Mandalorians are a culture of nomadic warriors who generally trace their roots to the Mandalore Sector in the Outer Rim. Mandalorians constantly strive for improvement in both individual battle and war as a culture, to satisfy their religion, way of life, as well as their quest for honor and glory. To most Mandalorian warriors nothing is more sacred then the heat of the battle, molding them into stronger warriors and bringing them closer to their gods. Mandalorians are characterized by their rugged sense of honor, unique armor, ancient language, and fierce sense of loyalty to their kin.
The Mandalorians have a history that streches long and far, their cultural ancestors have even predated the Republic. The Mandalorian people were born from the Taung, a species of humanoids native to Coruscant. The Taung fought constantly with the native Zhell (humans) over control of the planet. Some of these battles, so grand in scale, are still remembered in the present with epic peoms and songs. Eventually, after years of conflict, the Taung were forced off of Coruscant to settle on a distant world named Roon. They banded together under a new leader pomptly named, Mandalore the First, and renamed themselves Mandalorians. After colonizing the world they renamed their new homeworld in honor of their might leader, thus Mandalore was consolidated.
The Mandalorians would reside in their own sector of space for many centuries after their founding, conquering the systems nearby until they emerged to the greater part of the galaxy during the Great Sith War. Where the current Mandalore, Mandalore the Indomitable, allied with Ulic Qel-Droma to forge their first noteworthy alliance with, those who at least claimed to be, Sith. At the end of the Great Sith War, eventually named the Great Shadow Crusade by the Mandalorians, two decades of peace reigned before the Mandalorians launched their own crusade. As Neo-Crusaders the warriors pushed into the Outer Rim, before eventually driving aggressively into the Republic. The bloody conflict that resulted would be become known as the Mandalorian Wars in the years that followed. Eventually, after much conflict and devestation, the Neo-Crusaders were defeated by the Jedi Revan. Their final defeat came on the world of Malachor V, where Revan dealt the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders a crippling defeat; killing Mandalore the Ultimate, scattering the surviving Mandalorian warriors, and devestating the planet itself.
In the following centuries the Mandalorians were scattered and broken; even as Canderous Ordo, Mandalore the Presever, tried to bring the clans back together, his efforts only managed to bring a few under his banner. In the deacdes that followed his failed amalgamate, the vairous clans began to determine their own paths and ideals at a gradual pace. Some surviving clans falling back to the old crusader ways, returning to the home sector and worshipping the old gods. A few clans decided to remain on the path set by Ultimate, retainig the customs of the Neo-Crusaders. More clans settled on wandering the galaxy taking up work as mercenaries and bounty hunters; selling their skills as warriors for credits in an effort to find challanges that would bring them honor and glory. This remained the way of things untill the Empire rose a popular gladiator from Geonosis to the role of Mandalore the Lesser during the Great Galactic War.
The Mandalorian's alliance with the Empire hasn't been as set in stone as many would believe. Mandalore the Lesser, was but a puppet propped up Imperial Intelligence, to unite the scattered Mandalorian clans behind the Empire. After the drastic defeat at the Hydian Way, and by war's end Mandalore Lesser had begun to lose favor among his people. In an attempt to save face, he called for another Great Hunt to regain his people's respect. At the hunt's finale; the new Grand Champion, Artus Lok, challenged the Lesser to a duel. Without his Imperial support and against Lok's skill the Lesser fell. From the Lesser's defeat, Lok was proclaimed Mandalore the Vindicated. Some believe this change in regime would also mean a change in alliance away from the Imperials, though to the galaxy's suprise; he re-negotiated the Mandalorian alliance with the Empire to the state it is in today. Shortly after this monumentous decision he lead the Mandalorian Clans loyal to him to victory in a brief civil war against the Preservers from Clans Ordo, Kelborn, Cadera, and Itera in the Crusader's Schism; where the Presevers fought for the Ideals of Mandalore the Preserver to protect the Republic, rather then battle it.
Despite Jindo Krey's Mandalorians joining Malgus, Clan Varad going rogue, and Shae Vizsla's controversial choice to lead Clan Vizla to reside away from the war in the galaxy; the Mandalorian's alliance with the Empire remained strong. Strong enough in fact to be cemented with agreements and treaties, which had not stood under Mandalore the Lesser's alliance. Mandalore the Vindicated was a strategic influence on many of the Empire's battles in recent years and continues to ensure his people's partnership with the Empire was not one of a vassal.
With the invasion of the Eternal Empire, the Mandalorians responded with their allies and fought against the Zakuulians. Rallying the clans, Mandalore the Vindicated declared Zakuul the enemy and lead his people to war. Rumor has it that the Mandalorians have not capitulated and continue active resistance against Zakuul in the name of their Mandalore.
