppose--and his defiance incited others to rally to his side. The gauntlet had been thrown, and only bloodshed would determine the future of the clans.
History ultimately favored Artus, his victory over Jicoln's rebels legitimizing his bid to rule and earning him the title Mandalore the Vindicated. But Artus and Jicoln share a history beyond these campfire stories--one only the two of them know.
Lieutenant Pierce (Sith Warrior)
- Companion of: Sith Warrior
- Ranged Tank
- Crew Skills Bonus: +10 Cybertech Efficiency, +2 Research Critical
- Primary Weapon: Blaster Rifle or Blaster Pistol
- Secondary Weapon: Shield Generator
While few who are not Force-sensitive in the Empire have any choice but to join the military, Lieutenant Pierce joined eagerly--not out of a sense of duty but out of a lust for action. In fact, although his soldiering and his bravery are beyond question, Pierce has faced resistance and scrutiny throughout his military career due to his occasionally reckless attitude and his disdain for authority.
Fortunately, Pierce's years in military black operations groups kept him away from the stuffier elements of the military hierarchy. Very often, Pierce is assigned to the most dangerous and far-flung worlds, where the Empire's primary goal is destruction--which suits the lieutenant just fine.
SIS Dossier: Doctor Eckard Lokin (Imperial Agent)
- Companion of: Imperial Agent
- Healer, DPS
- Crew Skills Bonus: +15 Biochem Efficiency, +10 Research Efficiency
- Primary Weapon: Blaster Pistol
- Secondary Weapon: VIbroknife
- Name: Eckard Lokin (unconfirmed)
- Gender: Male
- Species: Human
- Age: 65 (estimate)
Personal History: Age and surname suggest Lokin was born on Dromund Kaas during the pre-war years. Files acquired during Operation: Freefall reference a "Dr. E. Lokin" working as Science and Medical Advisor to Kaas City military police during this period, but no visual is provided.
First confirmed sighting was during the boarding of Imperial dreadnaught Warhammer--Lokin was one of the two individuals aboard who evaded capture. Interestingly, he was not listed in the crew roster. First identification as Fixer Fifteen came during Operation: Red Cell (see listening post transcripts). Additional sightings and references to the Fixer Fifteen designation uncovered intermittently since.
Analysis: Take a close look at the operations where we caught Lokin, and you'll notice a pattern--every time he turns up, something big is happening and we can't figure the role he's playing. He's professional, he knows his science and he's sneaky. We know he rubs some of his colleagues the wrong way, but even his fellow agents haven't given us anything useful under questioning.
Note by Harson Nild, Director Core World Operations: Is Lokin still in active service? I remember hearing about a Fixer biologist back in the day, but thought he'd retired years ago.
Born into wealth and privilege on Dromund Kaas, Thana Vesh spent her childhood cultivating an explosive temper and destroying everything she laid eyes on. When Thana discovered her talent with the Force, she tested her destructive talents on her military parents' bodyguards. After the eighth guard was found broken and mangled, Thana's terrified parents tried to suppress their daughter's power; Thana lashed out, and the resulting devastation burned an entire Kaas City block to the ground.
Thana's parents were consumed in the blaze and their Force-adept orphan was sent to the Sith Academy on Korriban. The incident was widely publicized as an example of the terrible fate of parents who fear, rather than embrace, a potential Sith child.
Thana tore through her Sith trials and fellow acolytes at lightning speed, earning the attention of Darth Gravus. When her studies concluded, the elder Sith Lord took Thana on as his apprentice with the promise that she would finally sink her teeth into the Republic in the jungles of Taris.
Torian Cadera (Bounty Hunter)
- Companion of: Bounty Hunter
- Melee DPS
- Crew Skills Bonus: +10 Research Efficiency, +2 Bioanalysis Critical
- Primary Weapon: Electrostaff
- Secondary Weapon: Generator (non-shield)
It is the Mandalorian ideal that a warrior be judged by his or her own actions, not by those of his or her ancestors--but reality rarely lives up to ideals.
Torian Cadera has spent his entire short life trying to overcome the stigma of being a traitor's son--a shame he has seldom been allowed to forget in the company of his peers. But Torian long ago learned to armor himself against contempt, and others' doubts regarding his loyalty have only driven him to strive harder to prove his worth.
Because of this, Torian adheres to the codes and traditions of the Mandalorians with more devotion than many twice his age. Upholding honor and enduring adversity are the cornerstones of his existence.
The bogstalker is one of many ancient species from the planet Taris's prehistory thought extinct until its rediscovery after the planet's bombardment. It turned out that the bogstalkers had survived for millennia beneath Taris's sprawling undercity, and in the post-bombardment wreckage, the bogstalker has thrived as its natural swampy habitat has spread.
Remarkably, the pollutants from the destruction of Taris have only made the bogstalker more resilient, as its flesh is now poisonous to most predators--even the voracious rakghouls.
