(Was really going back and forth on releasing this in its current state but decided to do so just in case I have another idea I want to post in July. This post will be updated within the next couple of days adding the missing pieces I haven´t written down yet) Fanon Entry for June The Astelan Empire The Astelan empire is located in the deep southwest of the unknown regions, far away from any of the major galactic civilizations. Made up of former slaves to the Rakata who were left to their own devices after the Infinite Empire fell they build a civilization that is largely unknown to the rest of the galaxy. Once just one world amongst many similar ones in their region of space the Astelan Empire has been slowly but surely risen to become the dominant power in the region, it's also the place from which the luxury drink Hot Chocolate originates. History When the Infinite Empire of the Rakata was destroyed by slave rebellions, plague and civil war, it left behind a broken and shattered galaxy, with countless worlds being cut off, while millions of slaves now stood in the ruins of their masters, awaiting an unknown fate in the times to come. One of these worlds, in the modern ages known as Astelan, located in the south of unknown regions was populated predominantly by human´s which had been brought in a slaves generations ago. Now free from their masters and left with little else but ruins of the great civilization that had been build on their backs the humans fell into an age of barbaric practices and superstition, where the knowledge of the past, the Rakata and their times as slaves would become legends and later myths, facts and fiction intermixing with each other, until the truth was fully lost to them. Eventually the planet would reunify again and make its first steps back into space, where they would meet with the population of other former Rakata colonies surrounding them who went through similar phases of regression and eventual recovery as they had. For hundreds of years these small mini realms would struggle with each other for supremacy, alliances and confederations being created and broken, war begun and ended so many that no one could comprehend all the details of the countless conflicts that occurred during this time. But despite being one of the last world in this region to reach spaceflight again the Astelan would, over many centuries become one of the strongest powers in the region, due to both their strong military and capable political leadership, eventually forming a powerfully alliance with several other worlds who came to dominate the region. Tough they did not become a major power until very recently, when their military and technology received a considerable boots, from an utterly unexpected source. When the galactic republic became the galactic empire many where upset by this development, both amongst the common people and the military. And especially in the first days many spontaneous revolts broke out all over the galaxy. Most of them where quickly crushed while others would eventually set the ground for the rebel alliance. In the shipyards of the recently conquered Fondor Rear Admiral Marcus Voidseeker organized a revolt amongst the republics southern fleet, helped by the fact that many ships where predominantly crewed by, mostly human, volunteers for the galactic southwest instead of clones. Being able to seize control over several capital ships the rebels where initially planning to move towards the core in an attempt to directly assault Coruscant, but the failure of most other rebellions and the sheer number of forces remaining loyal to the empire made these plans impossible, and so, gathering as many of their friends and family members before imperial reinforcements arrived in the southwest Voidseeker and his men fled into the only direction possible to the galactic west, towards the unknown regions. Their journey through these uncharted parts of space was long and difficult and their adventures could probably fill an entire series of action holobooks but eventually they came into the realm of the Astelan. Desperate for a place to stay and seeing this local power as possible ally against the empire Voidseeker offered his service to Speaker Acalan IX. , who saw the strangers himself as a valuable ally and thus welcomed them into his nation. With the aid of the ex republican forces the Astelan where able to, in the next ten years defeat all their remaining rivals and emerge as the ruling power in the South of the Unknown regions. Since then their dominion has continued to grow, slowly moving closer and closer towards the rest of the galaxy and establishing deeper relations with everyone else. Society The Astelan Society is rather hierarchical but also meritocratic as it allows for quite a bit of movement between the ranks depending on the deeds and skills of an individual. As a feudal society the lower casts tend to include farmers and miners who are tasked with producing the necessary good for their society, above them are craftsmen and other types of skilled workers and above them soldiers. The position