Jan 24, 2012

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The Nerfherder’s Guide to the Galaxy: Dromund Kaas

 From the crystal-laden caverns of Ilum to the Jundland Wastes of Tatooine, this is your guide to discovering the distant worlds and locales of Star Wars:The Old Republic. Welcome to The Nerfherder’s Guide to the Galaxy! 

“Dromund Kaas is not our home, and in many ways we do not belong here. The Emperor led us here and we made it into something more than we found, but it is still a place of savagery ruled by beasts. We have retaken Korriban, but this remains our seat of power, to remind us of the cost of losing this war. Never forget what the Republic took from us, let that shame fuel your anger.”

- From the Teachings of Lord Kraius

This is the Citadel, home of the Emperor and his Dark Council

Dromund Kaas, the dark heart of the Sith Empire, is a world of lush jungles dominated by vicious predators that are only slightly less dangerous than the Dark Lords that rule there. During the Golden Age of the ancient Sith Empire, Dromund Kaas was found, colonized, and then largely forgotten as its hyperspace coordinates were lost. Centuries later, following the Great Hyperspace War, an armada of Sith forces vanished into hyperspace to escape the onslaught of Republic forces.

The armada, led by the Sith who became the new Emperor, blindly leapt into hyperspace to avoid any possible contact with hostile vessels. Finally, guided by the Force, they rediscovered the Dromund system and settled on Dromund Kaas as their new capital world. Among the jungles and ruins of the ancient Sith, the Emperor inspired his followers to begin building a new Empire and to prepare for the day when they would reemerge and take their revenge upon the Republic.

One of their first efforts was the construction of the Citadel and Kaas City as testament to the power of the Sith Empire. The Emperor assembled his Dark Council from his most trusted and powerful Sith Lords and began building a strong military force, with a focus on a vast fleet that could reach out and conquer the galaxy in his name. Through dark rituals designed to extend his life, the Emperor transformed the planet’s ionosphere into a frenzied electrical storm that continues to rage centuries later. The entirety of Dromund Kaas is cast in perpetual darkness, illuminated only by the lights of Kaas city and the tempest of power above.

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Dec 17, 2011

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The Nerfherder’s Guide to the Galaxy: Hutta

From the crystal-laden caverns of Ilum to the Jundland Wastes of Tatooine, this is your guide to discovering the distant worlds and locales of Star Wars:The Old Republic. Welcome to The Nerfherder’s Guide to the Galaxy!

“People try to tell you that Hutta is lawless. They don’t know poodoo! Republic law and Imperial edict don’t mean a thing out here. But the word of the Hutts is absolute. It’s as capricious and slimy as they are. And if you’re on the wrong side of it… well, the swamps are deep and no one will ever look for you.”

- Aldo Jinn, Bounty Hunter, overheard in Nem’ro’s Palace

Everybody has to start somewhere

Everybody has to start somewhere

Deep in the heart of Hutt space, the planet Hutta is a quagmire of illegality, political maneuvering, and decay. The Hutts once began building their vast holdings from their ancient homeworld of Varl. Thousands of years ago, however, a massive conflict devastated many of their planets, including Varl. Following this conflict, the Hutts chose a new world as their home.

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Oct 31, 2011

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The Nerfherder’s Guide To The Galaxy: Ord Mantell

From the crystal-laden caverns of Ilum to the Jundland Wastes of Tatooine, this is your guide to discovering the distant worlds and locales of Star Wars:The Old Republic. Welcome to The Nerfherder’s Guide to the Galaxy!

“This planet was a lifeless hunk of rock before the Republic came here; and if this war goes on much longer, that’s how we’ll leave it. You’re all here because you made some very good or very bad decisions, and I don’t care which. All I care about are the next few days, and seeing peace restored to this world. Now, who’s ready to put some dents in their pretty armor?”

-Commander Antilles, Havoc Squadron

 

Located in the Bright Jewel system, Ord Mantell lies in the middle of a bulge in the northern section of the Mid Rim. It was largely settled some 9,000 years before the Treaty of Coruscant by an expedition of Corellians.

The major establishment of Ord Mantell as a galactic presence, however, came with the world’s designation as an Ordinance/Regional Depot (ORD) planet. This made it an important military base for the Republic during its middle period of expansion.

Ord Mantell’s position in the northern section of the Mid Rim made it a military outpost of great importance. As the centuries passed, however, much of its role in the Republic military was diminished. Though the planet’s name retained a military root, private organizations began to move in and take over.

Many of these groups operated outside of the law, and Ord Mantell became a haven for gangsters, smugglers, and pirates. The political leaders of the Bright Jewel system turned a blind eye to the actions of these groups. Bribes became a standard commodity within the system’s political organization.

Following the Sacking of Coruscant, the leaders of Ord Mantell chose to remain loyal to the Republic. Some of the planet’s citizens, however, supported neither this decision nor the corrupt politicians who controlled their world. Guerrilla assaults from these Separatists over the last two years have plunged Ord Mantell into a civil war.

As the flames of war threaten to be stoked once more throughout the galaxy, Ord Mantell has already fallen into chaos and conflagration.

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Aug 3, 2011

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The Nerfherder’s Guide To The Galaxy: Korriban

From the crystal-laden caverns of Ilum to the Jundland Wastes of Tatooine, this is your guide to discovering the distant worlds and locales of Star Wars:The Old Republic. Welcome to The Nerfherder’s Guide to the Galaxy!

