OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
Intent: To sub the capital of Tephrike
Links: The dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell served as an inspiration, both for naming of certain organisations and the general feel. Wikipedia link here. It also owes a bit to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, though people probably have more fun there. Wikipedia link here. Into Darkness.
City Name: Nexus City
Classification: Urban Centre
Population: Moderate. The population used to be Heavy. However, the recent war has diminished it. While Firemane tried to avoid civilian areas where possible, collateral damage was unavoidable. This also led to people fleeing the city. In the aftermath of the campaign, the Dominion also resettled people to less exposed areas. In time the city population may reach its pre-war level.
Demographics: The distribution between humans and aliens is about even, with aliens having a slight majority. While the Windians are responsible for many unpleasant or frankly insane policies, they are not speciesist. After all, Tephrike's first Jedi Lord, Zaras Dant, was a Duros, and her successor Tiyan Kree was a Devaronian. Today, Jedi Master Mahtara is the de facto leader of the Dominion. She is a Yodaling and her apprentice Kyrric a Kel'Dor.
Humanocentric speciesism is looked upon very poorly. It helps that the Vaderites, one of the foes of the Dominion, are human supremacists who treat non-humans as lesser beings. However, Quarren, Gungans, Mon Calamari and Nautolans are discriminated against because many of them support the Republican Guard. This does not prevent individuals from getting important jobs, but it is a lot harder for them. Few of them live in Nexus City, and those that do are under constant pressure to prove their loyalty.
Wealth: Low. A war-time emergency government is in power. Everything is directed towards Total War. Many of the old elites have fled, partly out of fear of continued Firemane retaliation or because the new government has initiated an anti-corruption campaign. Credits and other forms of money were abolished a long time ago. Instead, citizens receive a fixed amount of coupons. They can only use these coupons for specific things. For instance, one coupon is for food, another for clothes and so on and so forth. Unlike say the anarcho-capitalist Disciples of the Vader, the Dominion has something close to a welfare state, though one with many flaws. So the average citizen is actually better off here. However, they have a smaller elite and it is less individually wealthy. They have state wealth, but not individual.
Stability: High. Dissent is ruthlessly squashed. From the moment they are born in state-run nurseries, citizens have tracking devices implanted. Security cameras, surveillance drones and the like monitor the inhabitants. The monitoring does not stop in public places, but continues in the habitation complexes the citizens inhabit. Furthermore, they must present their IDs at security checkpoints manned by militia. An inhabitant of Nexus City is constantly bombarded with propaganda, and the kindly visage of the Grandmaster and Lord of Light looks down upon him from posters on public buildings. Unbelievers, deviants and lawbreakers are executed, detained and reeducated, deported to labour camps or banished into the wilderness, where they often die. Reeducation is a euphemism for brainwashing, and can include mindwipes. Inquisition mentalists are very skilled in rewriting an individual's memories and conception of self.
Citizens are encouraged to report those who show insufficient faith and deviate from the holy laws. As a result, fear, suspicion and conformism are pervasive in the city. The recent reforms have tried to clamp down on abuses. Informants must present evidence to back up their case. However, this has not changed the oppressive nature of the regime. Instead it has just made the police state more efficient. Hoarding, not showing up at a parade or appearing insufficiently patriotic are all considered deviant acts. Citizens who find themselves experiencing 'wicked thoughts' are strongly advised to report to the Ministry of Harmony so that they can be purified before the dark side enslaves them. That said, the city has been plagued by terrorist activity, leading to police crackdowns.
Freedom & Oppression: Freedom is low. The Dominion is a totalitarian police state that does not tolerate dissent, alternate political or religious beliefs. It encourages patriotism, obedience to the state and a willingness to make sacrifices in the name of the community. A surveillance state is in place to monitor the population. Recently, the Dominion has liberalised somewhat. This is due to wartime pressure. As a result, large-scale purges are a thing of the past. Many moral laws are still on the books, but are not being enforced for the duration of what might be a permanent state of emergency. However, the bureaucracy is still very arbitrary and corrupt.
Officially all fertile citizens must report to mandatory sperm and egg harvesting followed by subsequent sterilisation, as the miracle of life can only be allowed to take place in a medically sanctioned way that removes the risk of lust leading to the dark side. However, this law has been suspended for the duration of the emergency, though the young should still be raised by the government. The Dominion has a war to fight and needs to focus its resources on it.
The government exercises total control of the media and does not allow a free press. It should be noted that the régime still has significant popular support. There are many who oppose it, but a large number of citizens support the government. This is due to genuine zeal, but also out of pragmatism since while repressive, the Dominion keeps order and it is the only government they have known. Battlemaster Mahtara is also a respected figure. There is a tamped down system of police, propaganda and informants. The reforms that have been implemented have made the oppression more effective and efficient, not loosened it.