Millennia ago, before Taris became a city-world--and long before that city was destroyed--ferrazid hounds lived in the planet's jungles and swamps, hunting birds and lizards and roaming in small packs. When Taris became an urban environment, ferrazids were believed extinct--the population wiped out, with only a few specimens preserved in zoos.
When the Republic returned to the ruins of Taris, explorers found the ferrazid hound population robust and recovered. Unfortunately, the ferrazids are extremely territorial. Although they keep their distance from major settlements, they are an increasing problem for scouts and transports.
Rakghouls evolve with incredible speed, but until recently, they had never shown signs of intelligence. Larger and far smarter than their rakghoul cousins, nekghouls may qualify as a new species in their own right--they appear unable to infect and transform their victims, but instead possess sensitivity to the Force and violent, untrained talent in its use.
Although nekghouls are capable of speech, they have no known history or record of their origins. Are they the result of a Jedi or Sith being infected with the rakghoul virus? A mutation caused by radiation from Taris's shattered reactors? Studies may have to wait--for now, merely surviving the presence of these horrific beings is difficult enough.
Native to the forests of the planet Cholganna, the feline nexu have become alpha predators throughout the galaxy over the past few centuries, adapting to new environments through a natural hardiness and a quick reproductive cycle. Packs of nexu have been found roaming the tundra of Mygeeto and the steaming jungles of Rodia, equally adept at stalking and killing prey.
Nexu are recognized in many cultures as an icon of viciousness, and several Mandalorian clans have taken the creature as their symbol. Some xenobiologists argue that nexu are far less violent than common wisdom suggests, and that it's the activities of sentient beings that agitate the cats. Left alone, they're smart, capable and strong--but not cruel or aggressive.
Rakghouls are a living plague--the manifestation of a highly communicable disease capable of swiftly transforming its victims into twisted, degenerate monsters with predatory instincts. The rakghoul virus can infect hundreds of known species and is most often delivered through a rakghoul's bite; a person attacked by a rakghoul and "lucky" enough to survive typically becomes a rakghoul him- or herself. Some victims resist the virus for days, succumbing to rakghoul instincts while retaining their original bodies.
Different strains of the virus manifest in different breeds of rakghoul--the smallest and weakest travel in enormous colonies, whereas larger, smarter rakghouls often hunt alone. The virus mutates fastest when infecting new species, and slowest when rakghouls reproduce with other rakghouls.
Before the planet's bombardment, Taris contained its substantial rakghoul population in the undercity. Many specialists believe rakghouls are native to Taris, but rare outbreaks elsewhere in the galaxy suggest the truth is more complicated.
The tarsarian devourer is the product of a rakghoul virus mutation that has spread to the predatory tarsarian stomper. The stompers--a non-native species once kept in a handful of Tarisian zoos--bred, hunted and initially thrived in the post-bombardment jungles, but were soon overwhelmed by their more aggressive infected cousins.
The tarsarian devourer became king of the Tarisian food chain, and although it is impossible for sentient species to contract the mutated form of the rakghoul virus, that makes the tarsarian devourer no less feared when encountered in the wild.
Originating on the planet Utapau, where they were trained and used extensively as mounts, the varactyl has become a popular mode of non-mechanized transportation across the galaxy. As a result, the reptavian creatures have thrived on a great many worlds, both as mounts and in the wild.
The most famous varactyl-rider, Hrosus the Swift, was able to coax his mount to phenomenal speeds, once beating a swoop bike in a head-to-head race. This same speed makes varactyl formidable opponents; although they can be peaceful, loving creatures when among creatures they view as friendly, they are highly territorial and viciously protect their nests from aggressors.
Environment of Taris
Before Darth Malak's orbital bombardment, Taris was a dying world. Industrial pollution had irreparably damaged the oceans, and chemicals and toxins poisoned the undercity's foundation. When the sprawling metropolis was reduced to rubble, countless pollutants were released into an already tainted ecosystem.
But this was not the end for Taris. For hundreds of years, the planet went without sentient interference, and the ecosystem began to adapt and thrive. Rich vegetation grew within the ruins, scaling steel towers and thrusting aside fallen skyscrapers. Animals--some native to the planet, some pets and lab specimens that had survived the bombardment--bred and repopulated the developing jungles.
Of course, some areas remain too polluted to inhabit--acidic lakes and radioactive sinkholes--but for the most part, Taris is an environmental success story and an object of fascination for scientists. The largest black mark remains the rakghoul plague, and the fear that it may one day spread to Taris's animal population.
Geroya Be Haran (Bounty Hunter)
Translated directly from the original Mando'a, Geroya be Haran literally means "game of annihilation"--though the challenge is anything but a game. While Mandalorians often engage in lethal duels to settle matters of honor, death in such a contest does no injury to a Mandalorian's legacy. To be challenged and to lose the game of annihilation isn't just to die--it is to have every accomplishment, every honor and every memory wiped away as if none had ever existed. Geroya be Haran is the gravest challenge a Mandalorian can issue.
The Geroya be Haran is so rarely invoked that the tradition's origin has been lost to time. However, many believe that it is the symbolic retelling of one of the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders' most absolute victories during the Mandalorian Wars.