of soldier however is not inherited from birth, instead the children of all casts are educated together in the first years of their lives and those who show great promise will be elevated to the rank of soldiers, taken from their families and raised together with the other young recruits. To be trained both in the ways of war but also given generally higher education. Above the soldiers are teachers, doctors, priests and officials of the nation. With a few exceptions the only way to become part of this class is a successful time of service with the military. Above even them and at the top are the nobles, who will inherit their positions to their kids but can also be stripped of their title if they are found disloyal or incompetent at their job, in this case renowned members of the warrior cast might be elevated to nobility to fill the gaps. Highest amongst the society sits the speaker, an individual elected from the nobility who oversee the society and speaks for it. Though the speaker is explicitly not all powerful but instead reined in by a council of nobles who serve as the ultimate ruling body of the empire. The Republican exiles however are not bound to this caste system, as part of the deal negotiated between Marcus Voidseeker and Speaker Acalan they keep their own society and rules, including election of their leaders by all members of their society. Voidseeker and any leaders after him where also granted a seat on the ruling council. These new ideas of equality being introduced by the newcomers had quite an impact on the Astelan and several, especially amongst the lower casts have begun desiring adopting their foreigners model for their own society. One thing that is kinda unqiue about the Astelan tough is the fact that they provide a broad education to every citizen regardless of class, which is one of the reasons their system is a bit more flexible than say the Nagai´s. Other public services provided to all citizens include public bath´s, and free health care. Military In the countless wars fought between the small realms before the arrival of the republican exiles, the Astelan developed a warrior culture in which the best of them rise into the ranks of the nobility. The most prominent amongst the Astelan Warriors are the famed warrior cults. The Rancors and Blood Eagles and they share the privilege to use the famed obsidian weapons that are able to parry laser or plasma based weapons and shatter armor if used with enough force, as well as personal energy shields(like the ones seen in KOTOR) which give a bit of extra protection. The Rancors where initially brought to Astelan by the Rakata from their own homeworld of Lehon for today unclear purposes. Adapting very well to the thick jungles they quickly became the planets new alpha predator and like all non Dathomirian Rancors are highly aggressive. Any Astelan warrior who manages to kill one of these famed beasts will be eligible to join the Rancor cult. Wearing armor made from the hide of the great beasts these give them a surprising protection against blaster fire and other simple weapons. Taking a direct and straightforward path to war the Rancor Knights take the fight to their enemies in close combat, using obsidian Maces and handblasters. The Rancor Cult is considered a very conservative and opposed to new ideas and concepts entering the Astelan society. On the flipside tough they are also extremly honorbound, so they insist on always openly declaring war and to never hurt a civilian or surrendering enemy in battle. The Blood Eagle Cult by comparison chooses its members from warriors who display wits and outside the box thinking in battle. Despite still occasionally using their traditional obsidian spears, most of them have adapted to the modern galaxy, using sniper rifles and other modern weaponry. Where the Rancors take the enemy head on the Eagle Knights will seek to flank the enemy and attack them from the rear. They also serve as scouts, spies and diplomats of the empire. They are not as honorable as the Rancors and generally will use any underhand tactis nessesary if it will lead them to victory. Both cults have a strong rivalry with each other, the Rancors seeing the Eagles as spineless cowards, while the Eagles consider the Rancors mindless brutes. The leaders of the cults, who are simply known as the Rancor and the Eagle respectivley often compete on all things, especially in the council. With the arrival of the republican exiles this rivarly is now something of a three sided one with the admiral of the fleet entering the fray. Relationships with the Outside Before the arrival of the republicans the Astelan had little to no interactions with the wider galaxy. Instead they were mostly focused on fighting their rivals in their part of the unknown regions. The wars between them are so numerous that it´s impossible to go into great detail about them but no side was rarely defeated completely as no world had enough strength to completely subjugate another. Instead the looser would be forced to pay tribute to the victor for a certain period of time. Alliances and