Description: Nexus City is the official capital of Tephrike and the largest city on the planet. It is the centre of power of the Dominion of Light and the Windian Jedi that rule it. The city is filled with enormous buildings and monuments. In many ways, the builders tried to create an idealised version of Coruscant, though on a far smaller scale. While grand spires reach towards the sky and past Jedi heroes are glorified with massive statues, the living conditions of the common citizens are rather poor. The habitation complexes are drab, and lacking in comfort. All aspects of daily life are monitored by the totalitarian government. Due to the ongoing civil war, security is very tight.
In this day and age, soldiers, militia and surveillance drones are present throughout the city. High-rise apartment complexes are prominent in the cityscape. Most of them are drab and rather bland, unless they happen to belong to the élite, though even the Jedi Lords own little the greater galaxy would be interested in. The Jedi Temple is an enormous ziggurat that in theory can be reached by a maglev train, but said train is less than reliable. Patriotic rallies and military parades often take place in Skywalker Square. A puppet Barsen'thor blesses the faithful.
Young citizens learn their predetermined trade in government-controlled education complexes. When they are old enough and have completed their training, they are assigned a small apartment in a habitation complex and spend the rest of their lives repaying the Windian Jedi for their kindness by serving the order in whichever profession they've been assigned. They are paid in coupons, which determine what they can buy with them. Barracks double as permanent habitats for soldiers, ensuring that they are always ready to serve the cause of the Light.
Social work is performed by the Followers of Light, a mass movement that controls several welfare organisations and teaches citizens to revere the Light and reject the Dark. Despite the poor conditions, living in Nexus City is considered a privilege. The alternative is to live in one of the minor settlements. The further one gets from Nexus City, the closer one is to the front lines and at risk of Republican Guard or Vaderite raids. Those who live in rural areas are particularly exposed. When it comes to supplying the Dominion's citizens with food and other essential goods, Nexus City has clear priority. Those who live here generally do not need to worry about not having enough food, drink and other essentials, though there is very little to buy in the shops.
This is why being exiled from the capital is commonly considered to be a death sentence. This, perhaps more than the surveillance state, is what causes most citizens to be compliant, no matter how much they might privately grumble about the totalitarian régime that seeks to dictate every aspect of their lives. Moreover, they are constantly bombarded by propaganda, which seeks to convince them that everything outside of the Dominion is hellish. After centuries of isolation, the average citizen might not be an enthusiastic zealot. But he or she simply does not know any better or believe that the forces that seek to supplant the Dominion will only make things worse. Aliens rightly believe that the Vaderites will enslave or exterminate them, and Force-Users fear the Republican Guard will collar or murder them.
Daily life is heavily militarised. Firemane bombed Nexus City during its retaliatory campaign after extremists in the Dominion government attacked Firemane diplomats, sparking a war. While Firemane limited its bombardment to military targets such as the Jedi Temple, barracks, the shield generator and communication centres, there was still significant collateral damage. Reconstruction efforts have been initiated, but they are far from complete. As such signs of the bombardment, such as rubble and demolished streets, can still be seen. Soldiers patrol the streets, eligible citizens are expected to enlist in the part-time militia, participate in regular drills and support welfare organisations that are supposed to help those in need. A massive network of subterranean air raid shelters has been set up and flak cannons have been installed in various locations throughout the city.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Galactic Senate: The architects did their best to copy Coruscant's Galactic Senate Dome. Here, Senators are supposed to make laws for the good of all. However, the grandiose building has never been used. After all, the peasants do not need a semi-oligarchic legislature when the benevolent Lord of Light rules over them. Moreover, the Jedi overlords did not take into account that the soil would be unable to support the enormous structure. As a result, the dome is in a poor state and has partly caved in. This is blamed on dark side machinations.
The Grand Jedi Temple: A fairly faithful copy of the Old Jedi Temple on Coruscant, though this ziggurat is a lot more grandiose. It is located in Skywalker Square, like many public buildings. The visitor was greeted by huge statues of legendary Jedi Masters such as Lord Hoth, Grandmaster Soda, Master Mace Windu, as well as of the Jedi Lords who ruled over Tephrike. Holographic projections of old Jedi recite lines of the Jedi Code, more or less inaccurate quotes of Jedi sages and general words of wisdom from Tephrike's rulers.
Jedi Temple Guards and Inquisitors watched over all, always on the lookout for signs of heresy within and without. The Temple was protected against bombardment by a shield generator. Moreover, defensive emplacements had been set up. As lightsabres were very rare on Tephriki due to the lack of crystals, many Jedi use Force imbued or alchemised melee weapons.