 

“To many, the heart of the Empire is Dromund Kaas. But Kaas City is far too loud to hear the will of the Force. To know the rage locked away in the swirling frenzy at the center of the galaxy, you need only kneel in the Valley of the Dark Lords. Hear the ancient whispers of our ancestors around you, and remember what it is to be Sith.”
- From the Teachings of Lord Kraius

Sith Academy

While Korriban may not be the capital of the Sith Empire, to many it is its heart and soul. Located in the “north-east” region of the Outer Rim, the names of few worlds inspire as much fear in citizens of the Republic as that of the desolate tomb-world of Korriban.

Tens of thousands of years before the Treaty of Coruscant, before the founding of the Jedi Order, the Sith were already an old and powerful civilization. An indomitable brutality and innate connection to the Dark Side of the Force allowed the Sith to resist invasions from both the Killiks and the Infinite Empire of the Rakata. Using Rakatan technology, the ancient Sith spread out from their home world and began building an Empire.

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Jul 12, 2011

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The Nerfherder's Guide to the Galaxy: Tython

From the crystal-laden caverns of Ilum to the Jundland Wastes of Tatooine, this is your guide to discovering the distant worlds and locales of Star Wars:The Old Republic. Welcome to The Nerfherder’s Guide to the Galaxy!

“When the Temple on Coruscant fell, the Sith believed they were victorious. But in our ‘defeat,’ we were reminded of the importance of humility. We returned home, to the very birthplace of our Order in the heart of the galaxy. Here we recover and remember the true nature of the Force.”
-From the Journal of Jedi Master Tarn

Jedi Enclave

Tython is a world of lush forests and tall mountain ranges. Located within the Deep Core, it is one of only a handful of known navigable worlds within the center of the galaxy. Amid the changing systems and intense mass of the Deep Core, Tython was host to the earliest understanding of the Force. Tens of thousands of years before the Treaty of Coruscant, a group of scholars, scientists, and mystics came together on Tython to better understand the universe.

Their work led to an understanding of the Force in all its forms. An ideological schism between followers of the Ashla (Light Side) and the Bogan (Dark Side), however, resulted in the Force Wars. In many ways, the ongoing conflict between Jedi and Sith is nothing more than an aftershock of that first, terrible war.

The devastation of that war left much of Tython in ruins. Those followers of Ashla who survived the conflict eventually refined their ideas, left the scarred world of Tython behind, and became the first of the Jedi. The Jedi Order established a temple far from Tython, on the Outer Rim world of Ossus, and eventually expanded to worlds such as Coruscant and Dantooine.

Tython was left to crumble into ruin, slipping from the memories of even the oldest Jedi. Recently, however, the hyperspace route to Tython was rediscovered by Master Satele Shan and efforts began to recover the lost teachings of the ancient followers of the Ashla. The treacherous Sacking of Coruscant and the destruction wrought by the armies of Darth Malgus, however, have resulted in the Jedi leaving the Republic capital world and rebuilding their Temple amid the ancient ruins of Tython.

Now, surrounded by the architecture of their forebears, the Jedi seek to reclaim their heritage and return balance to the Force.

Awaiting the Jedi Council...

Tython acts as the starting planet for both the Jedi Knight and Jedi Consular in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Screenshots, video, and hands-on demonstrations have shown that beginning Jedi are armed with a training sword, rather than a lightsaber.

On Tython, players of both Jedi classes can expect to build their first lightsabers and begin their journey to strengthen the Jedi Order. Maps indicate that the remains of the Jedi Forge are located toward the southern region of Tython. This Forge was once used to infuse Jedi swords and katanas with the Force, enhancing their weapon’s connection to the Jedi who wielded it. This place may also hold the key to the creation of a Jedi’s first lightsaber.

Since the Jedi Temple is also located on Tython, players are likely to meet the Jedi Council and Grand Master Shan as well. The newly built Temple is located on the western side of the starting area, south of the Master’s Retreat and north of the mysterious Ruins of Kaleth. The Temple itself contains numerous chambers where the Jedi Masters can meet and discuss the future of their Order, as well as a marketplace and cantina.

At the northern tip of the known area of Tython is the Master’s Retreat. The Master’s Retreat seems to overlook the ocean and provides a scenic introduction for players to this serene yet dangerous world. This complex also includes speeders that can be used to travel to other areas of Tython.

Information on the official site indicates that a dark influence remains on Tython. Perhaps the followers of the Bogan have left their mark on the world. This could result in players who are just starting off already being tempted to turn from their Jedi teachings and begin walking the path toward the Dark Side of the Force.

Flesh raiders, terrible marauders who have firmly entrenched themselves on Tython, also present a threat to young padawans and newly ordained Jedi. These vicious raiders have brutally stamped out their territory on the eastern side of Tython’s navigable area, and moved into other regions as well. To the north of their territory is Kalikori Village, and further north a rough area of Tython known as the Gnarls.

With a combination of verdant forests, snow-capped mountains, new structures, and ancient ruins, Tython offers a wide range of environments to explore. Personally, I cannot wait to build my first lightsaber. But what area or event on Tython are you most excited for? Meeting the Jedi Council and Grand Master Shan? Exploring the ruins and ancient past of the Jedi Order? Or getting past it all to return, once more, to Coruscant?

In-Game Map of Tython

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