The Fall of Onderon was a multi-layered event- thus, any account of the Fall should come from as many sources as possible. Also, corrections, clarifications and additions should be made to the following account.
The history of the Fall goes back to events involving political changes at the heart of the Empire as presided over by Empress Talmerith Jael.
The Return of Imperial Pretensions Edit
Prior to the dissolution of the Galactic Senate, the Empire was run much like a constitutional Monarchy, with the titles of Empress and Emperor increasingly becoming titular in nature only, having less and less real power.
This was challenged by the Imperial Grand Moff Karch Tengu, who desired to return to the days of a strong central Imperium. The Grand Moff had significant political, financial and military backing from several traditional Imperial factions.
The Senate, and the ruling body and classes of Coruscant have always been highly factionalized, with many groupings centered around key interests. The actions of Grand Moff Tengu galvanized Senatorial reaction around the Queen of Velmor, Queen Hyacinth Janick.
The Rivalry of the two Royal Cousins Edit
Queen Hyacinth was a distant cousin of Empress Talmerith. Ruling from Velmor, Queen Hyacinth favored a constitutional monarchy, forming factions within the Imperial Senate pushing for a more republican form of government. One of these, the Republic Liberation Force ("RLF"), skirted the thin line between legitimate faction and outright rebellion. The RLF was able to create a formidable fighting force centered on Velmor. Riddled with Imperial spies, the activities of the RLF came to the attention of the Empress, who began to view her cousin's activities as a threat to her own political power. From this point on, the Empress worked secretly to ensure Queen Hyacinth's downfall.
The Shadow of the Sith Edit
As always, many of the dark events which enveloped the Empire and Onderon can be blamed on the activities of the Sith. Strong evidence exists that many Sith had infiltrated Coruscant, and were casting a baleful influence over the activities of both the Imperial Senate and the Imperial Court.
After several shocking incidents involving Sith infiltrators, Grand Moff [Tengu] seized the opportunity to ram through extra-constitutional legislation granting him war making powers while the Empress was inexplicably and mysteriously absent.
The Vjun War Edit
The Grand Moff used his temporary powers to declare war and invade the Sith Empire centered on Vjun. Though the Imperial fleet was able to gain the upper hand in Vjun space and land troops on Vjun, they were beaten back after their third ground offensive, with heavy losses to both sides. Indeed, the Vjun landscape is still littered with the hulks of Imperial transport and fighter ships, and it is not unusual for Vjunese acid beet farmers to uncover Imperial Stormtrooper helmets while planting in their fields.
While she did allow the Empire to maintain a supply depot on Velmor, as well as providing a place of refuge to civilians fleeing the conflict, Queen Hyacinth's political stance further deepened her Imperial cousin's distrust.
The Dissolution of the Senate Edit
The failure of the Vjun War to achieve any great success, followed by expressions of outright Republican sympathies within the Senate and many outlying planets led the Empress to take the extreme measure of dissolving the Imperial Senate and ruling the Empire through her own Imperial Council, led by her consort and paramour Atticus Jetaime. The dissolution of the Senate led to open rebellion in favor of a republic in many systems, as well as the defection of many Jedi from the imperial cause.
The Dual Monarchy Edit
Following the dissolution of the Senate, Queen Hyacinth was offered the sirdar holding of Onderon. Although the dual monarchy was quickly subsumed within the Royal Court of Onderon, assumption of the Onderon throne gave Queen Hyacinth control of the entire Vjun-Velmor-Onderon-Tatooine trade route, encompassing most of the Perlemian Trade route as well as the southern extension of the vital Corellian hyperspace run.
Historians are not certain what motivated the Empress to create this Royal dispensation for a cousin who she had come to hate and fear. Some speculate that the Empress hoped to arouse fear and jealousy of Queen Hyacinth's growing wealth and power, and that granting Queen Hyacinth this extraordinary Dual Monarchy in the heart of the Empire was part of a deep and complex plan aimed at the final destruction of Queen Hyacinth.
Queen Hyacinth for her part wasted no time in taking advantage of the turn of events. Curiously, despite her vaunted republican tendencies, Queen Hyacinth also governed her monarchy through a Royal Council, the brilliant Royal Court of Onderon.