The Jedi Inquisition maintained its own wing in the temple, which only authorised personnel were allowed to enter. It included a dungeon for unbelievers, though these were soon handed over to the Ministry of Harmony to keep them from contaminating the temple with their vile presence. Also of note was the Wall of Martyrs, upon which the names of all Windian Jedi who died in the crusade against the dark side are engraved.
The Jedi Temple was one of the primary targets of the Firemane bombardment. It was levelled after the fall of the city's shield generator. This led to high casualties among Jedi, Temple Guards and support personnel. Parts of the temple have been rebuilt, but not in its entirety. To reduce exposure the Jedi in the city have mostly set up shop in a cavernous network of catacombs, tunnels and bunkers located beneath the old Temple. This area is called the Earthen Rampart. Their subterranean headquarters is equipped to withstand orbital bombardment. It has bunks, training rooms, meditation chambers, medical facilities, forgery, armoury, prison cells, offices, Council chambers as well as a concealed hangar. There is an area called the Corridor of Heroes. On one side of the corridor one can see the heroes of the Old Republic like Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda. On the other side are the matching heroes of the Dominion like General Kennobi and Mahtara. This is where Grandmaster Aegus was assassinated. He died while lying before the statue of Mace Windu.
Jango Fett Cloning Facility: It may be considered odd that the Jedi would name something after Jango Fett, considering what happened on Geonosis. However, time has distorted facts, and so the Windians remember him differently. In their version of history, Jango was a Mandalorian Crusader who was redeemed by Mace Windu. Under the tutelage of the Jedi Master, he saw the light and abandoned the bloodthirsty ways of his brethren, volunteering to become the genetic donor of the Jedi's clone army.
The clone troopers served the order faithfully, for they felt naught but reverence for their Jedi Masters. Alas, they were stabbed in the back and massacred by the evil Stormtroopers, who had been grown in secret by the Dark Lords. Thus it is only fitting the today's clone troopers continue his proud legacy. Appropriately, this is the place where they are grown and educated. They do this under the watchful eyes of twin statues of Mace and Jango, who are shown shaking hands in a moment of camaraderie between the two warriors.
The facility is administrated by Jedi Healers, who raise and look after the somewhat patronisingly named 'single spirit broods'. Under Battlemaster Mahtara conditions have been improved for the clone troopers. Jedi commanders must be chosen on merit rather than Force ability or bloodline. This has had a positive effect on combat performance and reduced casualties. The clone army does notr rely on a single genetic donor. Instead worthy soldiers are included into the Blessed Lineage Project.
Palace of the Lord of Light: This grandiose building served as the residence of the Grandmaster and Lord of Light. In the old days pilgrims often came here to make obeisance before the grand statues. In the old days, the Grandmaster would greet his subjects from the balcony, waving and staring benevolently upon them. The last Grandmaster was a puppet of the Grand Army. In his attempt to retake control, he sparked a war with Firemane. Though brief, it was a ruinous to the Dominion. He was assassinated by Councillors concerned about his unbalanced mental state. His death was blamed on a Firemane air strike. By then most of the palace had been destroyed by Firemane bombers. Battlemaster Mahtara has chosen not to rebuild it, and so most of it is just ruins. Bricks have been carried away to be used in construction projects she considers more useful. Likewise, luxury items that could be salvaged in the palace have been sold. Squatters sometimes take up residence in the inhabitable parts of the palace. However, the police carries out raids to round them up for labour or military service.
The Square of Heavenly Peace: A large city square where propaganda is shown. It is named after the Gate of Heavenly Peace, which is located to the north. The square contains the Monument to the Heroes of the Light, a ten-story obelisk, the Galactic Senate and the Grand Museum of the Dominion. Moreover, there are large portraits and statues of great Jedi. This includes Dominion leaders as well as figures from past Jedi orders. Tiyan Kree proclaimed the founding of the Dominion of Light in the square centuries ago; the anniversary of this event is still observed there.
Outside of the Dominion, the square is well-known for the suppression of protests. When common citizens took to the streets in protest against the government abuse and in support of reforms, the Dominion deployed the army. This resulted in the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands of protesters. The memory of this event is widely associated with questioning the legitimacy of Jedi rule. It remains one of the most sensitive and widely censored topics in the Dominion.
The Windian Jedi Order forbids discussion of the protests and has taken extensive measures to eliminate, block or censor related information. Textbooks have little, if any, information on the subject and when they do it tends to be a footnote or a few sentences. Media containing information on the subject must be consistent with the government's version of events. There are no official acts of remembrance, only what one might term 'forgettance'.