The central part of the Mandalorian lifestyle is the six actions or the Resol'nare, which every Mandalorian MUST abide by, they boil down to:
- Speak the Language
- Wear the armor
- Raise your children as Mandalorians
- Rally to Mandalore when he calls
- Support your clan
- Defend your family and clan.
Warning: Rules Ahead
Mandalorian Religion varies like the intereptation of the Resol'nare and a Mandalorian's decision on their own sense of honor. There are different accounts, beliefs, variations, practices, and rituals all around it. According to the canon, there are three gods:
- Kad Ha'rangir: The Destroyer God, the diety of change through the fires of destruction.
- Arassum: The Sloth God, the opposite of Kad; he is often viewed as a negative diety.
- Hod Ha'ran: The God of Luck and Fickle Fortune.
There are no mandatory rituals for modern day worship, your character does not even have to practice the worship of the gods. The populairty of the old religion drastically waned after the Mandalorian Wars, as their horrific defeat at Malachor V shattered many of the radical illusions of the "Final Battle". Even among moderates though, there is at least a belief in the Oversoul; be it a glorious final battle beside the gods or a collective concious of all those who came before. The past way of worship though, is tied to battle and war; the destruction from conflict honoring Kad. Amongst most Mandalorians the ripples from the old ways still effect their culture; resulting in unique behavior and idioms, as well as an adherence to a unique code of honor that has a love for battle, worthy conflict, and war.
Honor to a Mandalorian, like all of their ideals and values, exists on a spectrum. However, their sense of honor tends to be different than what you'd see out of a Republic or an Imperial citizen. A fight with an enemy who is crippled or unarmed might be dishonorable, but attacking and destroying a city; unprotected and full of civilians in a war might not be. As to some, there is little challenge in fighting a broken unarmed person; but if an enemy refuses to protect an asset, attacking where they're weakest is a tactic that could win a war faster. On the flipside, their might be those who view putting down a wounded; or even crippled enemy as a mercy as it gives them a glorious death in 'battle'. There are also those who would view the destruction of an entire city as horrific as there is such a massive loss of non-combatant life.
Table Manners and Bearing
Food has been incredibly sought after commodity to Mandalorians before, due to some of them having a nomadic lifestyle or defined by some of the people's past famines. Refusing a meal offered by a Mandalorian can be seen as a very serious insult to some. Mandalorians as a people present themselves as very practical, even down to their rhetoric with battle calls like "Ib'tuur jatne tuur ash'ad kyr'amur!" ('Today is a good day for someone else to die!'). This practicality has made Mandalorians appear blunt or even stupid for a lack of tact that is familiar to other languages and cultures. However Mandalorians value intelligence as well as, cleanliness and hygiene, and skill in battle. A smart warrior lives longer, a clean camp doesn't leave a trail or attract predators, short hair doesn't give an enemy much to pull, short cut nails won't break, and skill in battle brings an individual and a clan honor. Even their insults are pragmatic, based not on heritage or attractiveness, but on some of the qualities mentioned as important above.
Family, Clans, and Blood
Despite the reputation of ruthlessness and war-mongering, Mandalorians are family oriented among their kin. Away from outsiders, the bond in a Mandalorian family is incredibly loving and typically stronger then their sacred Iron. Adoption is quite common, to the point that orphans can be quite rare in many clans. If a young Mandalorian's parents died, he or she would be adopted by those close to the deceased; even full adults are adopted into other family's immediate circles as well. There is no distinction made between a child adopted and a child born, as being a parent is the highest honor a Mandalorian can have, and raising children to be a Mandalorian is even a tenant in the Resol'nare. Being disowned by a child however, is an extremely serious dishonor; as a parent has failed in their duty to raise the child.
Outsiders can choose to join the Mandalorians, as becoming a Mandalorian is ,albiet a challenge, open to everyone regardless of race or gender. With that decision though, you've chosen to embrace a new way of life that is free from your past, race, alligences, and enter into a new family beside Mandalore and the Clans. Outsiders who are already adults at the time of recruitment are typically put through grueling trainning and lessons; before completing a trial to become a full member of the clan. A natural born Child of Mandalore is typically trained for a period of five years, from eight to thirteen by a parent. It is then they are taught how to fight, hunt, and survive. At the end of this grueling half decade of training they complete a Verd'goten, a right of passage , upon passing they were be considered an adult among their peers.
Another important trait is the size of a clan. Clans can range from a few dozen to thousands, from small brigades to armies; no matter the size however it's important to be aware of its population and gene pool. A family that numbers under eighty (ish) that does not recruit, marry between families, or even have a higher birth rate then death rate would eventually become inbred within a few generations. It is imperative for a clan to seek constant growth, or at least; a healthy number to replace those fallen. With all that in mind, it isn't uncommon for clans to inter-marry and many do not hold a stigma against homosexual or other types of couples that cannot produce children; while keeping a clean gene pool and growth is important, family is more then blood.