The Royal Court of Onderon Edit
Many illustrious personages served in the Royal Court. Besides several high ranking Jedi, the two most prominant were first, the great Selkath General, General [Selkisto Horten], and secondly, her Royal Trade Advisor, Captain Tesserian. As it became clear that the ungrateful Sith were attempting to undermine the Monarchy, General [Selkisto Horten] led several successful raids on both Vjun and Korriban. The General built the monarchy's troops into a formidable fighting force dedicated to the defence of the system, making himself the strong right arm of the Monarchy.
Trade Advisor Tesserian, through a series of canny deals, managed to make Onderon a center of galactic commerce. For a short time, a full third of all trade goods bound for the galactic core had Onderon as their first port of call.
Not all of Captain Tesserian's activities proved to be beneficial to the monarchy. First, although the Queen had sought to reduce tensions with the Imperial Court through a deal sharing the Perlemian Trade route, Imperial supplies began to disappear from Onderon warehouses only to reappear in freighters belonging to Captain Tesserian's spice fleet. Further, Captain Tesserian began to issue Letters of Marque and Reprise (Lettre de Course) in the Queen's name, as a "Lord of Onderon," authorizing commerce raiders to seize ships, cargo and crew from a selection of the dual monarchy's "enemies." These commerce raiders then began to seize independent ships bound for the Imperial core, thus cutting off supplies vital to Coruscant. Finally, in the last days of Onderon Monarchy, dire allegations of piracy and spice smuggling were made against Captain Tesserian by members of the Mandalorian Skirat'alor clan, based on the Onderon moon of Dxun.
The Massacare of Onderon Edit
Tensions were thus already high when a series of incidents triggered the inevitable Imperial intervention. Both the Empire and the Onderon Monarchy had grown increasingly concerned with evidence of Sith infiltration of both Onderon and Velmor, despite treaties limiting Sith activity on both planets. A Jedi knight in the service of the Empire, [ ], was detained by Onderon Royal Guards under the command of General [Selkisto Horten] and Jedi Knight Ace Nichols. Determined to rescue her, the Empress sent her own consort, Master Jedi Atticus Jetaime, to Onderon. Master Atticus was apprehended and detained by General [Selkisto Horten] on Onderon.
Outraged, Empress Talmerith ordered elements of the Imperial Fleet to blockade and then transport several crack Stormtrooper Shock Brigades to Onderon. The RLF headed by General [Selkisto Horton] was outmaned and out gunned. Knowing that the RLF while well trained, would not stand up too the superior numbers that the Empire would bring too the front, General [Selkisto Horton] turned too a unlikely ally. [Gen Morane] was at the time the most infamous bounty hunter within the galaxy, and his bounty hunters guild, renowned for always getting the job done. [Selkisto Horton] offered substantial amounts of credits and weaponry too the bounty hunters guild in exchange for the guilds help as a mercenary army. The entire guild was put on the line, guarding the palace from the impending Imperial attack. The attack came swiftly and without mercy, an elite cadre of Imperial Commando's and a cell of Imperial Knights assaulted the palace. The bounty hunter army of House Morane, fought hard alongside the Queens guard, yet they were swept away. [Gen Morane] himself fought in the queens throne room, having warned the Queen too retreat shortly before taking on three knights; a fight that cost him his leg. Pulverizing Onderon's defences, the Shock Brigade seized the Onderon captial city of Iziz. Queen Hyacinth was reported to have been killed in the fight for the Royal Palace, though in actuality she and her daughter had been captured by Empress Talmerith, too be hidden from the eyes of the galaxy.
Those of the Royal Court who were not apprehended fled Onderon, briefly forming the Royal Court of Onderon in Exile. Captain Tesserian went on to organize more commerce raids against Imperial shipping, as well as make key arrangements with the Mon Calamari fleet and rebel forces stationed on Mon Calamari. Accusations of piracy continue to plague Captain Tesserian, who many believe is using a rag tag collection of commerce raiders to further his own commercial and smuggling interests.
The great General [Selkisto Horten] retreated too Bakura, meeting with the leaders of the Great Army of the Republic ("GAR"). The General began plans that aimed not solely at the liberation of Onderon, but rather plans to strike at the seat of power on Coruscant itself.