rivalries would shift from each generation to the next so no single world could ever keep their advantages in the long run. Eventually tough the Astelan managed to from a more permanent alliance with two other worlds, the Twi'lek of Ciradan and the Nikto of Mercian, this alliance was very successful and able to subjugate several other worlds. Their rise being eventually hastened by the republican exiles to the point that today the Astelan are the undisputed rulers of their little corner of the galaxy. With the major power of the Unknown Regions, the Chiss the Astelan had contacts already in earlier times where their spiritual nature clashed quite a bit with the atheistic Chiss but at the same time the Astelan where impressed and intrigued by the Chiss modern technology, especially the Eagle Cult. The Chiss on their end where quite hesitant to seek to deep cooperation with the Astelan as they generally prefer just keeping their own home territory save. In more recent times tough the relationship has grown closer and the current Eagle has even visited the Ascendancy himself. It is clear that the Eagle cult desires their people to align with the Chiss completely, something the rest of the society is not too pleased about. Since the rise of the New Republic the Republican Exiles have sought for the Astelan to have a deeper connection with them. Some even returned to live in the NR again now that the empire was mostly gone, but by that time most had accepted the Astelan empire as their new home and chose to stay. The transformation of the NR into the galactic Alliance was taken with mixed feelings, some being upset about what they saw as a betrayal of the republican values while others hoped the Astelan could join this new Alliance. So at this point the Astelan stand at a crossroads, the Eagles seek to align with the Chiss, the Republican Exiles want to join the GA, the nobility wants to largely keep the status quo of peaceful trade and friendly relations without aligning with anyone, while the Rancors would prefer their society returning to an age of largely isolation from the rest of the galaxy. Hot Chocolate The most famed export of the Astelan Empire into the rest of the galaxy is without question Hot Chocolate, the first seeds being brought to the galaxy by smugglers and adventurers who long before the unification of their realm visited the Astelan, exchanging this luxury drink for pieces of modern technology. Somewhat of a rarity the cacao plant was only able to grow on seven planets aside from Astelan itself making the drink quite a rarity. Even more so, when maybe through fate all seven other planets where re-shaped by the Vong during the Vong War, making it impossible for the plant to grow there. This fact, alongside the growing interest in the drink across the galaxy lead to the Astelan empires exports exploding in the times since the Vong War. Large parts of their planet have now been dedicated to the farming of cacao and currently the export earns enough that even lowly farmhands can live in relative luxury. That said the Astelan version of the drink is quite a bit different from the one in the rest of the galaxy as they do not include any milk in the drink but instead spicy powders. Their version of the drink is considered far to bitter and spicy by the rest of the galaxy, while the Astelan themselves often poke fun at the "weakness" of other people for being only able to drink it with lots of milk and sweetener. Spoiler: Recipe If you want to try their version of the drink at home here is the version of the Recipe to do it on Earth: 100 ml of Water 20 Gram of 100 percent chocolate Chili powder Melt the chocolate with a little of the water in a small pot over medium heat. Whisk in the remaining water and the chili. Add the chili pepper to the pot and bring the pot almost to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 10 mins. Enjoy Religion The religion of the Astelan is very much based on their past as slaves to the Rakata, with their gods being known by the titles their distant slave master may have held thousands of years ago. These Include: the Master, the Overseer, the Warrior, the Teacher and the Predor. All these gods are seen as all powerful and in many ways cruel on their mortal subjects, creating a need to placate them with sacrifices. In ancient times it is believed that the Astelan did indeed sacrifice humans to their gods tough these rituals have long since changed. These days the sacrifices are more symbolic in nature and include the burning of trophies taken from enemies or the products of the land itself. Given that death was seen as a release from their suffering by their slave ancestors the Astelan believe that after being tested in various perils by the cruel gods in life true peace and redemption will be found in the afterlife. As such members of their society don´t fear death as much as many other cultures do, which also lead to their warlike, bloodthirsty nature as they consider dying in battle as an act of salvation, which also applied to their enemies so they have no qualms about killing them.