Ministries of Harmony, Health, Enlightenment, Plenty and Peace: These ministries are all located in close proximity to one another in Skywalker Square, so they can be described as one. Harmony is responsible for ensuring ideological purity and controls the thought police. Here heretics are compelled to see the error in their ways. Health regulates all aspects related to healthcare, which includes the harvesting of eggs and sperm and the growth of new citizens in nursery complexes. It also controls the Blessed Lineage Project, the cloning programme of the Dominion. As this too much to handle in one building, it has subsidiaries in several districts.
Enlightenment is responsible for propaganda and education, Plenty regulates the economy, assigns citizens to their workplaces and doles out coupons, Peace runs the armed forces. Elpsis was held in a cell of the Ministry of Harmony before being taken to an Inquisition black site in the wilderness. Like many government installations, the ministries were targeted by Firemane bombardment. Unlike with the Palace, the Dominion has repaired the damage. However, extensive underground complexes have been created to ensure that their work can continue in the case of an emergency. The one exception is the building of the Ministry of Harmony. It was badly damaged during internecine fighting between Mahtara's soldiers and followers of Grand Inquisitor Antonius. Instead of rebuilding it, staff has been relocated to what used to be an opera.
Elgin's Repository of Approved Mystical Items: The license of this shop was approved by the Ministry of Harmony. Here, the loyal citizen can purchase talismans, good-luck-charms and other Force imbued items that protect him or her against the temptations of the Dark Side. In actual fact, these items are pretty useless for the wearer. What they really do is weaken the wearer's mental resilience and make them more susceptible to Force-based suggestions, in other words mind tricks and the like. The wearer experiences a minor high and thus grows addicted to the item. This helps protect the wearer from wicked thoughts that could cause him to question his place in the Dominion.
Industrial Workers' Habitat 16A: All habitation complexes are assigned to members of a specific profession/caste. Thus this habitat can be considered a model for the average one. It is a high-rise apartment complex. Here people who perform factory work in the same district live. All apartments within the complex are provided by the state, which also provides furniture. They're small and all look the same. To ensure equality, the inhabitant is not allowed to furnish his apartment on his own. Thus liberated of the need to buy a bed, chairs and so on, the resident can concentrate more thoroughly on serving the Light. Kitchens and bathrooms are communal on every floor.
Hoarding is considered a serious offence. Within his apartment, the resident has access to entertainment channels, but these are all provided by the Ministry of Enlightenment. Furthermore, he has a channel specifically dedicated to his work and job. It keeps him well-informed about the Windian Jedi Order's vision of a brave new world, the Dominion of Light's victories, and how dark the world outside of the Dominion is.
Needless to say he is constantly monitored. Like every habitat, this one has a habitat warden, who is responsible for the conduct of every inhabitant. Under the supervision of the habitat warden, residents regularly meet for faith sessions in the communal room. They watch patriotic movies, proclaim their faith in the Dominion of Light and perform self-criticism. Every resident is encouraged to produce a statement detailing his or her ideological errors, no matter how minor those might be, and reaffirm their renewed belief in the Jedi. Sadly, this habitat is in a poor state and the building has seen better days. Power is unreliable and it is best to use the stairs rather than the lift, no matter how many time you have to climb. On the bright side, there are air raid shelters to accommodate the inhabitants.
Larn's Approved Medical Commissariat: A store located in one of the less reputable portions of town, the Sapphire District. Aside from the usual medication, it also sells various illegal and semilegal items, such as mind-altering drugs. These are generally acquired via the Order of the Blessed Way, which harnesses the mushrooms located in the Ruhewald. Officially, these flower children are schismatics, and so many customers of the store have the feeling they are doing something illegal. However, in actual fact the government knows all about what is going on in the store. The happy pills help keep bad thoughts from the minds of their users. The owner of the shop has a deal with the Ministry of Harmony and keeps the Inquisitors abreast about customers who are in need of enlightenment.
Orpheum of Righteous Instruction: A large theatre where patriotic movies and plays are shown. These are produced under the guidance of the Ministry of Enlightenment and thus convey the viewpoint of the Dominion. Needless to say the Dominion dismisses the idea that Luke Skywalker ran off to live as a hermit and wanted to burn the sacred Jedi texts. A movie called 300 Martyrs, which depicts the heroic last stand of three hundred Temple Guards against an overwhelming Republican Guard force, is shown quite often. Farmer Ben is also popular. This film centres on a collective farm, illustrating how an ordinary citizen turns an undisciplined group of peasants who want nothing to do with the Jedi faith into an efficient, cohesive collective that is able to overcome individual greed, Sith marauders and produce enough food to feed the people.