As a warrior culture the structure of the Mandalorian's lifestyle is quite unique. Every Mandalorian is trained to fight, as fighting is often required to defend and honor a clan. Many take non-combatant trades if they're unfit to serve or if they're off the field of battle. Like other cultures, Mandalorians have shopkeepers, bartenders, and other professional artisans. Rank and leadership is not based on who a parent is as in monarchies, but is not elected as it would be in the Republic's elections. Leadership of a clan and the role of Mandalore is determined by who is the most worthy, sometimes by defeating the current leader in a fight to the death or by proving yourself up to the task and being named the next leader. The burden of leadership is determined by action among the warriors, rather then soley words alone.
There isn't much for official ranks, but in military and civilian affairs, Mandalore commands all the Mandalorians. Serving under Mandalore are rally masters, who's task it is to rally the clans for a cause and battle. Leading a Clan is an Alor, or Chieftain. Clans can be organized like a military unit, with lieutenants, sergeants and captains. Many other clans take a more traiditional approch by allowing the elders and Alor to lead them.
The recent role of Mandalorian’s in the galaxy was that of an Imperial ally. While their position had traditionally kept them as mercenaries, their expertise and loyalty to a contract had led to solidified position alongside the Empire. This correlated with the equality grants to aliens and their actions during the Revanites’ and Malgus' uprisings. In regards to their own politics: Not every Mandalorian agreed with Mandalore’s policy to support the Empire, many harbor resentment against the Empire. Culturally the Mandalorians were in something of a renaissance. After centuries of being kept fractured and apart, in but a generation they've been brought back mostly whole onto the galactic stage. This means that clans are exchanging ideas, philosophies, stories, and methods; a big melting pot in its recent state; with the galaxy's chaos somehow only making the Mandalorians as a people stronger.
When the Zakuulan invaders began their war against the galaxy, the Mandalorians refused to surrender to the hordes of battle droids deployed by the enemy. Mandalorian space was besieged and remained independent until the Outlander Rebellion. Artus Lok, Mandalore the Vindicated, was killed by Skytroopers, and Shae Vizla took up the mantle of Mandalore, taking on the title 'The Avenger'. Under Mandalore the Avenger, and with the help of the outlander, the Mandalorian clans were able to rearm on Darvaniss, and assisted the Alliance in the fight against the oppressors of Zakuul.
The Sith-Mandalorian Alliance was formally never formally dissolved, though it can be assumed through dialogue options with The Avenger that the new Mandalorian regime is neutral once more and is considering the possibilities of the three galactic power. Perhaps their strongest diplomatic ties are to the alliance right now, but the days of formal military support to the Empire are hard to confirm. It is possible to consider that a new brand of ideas can arise from these sitatuions, isolationists wanting to avoid another generation of war in favor of rebuilding their united people or those seeking to go it alone and conquer like the days of old.
It's quite a journey to roleplay a Mandalorian of any sort as a Republic character. One may justify playing a Republic Mandalorian by a number of ways. The most obvious would be to say they are a preserver or a member of the Crusader’s schism. This would also qualify them as Dar’manda (One who is no longer Mandalorian) as they are actively betraying their people. Aside from this, not every Mandalorian clan fought with the Empire, as it is technically a mercenary position, and they are Imperial by default. But choose to fight only when ordered by Mandalore or when they feel compelled by honor. While a clan cannot actively take arms against the Empire or with the Republic; Mandalore the Vindicated did not rally all of the Clans, so it is possible to play a neutral one.
Post-Timeskip it can be guessed most, if not all, Mandalorians are enemies of Zakuul. Mandalore has rallied the clans to war formally. It can be also assumed there is a 'peace' with the Republic now, as the Sith-Mandalorian alliance could be broken. This makes Republic-Side Players able to have Mandalorian characters without creating special circumstances to them, this also leads to the mandate that Mandalorians are fighting Zakuul now. This is mostly speculation, however, as nothing final has been presented through gameplay yet. Again; in regards to the Sith-Mandalorian Alliance being dissolved and a 'peace' with the Republic is just speculation at this point, and designed to allow for a greater range of roleplay.
After Chapter 14, Mandalore's Revenge, we're provided a clear situation to the Mandalorians. They've been going at it alone for some time. By the end of the chapter, the Mandalorians are allied with the Alliance; or at least allied enough to lend warriors to the Outlander during the Knights of the Eternal Throne. It can be assumed that the Sith-Mandalorian alliance is dissolved de facto and that there is peace with the Republic.
Credits for Writing: 'Teervoro' (Tervho) and Roman Jai'gtin
Credits for the Gaphics: Beviin (The Graphic Queen)