"When the cosmos made Thaal, it had only indulgence in mind."-attributed to Jondo Les-Wao, infamous smuggler
Discovered in approximately 4,022BBY, Thaal became a natural staging hub for Jedi looking to make headway against their Sith counterparts along the Outer Rim. Within those twenty years, the Jedi and the Republic converted most of the ~15% land mass on Thaal into massive fortresses and shield generator complexes. It would be a bulwark in the coming Great Sith War, and became infamous as the "Ocean of Corpses".
Though Thaal remained relatively strategically important to the Republic, its grandeur as a fortress world would diminish alongside the crumbling health of its founding superpower. Thaal would eventually fall into Federation hands.
Since then, it has become something of a novelty. Recently, its planetary governor Vatian Raas has stated that it will continue to function as a defensive hub for Federation activities.
The deeper history of Thaal, therefore, remains a mystery, buried beneath the waves.
Heart of Darkness (??? to ~29,655BBY)
Many thousands of years ago, the Rakatan Infinite Empire had reached the height of its power and influence. Worlds that offended them were wiped out. Civilizations that did not comply to their rule were erased. One such offense to Rakatan influence was Thaal, then called Skarnajaal by its native peoples. As a world swathed in thick layers of ice and snow, its most influential export to smugglers and traders within system was large natural quantities of metal ore. The most powerful race on ancient Skarnajaal was a humanoid species that managed to achieve interplanetary travel before the Rakata arrived.
Seizure of the world was swift and brutal. The humanoid civilization fell within weeks of the primary invasion, and millions were put to the sword. Surrender, however, was never an option for these humanoids. They resisted against the Rakata to the last.
In a rage, the Rakata left the world and bombarded it from orbit with plasma fire and nuclear weapons, turning it into a tumultuous and boiling ocean world. Roughly 99% of all species on Skarnajaal faded from the galaxy and it became one of the many benchmarks of Rakatan cruelty and malice. The brutality of the Infinite Empire exhausted, their forces left for fresher planets with more reliable potential slave labor.
The name Skarnajaal faded into obscurity. Seasons upon the freshly-melted ocean world changed given the new weapons its natural environments could now wield. The hostile polar winds, now bereft of mountain cover, turned into vicious hurricanes that lasted for decades at a time. Undersea earthquakes, triggered by the Rakatan orbital weapons, turned the endless seas into relentless, continent-sized whitewater battering rams. Only the largest and most imposing mountainous areas survived, and even then some were pummeled completely flat.
For thousands of years, the ocean world laid dormant. Its storms settled as the tectonic activity died down. The air currents shifted into a more peaceful arrangement. It was in this state that the Jedi and Republic forces found it, naming it 'Thaal' after the commander of the expeditionary force: Jedi Master Thaal Asurmand.
A Second Apocalypse (3,999BBY to 3,998BBY)
Following the Third Great Schism (4,250BBY) within the Jedi Order, efforts were made to reinforce the Outer Rim territories against potential Dark Jedi incursions. In 4,022BBY, an expeditionary force led by Jedi Master Thaal Asurmand colonized and fortified an ocean world in the Galactic Northeast near Hutt Space. The Hutts never considered it to be of much worth (possibly due to some innate dislike of deep saltwater) and never attempted to either colonize it themselves or stop the Republic from doing so.
Thaal's extensively secretive efforts to fortify the ocean world went unhindered for twenty years until he renamed it after himself, thereby inviting Dark Jedi and Sith intervention. This intentional system-wide taunt worked wonders.
It was the dawn of the Great Sith War, a conflict brewing for centuries. Jedi and their Dark counterparts waged battle across the entire galaxy, carving out swaths of territory and massacring billions at a time. For four long years the galactic war continued until both sides were bled white.
Thaal was no exception to this rule.
Its waters ran red with the blood of Sith and Jedi, earning it the moniker "Ocean of Corpses". Its unassailable fortresses nestled into the hearts of rocky plateaus were the sites of many bloody incursions deep into the tunnels, where fighting only became more gruesome the further one ventured. Close-quarters fighting was a staple on the bloodied world despite its vast oceans. Even aquatic warfare became brutally melee-oriented, with ships often ramming each other into submission.
Aerial combat was plagued with problems. Hardly any landmass meant very little in the way of refueling stations and that orbital dominance had to be maintained. The First Battle of Thaal lasted a year in these conditions, until the Sith were beaten back. Of Thaal Asurmand himself, he died late in the battle.
His body fell into the sea and was never recovered.
In total, it is estimated that anywhere from 90,000,000 to 110,000,000 died fighting on both sides for control of Thaal. Its vast reservoirs of oil in the deep oceanic trenches guaranteed an almost unstoppable war effort straight into the heart of the Republic. Fortune sided with the Jedi, however.
The Coming of the Federation and the Thaalian Civil War (2,221BBY)
Veterans of the First Battle of Thaal made efforts to further colonize their world. They had won it in the fight, and were owed that much. A capital city was made in honor of the fallen, with a grand mausoleum built as its centerpiece. Asoset served as the capital for generations. Much of its prowess came from its location on the side of the mountain of the same name. Thaal remained loyal to the Republic for about two-thousand standard years. Trade was an increasingly dominant business practice on the isolated planet and the merchant class became exorbitantly wealthy.
A clear divide started appearing between these diplomats and smugglers and the hard-working oil farmers who went down into deep-sea trench mines. When the oil-farmers were denied a class-wide pay increase, this divide became a hostile one. Protests became militarized riots, and Sigis Rex, the planetary governor at the time, sought armed assistance from the Republic. Instead, communications were intercepted by the Federation and they came instead.
The resulting Thaalian Civil War ended with the execution of three-hundred thirty-seven noblemen and noblewomen. Asoset fell into rebel hands and they signed with the Federation in return for their military assistance. When communications to the Republic fell silent, the event was lost amidst an overwhelming majority of planets also falling in line against the Republic.
Thaal became a Federation world, with its vast oil deposits being given over to the droid war machine.
Even now, deep into the Galactic Dark Age, Thaal exists as a peaceful paradise world - though its old fortresses still remain, and are well-defended.
- SW:GDA rules apply
- Editing this on mobile as the day goes on, so expect this to change
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