Open Circle Grand Protection Fleet Base: Open Circle references a Clone Wars fleet. This the sole spaceport of Nexus City. However, there's no civilian traffic, as it is believed that everything outside of Tephrike is covered in darkness. So the military is the sole user of the base. But the 'fleet' is quite unimpressive since most of the ships are old and rusty. In addition to starfighters, transports, gunships and bombers, there are some subcapital ships. But they are very dated and maintenance is poor. Moreover, most of the pilots lack experience in spaceflight or space combat. It is doubtful that any of the old frigates or corvettes are actually serviceable. The gunships are good enough to drop napalm bombs and explosives on partisans in the jungle though. Or spray said jungle with herbidcides. Bombers take off into the sky from here to carry out bombing runs on those who oppose the Dominion.
Shrine of the Blessed Light: In contrast to the Old Jedi and New Jedi Order, the Dominion of Light believes that Jedi teachings should not be hoarded by the Jedi. Instead they must spread to the masses. The Dark Side is always a menace, so every single sentient being must live in accordance with the tenets of the Light Side. Shrine is a temple of the Light, open to anyone who wishes to take advantage of its services. The domed basilica is maintained by the Followers of Light, a social and religious movement dedicated to spreading the gospel. Jedi healers provide blessings and cure the sick, state sanctioned alchemists sell Force imbued wares such as talismans.
One can also find an infirmary, library and dormitories. The Followers also organises welfare for those in need. In keeping with the collectivist ideals of the Dominion, private welfare organisations and charities are not allowed. This makes the Followers an important institution. They have also organised work crews to clear away rubble, rescue trapped citizens and set up air raid shelters and have directed a campaign to protect children from air raids by evacuating them to areas deemed less at risk.
High. Nexus City is the capital of the Dominion and thus heavily defended.
- There is a large garrison that includes militia, clone troopers, tanks and Jedi warriors. It is pertinent to note that Tephrike has been cut off from the rest of the Galaxy for centuries, and so equipment tends to be older than the galactic standards. Generally the best weapons are reserved for elite troops. However, the Dominion has recently made a secret deal with Archangel, allowing its leaders to upgrade their forces somewhat, purchase war droids and some HRDs. Moreover, the Dominion compensates by having large numbers of Force-using warriors.
- Turrets, mass driver cannons, sonic cannons, anti-air flak cannons and an underground network of air raid shelters have been set up. Government buildings tend to have underground facilities. There is also an underground rail network. Electrostatic weapons, similar to the one in New Adasta on Ziost during the time of Vitiate, have been set up in all major squares. There is also a shield generator.
- The Dominion is not a democracy, but a totalitarian dictatorship. The secret police keeps a watchful eye on the inhabitants. Surveillance droids, wasp droids and security cameras with facial recognition software are a common feature. The pervasive surveillance state makes infiltration and uprisings difficult. Citizens are encouraged to report on suspicious behaviour. However, the ruins and destruction caused by the Firemane bombardment do make it harder to constantly keep tabs on everything.
- Tephrike has been isolated for a long time and has evolved its own, peculiar culture, so offworlders who try to enter the city would probably stick out and arouse suspicion. While Basic is the lingua franca, centuries of isolation mean that the local version has been corrupted so that the natives accent is a really thick brogue. Thus foreigners may give themselves away by having a different accent.
In one way or another, virtually every world in the Galaxy was affected when the terrorist Zero released the Gulag Virus on Csilla. The plague spread like wild fire, bringing galactic civilisation to its knees. The so called Golden Age came to an end. Governments crumbled, galactic trade collapsed and trillions of beings perished. Historians would call it the Four Hundred Year Darkness. Tephrike suffered greatly during this period. However, the light never returned to this benighted planet.
Isolated from the rest of the Galaxy, the planet regressed. Though rich in raw materiels such as precious ores and alloys, the planet had been dependent on trade to sustain itself. Now there was no one who could buy their ores and sell them food. Countless died due to starvation, ecological disasters, riots and civil war. Tephrike's fragile democracy collapsed as the federal government proved unable to resolve the crisis. Its party system was fractured along lines of class and species. The Jedi of Tephrike were forced into a protective role. Believing themselves to be the last Jedi in the Galaxy, they held their Order responsible for the Long Night, as they had been unable to prevent the release of the Gulag Virus. They created a Jedi theocracy called the Dominion of Light.
Nexus City became their capital. From here the Dominion rules most of Tephrike, though its control over more remote provinces is shaky and it has lost territory to the Republican Guard and the Disciples of the Vader. By now any notion of the Jedi one day voluntarily relinquishing power has been abandoned. The Windian Jedi Order views itself as the last bastion of Light and believes that power can only be wielded by those who can hear the will of the Force and act in accordance with it. They obviously believe that this only applies to them. Power and the horrors of war have corrupted their noble ideals.