Jedi Civil War
Also known as the Second Sith War and the War of the Star Forge, the Jedi Civil War is one of the darkest eras in galactic history. Three centuries ago, a pair of idealistic young Jedi named Revan and Malak led thousands of followers into the Outer Rim to do battle with an invading Mandalorian army. The Mandalorians were defeated--and Revan and Malak returned to the Republic not as heroes, but as conquerors.
Declaring themselves Dark Lords of the Sith, Darth Revan and Darth Malak began the ruthless subjugation of Republic worlds in the Outer Rim. The Jedi Council, which had been loath to take action against the Mandalorians, assembled an army to bring the traitors to justice. Darth Revan was captured during an attack by the Jedi Knight Bastila Shan and eventually turned back to the light side. Together Revan and Bastila defeated Malak, ending the threat.
During the Jedi Civil War, a ship carrying Bastila Shan--a Jedi with the rare and powerful battle meditation ability--was shot down by Darth Malak's fleet over the world of Taris. Malak's troops descended on the world in search of Bastila, but she avoided capture with the help of Revan, Malak's redeemed former master.
Rather than permit Bastila to escape, Malak ordered his fleet to bomb Taris from orbit, devastating the entire world. The planet-wide capital city was razed and civilian casualties measured in the billions. Despite Malak's extreme efforts, Bastila and Revan were able to safely flee the world. Taris itself, however, never recovered. Three centuries have passed, and a handful of swamp-sunken ruins are all that remains of this once great civilization.
Theories abound on the origins of this highly contagious and adaptable virus: it may be the creation of an ancient Sith Lord; a naturally occurring result of the industrial toxins released into Taris's oceans; or the spectacularly failed efforts of medical researchers to artificially engineer a broad-spectrum vaccine.
Whatever the origins, the effects are undeniably terrifying. Typically spread through direct contact with rakghouls, fortunate victims suffer acute onset of flu-like symptoms that can prove fatal if not properly treated. However, in roughly half the cases the disease causes the host to undergo a horrific mutation, actually transforming them into a rakghoul.
Virtually all humanoid species in the galaxy are susceptible to infection, and there are rumors that the Empire has undertaken efforts to weaponize the disease. Unsubstantiated reports of rakghouls on worlds other than Taris lend credence to this rumor... or indicate the disease is slowly spreading across the galaxy of its own accord.
Although located on the Outer Rim, Taris was once a cosmopolitan cityscape said to rival Coruscant. But this shining light was snuffed out three hundred years ago by Darth Malak, who ordered his Sith fleet to bomb the planet into oblivion. In the aftermath of the attack, little remained but ruins and putrid swamps overrun by rakghouls.
Recently, the Republic has begun efforts to recolonize and restore Taris in the belief it will demonstrate a resolve and ability to overcome the destruction wrought by the Sith. Should this lost world be salvaged, it would become a symbol of hope for all those who stand against the oppression of the Empire.
The focus to date has been on cleanup, salvage and clearing sites for new colonies. Progress has been slow, and the morale of those stationed on the world is rumored to be dangerously low. But the Galactic Senate refuses to admit defeat, truly exemplifying the politicians' can-do spirit.
Located in the Ojoster Sector of the Outer Rim Territories, Taris was an ecumenopolis founded at the nexus of several hyperspace trading routes. Prosperity led to a rapid population increase and the continued vertical expansion of the planet-wide urban sprawl. But with the discovery of superior trade lanes elsewhere, Taris's economic fortunes changed.
For the wealthy nobles living in the upper floors of the towering skyscrapers, Taris remained an urban paradise. As one descended, however, the standard of living dropped precipitously. Aliens and refugees were forced to live in the city's lower levels, supporting the upper classes both figuratively and literally. Near the surface, violent swoop gangs held sway over a terrified civilian populace beset by poverty and famine, and the sewers of the undercity were infested with rakghouls.
Ironically, many of those living in the lowest levels of Taris survived Darth Malak's bombardment, while the rich and powerful were almost entirely wiped out.
Taris and Nonhumans
In the century preceding its destruction by Darth Malak, Taris experienced a devastating planet-wide famine among the working classes. In desperation, the poor declared war on the nobility, only to have their rebellion quickly and violently put down.
Since many of the rebellions' leaders were nonhuman immigrants, those in power sought to quell further unrest by enacting a number of harsh anti-alien laws. Nonhumans were banned from public office and forbidden to leave the lower levels of the city without special government permits. The institutionalized segregation of nonhumans inevitably fostered an anti-alien prejudice among the human population, though many Republic historians prefer to gloss over this unsavory fact.
The Promised Ones
The Promised Ones were the descendants of a small group of outcasts who fled the undercity of Taris for a self-sustaining underground colony known as the Promised Land. There they escaped the bombardment that decimated the surface of the planet, and survived for many generations.
As the centuries passed, however, the small tribe slowly lost members to rakghouls, starvation and radiation poisoning until they eventually died out completely. As a legacy, they left behind a series of holorecordings documenting their brave struggle.