The Republic Liberation Forces, commonly known as the RLF, and often confused with the Republic Liberation Front, was a militant guerrilla force of freedom fighters, former criminals, mercenaries, soldiers, Jedi, and other Republic sympathizers that fought against the Galactic Empire, and was a primary faction in the RLF/Imperial War. Beginning with small skirmishes in the jungles of Onderon against an Imperial occupation, the RLF grew in size until it struck Coruscant, the heart of the Empire, and took it. The RLF gave way to the People's Galactic Alliance, a New Republic, and many of the RLF's members became prominent members of the new PGA.
Guerilla fighting between the numerically inferior forces of the RLF against the superior Empire reached a quiet stalemate, and ultimately, faced with the costly practice of stretching its forces to occupy Onderon, a threat by the Mandalorians on Dxun provided the perfect excuse for the Empire to leave Onderon. The Empire withdrew in full from the planet. The RLF slowly trickled into the city, quickly forming alliances with the Exchange, a relatively benign criminal group that operated across the galaxy and was a vehement opponent of the Empire, and a reinstituted Onderon Monarchy, led by a young and inexperienced princess Astra.
While the RLF's secret naval buildup galvanized, its burgeoning forces, tied closely to Velmor and Rendili, as well as a small shpyard called Ikest Industries, extended in small amount to Onderon. The RLF began a series of political outreach and recruitment missions to other forces and potential allies, including the NOJ and the Covenant Jedi, the remains of those Jedi on Onderon who had moved their operations to Coruscant to keep an eye on a fractioning Empire. Increasingly, Ardonis, promoted to Imperial Executor, was wrestling more and more power from the Empress, who grew increasingly disillusioned with her Empire.
Rescue on Coruscant
The fracture became apparent when Ardonis had Princess Astra arrested without probable cause, and ordered his forces to subdue her and a nearby padawan youngling using a combination of lethal force and near-lethal amounts of stun rounds. Astra was shot in the process, as was the padawan who rushed to her aid. The RLF, in coordination with the Jedi and the Exchange, launched a small-scale operation to rescue the wrongfully imprisoned princess. The mission was a resounding success, and saw the Empress submitting to the demands of the RLF and its Allies while Ardonis and his forces fought, but failed to defeat the RLF's forces. The RLF returned to Onderon in high spirits and joined by a few new members, disillusioned former Imperials who had joined up literally on the spot. The event proved the Empire's fallibility, and that its bastion of Coruscant was not thefortress of invincibility it had once been.
Empress Talmerith, after increasing escalations in tension between her and Ardonis, had declared that he was to stand down and disband his Knights. Having surrounded himself with corrupted Imperial Knights Sukasa Rydell and Selkra Munro who, like himself, were practicioners of the Darks Side, he blatantly disobeyed that order and instead made another grab for power, further fracturing the Empire. Recognizing that a subdued Empire under her control was in its death throes, Talmerith sought out RLF leader Horten through her Jedi advisor Azlum Grimlock, who organized a meeting between the two to forge a peace agreement.
Attack on the Devi
That fateful meeting between Empress Talmerith and the Rlf Constitutional Convention would go down in the annals of the history of the PGA as the event from which the future Republic was born. Cramped together in the constrained dining room of Selkisto's flagship, the Gavel Class attack cruiser 'Devi', named for his wife and intended to be a gift to her before her capture, the leaders of the RLF and its allies met in the last of their formal constitutional conventions. Jedi, traders, and soldiers discussed and debated the most important elements of what would eventually become the defining legislation of the PGA, the article which concerned civil rights, the eventual First Article of the PGA Constitution. It is this meeting that the Empress was brought to, to forge a treaty with the RLF and usher in a new period of galactic peace.