Construction of Nexus City began during the reign of Jedi Lord Tyian Kree, the second Jedi dictator. The old capital Palmyra had been badly damaged during fighting between the Jedi and the loyalists of the government they had deposed. However, Kree died from a heart attack while laying siege to a rebel city. So it was left to her successor, a human Jedi called Norn Astur, to complete her work. Astur had been elected by a Council and lacked the authority or battlefield laurels of his predecessors. Thus his régime was more of a collective leadership.
To further legitimise his claim, he assumed the title of Grandmaster, in addition to that of Jedi Lord. For all he and his brethren knew, they were the last Jedi in the Galaxy after the Great Plague had brought civilisation to its knees. Astur was less warlike than the previous Jedi Lords. This was partly due to necessity. After years of fighting, the army was tired and the Jedi Masters wanted to consolidate power. Though the Dominion defeated the dark legions of the Vader zealots at the Battle of Palmyra, their triumph came at a staggering cost. So he focused on building an 'enlightened society' in the territories the Jedi Militants controlled, leaving the more remote and often devastated areas to the rebels.
Nexus City was supposed to be the last bastion of civilisation, a shining example to the rest of Tephrike. The builders did their best to build a new Coruscant on the tropical planet, albeit on a far smaller scale. Furthermore, many Tephriki had lost their homes and livelihood during the war. They needed to be taken care of. At the same time, this was a welcome chance for the Windian Jedi Order's ideologues to build a 'perfect society' in their image. They could create a civilisation fully immersed in their warped perception of Jedi dogma, for they wielded absolute power.
In many ways, Nexus City resembles Coruscant. The cityscape is characterised by huge towers, high-rise apartment complexes, and grandiose buildings, such as the Jedi Temple, the unused Senate Building, the Arch of Triumph and so on. A wide area of jungle was cleared to make room for the city. Intensive planting was done to support the new population. Unfortunately, the soil is quite thin and poor, made worse by inefficient farming techniques. Moreover, the soil is too weak to support a number of the more grandiose monuments, causing them to cave in. This has been blamed on dark side magic and terrorist activity, for it must obviously be the work of wreckers and sloths.
A succession of Grandmasters has ruled from this city. However, since the disastrous reign of Grandmaster Grandmaster Tsal Te Mong, most of them have been puppets of the army. Tsal was a doctrinaire fanatic and a hardliner. His Great Enlightenment, an economic and social campaign to rapidly transform the country's economy through rapid industrialisation and collectivisation ended in failure. It was an important factor in the Great Tephriki Famine. The calamity weakened the position of Grandmaster Tsal Te Mong, whose policies were criticised by members of the Jedi Order and the cabinet.
This led to the rise of the Blue Guards. They were a paramilitary social movement composed mostly of students, Padawans and young Knights. They saw themselves as a revolutionary youth organisation and Grandmaster Tsal Te Mong as their commander-in-chief. They saw it as their duty to dismantle Tephrike's pre-Dominion past and crush all opposition to its rebirth as a theocratic utopia. The Blue Guards unleashed a wave of terror throughout Nexus City and elsewhere in the Dominion.
The catalyst for the Blue Guards' destructive campaign was a play called Rai Hui Dismissed from Office. Its first performance was in a Nexus City theatre. Ben, the man who wrote the play, was a historian and Jedi scholar who grew interested in Rai Hui. Rai had been dismissed and unjustly imprisoned for criticising the destructive policies of Prime Minister Winston Stakes, a pre-Dark Age Tephriki politician. The play was a tragedy in which an honest official and Jedi carried the complaints of the people to the Prime Minister at the expense of his career.
It portrayed Rai as an honest magistrate who sought an audience with the corrupt billionaire. Rai then criticised Stakes directly for tolerating the corruption and abuse perpetuated by his officials, laying the blame for Golden Future Fusion Reactor meltdown at his feet. The Prime Minister was so offended by Rai's criticism that he dismissed Rai from office. However, the honest magistrate was restored after Stakes' impeachment.
The Blue Guards saw the play as allegorical criticism of the Grandmaster. At the time, Tsal was under fire because her economic collectivisation policies had produced disaster. They started as a small grass roots movement, but soon grew in power. Seeing them as a means to secure his grip on power, Tsal endorsed them. They waged a campaign against the Four Olds (old culture, old thinking, old habits and old customs).