Ardonis caught wind of the Empress' plan and her intentions, and launched an unprovoked assault on the cruiser with TrIE fighters. He and one of his agents crashed into the landing bay and attempted to forcefully capture the Empress, attacking the members of the convention in the process. Christopher Novastar, Zenasa Shinn, and the entirety of Crimson Squadron distinguished themselves in this battle, alongside Senkon Carver, the captain of the ship who was slain by a lightsaber wielded by Ardonis' agent. The Empress was subdued, initially suspected of being in cahoots with Ardonis in an attempt to destroy the leadership of the RLF while they met in one place, and the constitutional convention escaped safely. Although the Empress escaped from the Devi alive, she was reported killed in a staged death on Tatooine.
In a final act of retaliation, the Devi's captain, barely clinging to life, activated the simultaneous meltdown of both of the cruiser's reactors in an attempt to kill Ardonis and his forces. However, Ardonis escaped just before the Devi was destroyed in a massive explosion. All but one of the Imperial fighters was incapacitated or destroyed by Crimson squadron, which supervised the allied effort to rescue escape pods from the ship.
During the battle, Chris Novastar faced Ardonis and his agent alone, buying time for the constitutional convention to escape. And Zenasa shinn, in a near-suicidal feat of piloting skill, had flown his fighter into the hangar of the Devi, aimed at Ardonis, ultimately buying time for the rest of the crew to escape. Crimson squadron subsequently became the premier fighter squadron of the RLF, despite inauspisious beginnings as a pure recon force.
Novastar, however, was captured by Imperial forces and brought back to Coruscant, where Ardonis and his Knights turned him away from the pursuit of the Light side of the Force. Ultimately, Novastar defected to the Empire.
The response of
all others to the attack was overwhelming. The Empire had attacked an RLF flagship containing all of its leaders in Onderon space, unprovoked. The event galvanized support for the RLF from many corners of the galaxy, but most notably the Jedi, who were present during the attack, and the Exchange, which had been harassing the Empire on Coruscant, opposed to its rule for some time. The Empire attacked once more, landing forces on Onderon to destroy an abandoned RLF base. A ragtag group of defenders were assembled to repel the attack, and while the defenders were defeated, the Empire had merely added another notch on its list of acts of war against the RLF and its allies.
In a rapidly-organized side mission, meant as a repayed favor to Hulio, the leader of the Exchange, Selkisto and two members of Crimson Squadron, Colonel Carlinso and Commander Shinn, conducted a rescue mission on the Imperial palace. They managed to extract their target, Ardonis's fiance Sana Kline, and themselves, safely. Sana revealed that Ardonis had abused her, using dark side powers such as Force Lightning on her as a means of punishment, and ordering his forces to shoot her with unsafe amounts of stun energy to subdue her. She also revealed that Ardonis' recent use of Force Lightning had rendered him temporarily weak.
Invasion of Coruscant
Representatives of the Exchange, the Jedi, and the RLF met on Onderon to discuss a hasty counterattack. With only a small window of opportunity, they outlined a blitzkrieg invasion of the Imperial home planet, its forces fractured from the loss of its popular Empress, and its leader physically weak from his use of the Dark Side. Zenasa Shinn became one of the principle organizers of the attack, while Selkisto consolidated the RLF's secret fleet, and the forces of its allies, notably from Velmor and Rendili. The next day, the RLF, the Exchange, the Jedi, and numerous other sympathizers attacked the Imperial palace on Coruscant, taking it and the surrounding city in one fell swoop. The Empire suffered nearly one hundred per cent casualties and crumpled before the onslaught. Ardonis was captured by the RLF and brought to the prisons on Onderon, although a surprise attack by Imperial commandos of the unsuspecting palace resulted in his escape. After organizing an occupational police force to secure the rest of the planet, Selkisto declared that the RLF had been successful... the oppression of the Empire had ended, Ardonis, its despot, overthrown, and it was time for a new era of peace, stability, and prosperity. He formally dissolved the RLF and appointed Atticus Jetaime the president of the Republic interim government, headquartered on Coruscant. Immediately, the interim government moved to begin work on intergalactic elections, which would determine the first Chancellor of the new Republic, and setting the framework for this future government, tentatively named the People's Galactic Alliance.