In the new utopia, everything, material or spiritual, that was contaminated by the past, had to be jettisoned so that a new and more beautiful could emerge. According to them, the key which would unlock this radiant future was religious consiousness. The results were disastrous. Without the Great Enlightenment and the Cultural Revolution, it is likely that the Dominion would have been able to crush the Vaderites and the Republican Guard. Instead, both groups rebel groups were able to expand and transition into becoming significant threats.
Eventually the Blue Guards' reign of terror spurred the army into action. Retired Jedi Master Mahtara, victor of the Battle of Palmyra and perhaps the only Jedi left who still remembered the days before the collapse, ended her retirement after one of her Padawans had been targeted. She herself wassubjected to a 'Criticise Mahtara' campaign the Jedi who had helped assassinate Zaras had been her teacher. Realising that the Dominion was on the brink, she conspired with a clique of generals to put an end to the madness.
The Blue Guards were disarmed, but Mahtara took thing a step further by smuggling herself and some loyal associates into Nexus City. There she took command of a legion of clone troopers loyal to her and placed the Grandmaster under house arrest. When he refused to give a speech legitimising their actions, the putschists used an impostor. Tsal was strangled when forces loyal to him tried to free him from captivity. As far as the public knew, the Gang of Three had represented a Sith cabal and the army had obeyed the Grandmaster's orders.
A succession of Grandmasters has ruled from this city. During the reign of Grandmaster Kolar, a vast palace was built to serve as residence. It was absurdly expensive, but conveniently the citizens of the Dominion of Light are paid in coupons. Incidentally, Kolar was also a puppet of his Jedi Battlemaster, much like most of the Grandmasters that succeeded him. When Grandmaster Kalija Grael tried to break out of the gilded cage and exercise true power, she was quietly eliminated. Since then few Grandmasters have left the palace after being put into power. Security was tightened further after a group of clone troopers mutinied and joined the rebels, forming the Republican Guard. Terrorist attacks committed by the darkside Vader cultists heightened paranoia in the city.
The régime was brought to the brink during the Netherworld Event, when mass disappearances threw the city into chaos. The event coincided with food shortages. Public protests and riots on the Square of Heavenly Peace turned violent when the régime's praetorians fired upon unarmed civilians. The bloodletting caused some soldiers to defect. Both the Republican Guard and the Vader cultists seized the chance, activating their agents inside the city. However, the loyalist forces were able to rally, exploiting the rebels' inability to cooperate. Strife between the Republican Guard and the Vaderites also helped the Dominion prevail. While the Vaderites were now led by the 'Light Sith', many of the cultists had refused to get on with the programme and were more interested in marauding. Soon both groups clashed. A Republican Guard army was routed by General Kennobi at the First Battle of Fortress Purity. This was a major Dominion victory and turned the tide in its favour.
This triumph stabilised the Dominion, but it did not settle down. Jedi Master Aegus was elected as the new Grandmaster. Prior to his ascent to supreme office, he had been the Barse'thor of the Order. At the time he was known for his kindness, moderation and compassion. He had become popular with the small folk by fearlessly walking into homes whose inhabitants had been infected with a deadly disease and using his powers to heal them or alleviate their pain. He had also exposed corruption in the Order and punished Jedi who had been abusing their students. However, the Netherworld Event had a negative effect on his psyche. He was wounded in a poison gas attack, which left him temporarily blinded. During his recuperation he was tormented by apocalytic visions. These did not cease after his election. They took a toll on his sanity.
Realising that he was unsuitable yet unable to replace him so soon, Mahtara sought to isolate Aegus from the machinery of government. The Grandmaster was kept in his palace and fed fake reports about the state of the country. This only increased his resentment. Grand Inquisitor Antonius, a conniving political operator, played on his growing paranoia. It can only be speculated what would have happened if things had taken their normal course.
However, the Dominion's core beliefs where put into question when outsiders suddenly showed up in Tephrike's orbit. The outsiders were not dark side demons, but a Firemane expeditionary fleet, led by Tegaea Alcori. Initial contact was violent. A Dominion starfighter squadron was wiped out after attacking the fleet. Then Firemane landed on one of Tephrike's moons and seized a Dominion base. Thereafter Jedi Master Airla contacted the Firemane commander in the name of the Council.
The High Council was divided on what to do. Some wanted to go to war against the infidels, others advised moderation. The Battlemaster was in the latter category. Though suspicious of the outsiders, she also saw their arrival as an opportunity. Moreover, she deemed it vital to stop them from making common cause with the Dominion's enemies. Jedi Master Airla was charged with negotiating with them. The Grandmaster was not informed, having been distracted with exaggerated news of a great victory over the Sith. However, Grand Inquisitor Antonius conspired to sabotage the talks.
When a Firemane delegation landed at Nexus City, they were received by Airla. The initial talks between her and the Firemane diplomat were amicable, but tense. They came to a premature end when soldiers dispatched by the Grand Inquisitor opened fire on the delegation. A fierce fight ensued. Regular Dominion trooper, believing that the outsiders had attacked their comrades, joined the battle. Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori, the adoptive daughter of Tegaea, was captured by the Inquisition and spirited away to a brainwashing camp. Moreover, some Firemane-allied pilots were shot down. Pursued by Dominion troops, they were saved by the Republican Guard.
Mahtara was outraged, but the balance of power had shifted. Riding a wave of religious fervour, the Grandmaster took control, declaring that the outsiders were Sith who wished to destroy the Dominion. Firemane's demands for the return of the prisoners were rebuffed. In response, the corporation declared war. Mahtara was wise enough to leave the Temple after Firemane started bombing the shield generator of Nexus City. This turned out to be a wise choice as the shield fell and the Temple was levelled. Many Jedi and their servitors died in the attack.
Firemane proceeded to bomb communication centres, Jedi academies and military installations. The Grandmaster and the Grand Inquisitor retreated to a bunker, while Mahtara defeated assassins sent by the Inquisition. Realising the folly of her superior's actions, Mahtara linked up with her allies and went underground. There she plotted to remove the 'tyrant' and ordered her agents to find and secure the captive Elpsis, who was being held at a black site and brainwashed by the Inquisition.
The Dominion retaliated by deploying powerful strategic missiles against Firemane's fleet. These represented their strategic reserve, only to be used in the direst of circumstances. Mahtara's agents were able to secure two of the missiles, but the others were launched. One destroyed a Firemane corvette, the other was stopped by tractor beams before it could do the same to their command ship. Firemane made an uneasy alliance with the Republican Guard and landed ground troops to take Fortress Purity. At the same time a task force was dispatched to locate and rescue - or avenge - the lost Elpsis. Ironically, Mahtara was trying to secure her as well and so both task forces ended up clashing. Elpsis was eventually able to overcome her brainwashing and killed the Grand Inquisitor, inciting a prisoners' revolt. Jedi Diona, a remorseful Inquisitor, helped her overcome her captors.
Meanwhile, a brutal battle was fought at Fortress Purity. There the fanatical General Kennobi led the defence. The Dominion troops compensated their technological inferiority through bloody-minded determination, kamikaze pilots, mass use of Force-Users and by deploying a weather control machine. They hoped that their enemy would be bled white and withdraw. The storm made it hazardous for Firemane to deploy bombers and gunships.
The Republican Guard had the manpower, but was initially reluctant to deploy in full force, as it had failed here before and did not trust its new allies. Dominion militia and Jedi were well-entrenched and many units fought to the last man. However, Firemane orbital strikes prevented reinforcements from reaching the Fortress. The defenders were trapped. Eventually the fortress fell to the allied forces, though the price in blood was considerable. In the last stages of the battle, the Dominion commanders deployed a brigade of Younglings to cover their retreat. They went on a suicidal death charge. While the battle was fought, Firemane continued to hammer Nexus City and Dominion installations.
The Grandmaster was apoplectic when he heard of the defeat. Realising that he would lead them to their doom, a cabal of Jedi Councillors conspired to assassinate him. The ringleader was Jedi Cassius, Aegus' own apprentice. The Grandmaster was led to the Corridor of Heroes under false pretense and murdered. The public was informed that he had been murdered by a Firemane bombing raid while touring the ruins to help trapped civilians. Grand Inquisitor Antonius was branded a closeted Sith, who had deceived the Grandmaster and collaborated with the enemy. The plotters reached out to Battlemaster Mahtara, whose forces entered the city. She was cleared of all accusations of treason.
Forces loyal to her initiated Operation Apotheosis. Ironically, it had originally been drafted as an emergency continuity of government operations plan issued to the Reserve Army to execute and implement in the event of a catastrophic event or a general breakdown of civil order, such as a nuclear war, a mass uprising or the outbreak of a new Gulag Virus level plague. Now it was used to unseat the government while maintaining the facade of loyalty.
Battlemaster Mahtara refused to take the title of Grand Master, leaving this office vacant. However, she is now the de facto ruler of the Dominion and commander-in-chief of its armed forces. Under her rule the Dominion has liberalised somewhat. The fairweather friends and madmen have been purged in the upper ranks. Several moral crimes are no longer ground for arrest, execution or deportation, but they are still on the books and thus enforcement can be arbitrary. Several deportees have been pardoned and allowed to return home. This gives the people of Nexus City more room to breathe. However, the Dominion remains a repressive dictatorship. Now the people of the Dominion and Nexus City prepare for total war.
Edited by Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori, 18 June 2019 - 02:09 PM.