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[Lore] The Zakuul Empire Guide & Directory

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"I forged the Empire of Zakuul to surmount all of my previous works. It will span eternity."



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For the last several centuries within the deep realms of Wild Space, Valkorion unified and tended to the nomadic tribes of a force-imbued world known as Zakuul. Its inhabitants were once a divided series of sectarian peoples worshiping their respective Old Gods. However, Valkorion spent years forging and nurturing the tribes into a great civilization utterly devoted to his benevolent rule. Forging the Eternal Empire, the now Immortal Emperor formed a new order of Force-users known as the Knights of Zakuul. Rising above both light and dark, the Knights of Zakuul channeled their powers to uphold their vision of justice throughout the great empire while the force mystique Scions utilized their visions of the future to locate the Eternal Fleet and bring naval invulnerability to the already mighty empire.



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From force imbued soldiers to automated legions of droids, the Zakuulan Empire held an impressive sphere of military power. Capable of dominating both the naval and ground forces of any resistance, Zakuul left their opponents in utter shock at their swift bombardments and attacks. It wasn't difficult to understand how both the Republic and Empire buckled to their knees at the presence of such an overwhelming force.





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Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who woke the mighty Zakuul sleep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
We give, we fight, we live for He!

Eternal Father, whose voice we heard
Who hushed our raging at Thy Word,
Who walked on the horizon’s sun,
And amidst the evil did he shun;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
We give, we fight, we live for He!

Eternal Father, whose might is tower
Our family shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
We protect he whereever we go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
We give, we fight, we live for He!
Spoiler: Show

The Knights of Zakuul is the order of Force-sensitive warriors considered protectors of the Eternal Empire and her people. Centuries prior to the present day, Zakuul and its people existed as a series of nomadic tribes. Each tribe was led by one of three force sensitives: the Matriarch, the Champion, or the High Shaman. However, Valkorion arrived and united these people under his rule, re-purposing the three leaders as the Knights of Zakuul, his order of force sensitive warriors. Hunting down corruption and dissidence within the empire, the Knights operate as the keepers of justice. This fanatical adoration for Valkorion and his family translates into the Knights acting as the ultimate enforcers of the Emperor's will.

Philosophy

The Knights are united under their zealous devotion to their Eternal Emperor and their equally dogmatic adherence to their sense of justice. Believing that the force should only be used to enforce the law, the Knights of Zakuul explore all avenues of the Force. Encouraged to find balance while simultaneously exploring their limits, the Knights' relationship with the Force prevents them from viewing the enigmatic power as either light or dark.

The Knights are encouraged to share their findings with all of their pupils. This allows the order to act as a fluid cohesive whole, constantly testing their seemingly limitless prowess with the Force. However, regardless of their ability, Knights acted to honor the Immortal Emperor. They were expected, and often gladly did, sacrifice materials or life simply to reinforce their commitment to the throne.


Hierarchy

The Immortal Emperor Considered the absolute authority over the Zakuul Empire, the god-ascended Emperor holds complete control over the Eternal Fleet and the Knights of Zakuul, enforcing his laws and orders without opposition or hesitation.
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High Justice Acting as the direct leader of the Knights of Zakuul, the High Justice is the operational leader of all Zakuulan ground forces. Although the Exarch's answer directly to the Emperor, all remaining Knights must answer to the High Justice's orders.
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Exarch Knights who survive the intensely painful conversion process are given the title Exarch and assigned to command a Star Fortress orbiting one of Zakuul's many conquered worlds. Exarchs are not just military commanders and super-soldiers; they are the unquestioned rulers of planets under their watch and answer only to Arcann himself. In addition to governing conquered worlds, Exarchs are quasi-religious leaders who inspire their subordinates with iconography related to the Old Gods of Zakuul's ancient history.
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Adjudicator Serving as the highest rank an unaltered Knight could achieve, Adjudicators are the unquestionable enforcers of the Eternal Empire, imposing the will of their Emperor and Exarch onto whatever power sphere they've earned.
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Paladin The title of Paladin is bestowed upon the most distinguishable elite of the Knights. Known for their prowess in battle, in the Force, and most importantly their proud administration of absolute justice, Paladins are responsible for the direct oversight of Zakuulan controlled provinces while also entrusted to personally guard the interior of Star Fortresses.
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Knight-Captain Knights who display exemplary leadership are positioned as Captains. Overseeing squadrons of Knights, they are responsible for directing front line operations.
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Knight of Zakuul No great Empire is forged on the shoulders of the few. The Knights of Zakuul are the ultimate enforcers of the Empire's laws and protectors of her citizens. Partroling Zakuulan Core Worlds and conquered planets, these Force-sensitive elites are tasked with stomping out any threat to the Empire's hegemonic control of the Galaxy.
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Scions of Zakuul The Scions were a division under the Knights of Zakuul who were able to see visions of the future through the Force. They were fiercely dedicated to these premonitions, even accepting their own deaths if foretold. However, once Arcann assumed the throne, the Scions were massacred to near extinction. The remaining few survivors of the order have been branded as traitors, known to be aiding the growing conspirators.
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The Honor Guard Within the throne room lies a contingent of Knights known as the Honor Guard. Considered one of the most prestigious positions, Honor Guards are entrusted to directly defend the Emperor and his home with their lives from any threat that dares to take a step toward the Spire.
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Cyborg Knights Occasionally, Knights that distinguish infallible loyalty toward the Empire are chosen to undergo heavy cybernetic modifications to exponentiate their physical and mental abilities. It is unknown if these Knights are predecessors to Exarchs.
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Utilized as Zakuul's naval force, the Eternal Fleet is a seemingly invincible armada of unparalleled battlecruisers that are operated by an army of sentient droids. Employing advanced cloaking technology and incredible hyperdrives paralleling even Isotope-5 fueled capital ships, each Eternal Fleet battle cruiser has the capability of out matching even the Empire's Terminus destroyers.


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Most of the Eternal Fleet is automatic. While the Eternal Throne commands the fleet itself, the ships themselves are operated by legions of in-sync droids.
Zakuul Probes The Eternal Fleet utilizes small, weaponless probes to accompany their battle groups. Although little has been revealed on their primary purpose, it's speculative to suggest that the probes are used for mass surveillance and reconnaissance. Having millions of probes scouring planetary orbits and hyperspace, it would explain the omniscient Eternal Fleet and their ability to control both communications and interstellar travel.
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Gemini Droids GEMINI is a programmed droid unit designed to command Eternal Empire cruisers. They report back to the Eternal Throne, operating under whatever the Emperor's orders are.
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With each capital ship carrying hundreds of drop ships that can be deployed both in and out of the atmosphere to deploy troops and engage starfighters, the Eternal Fleet is immensely supported. They hold boarding pods carrying Skytrooper squadrons for the purpose of infiltrating enemy ships in mid-combat. Ultimately, the Eternal Fleet is the trademark might of the Eternal Empire.


History

The Eternal Fleet was constructed centuries ago. It was unknown who or what was the architect of this massive armada. Nevertheless, the Fleet established its legacy by eradicating the majority of life within the Wild Space. Enslaving and conquering nearly every world it came across, it seemed as if the Fleet would move on to inherent the entire galaxy. However, as it was ready to extend its hand of destruction across Zakuul, a single massive warship known as the Gravestone not only resisted but defeated the infallible crawl of the Fleet, deactivating its armada which promptly hid away for centuries.

Such a great power had not gone unnoticed. The tales of the Eternal Fleet was heard by Valkorion who arrived at Zakuul to inevitably establish his new Empire. With the help of the Scions, the Fleet was located once more and brought back into operation under the control of the Eternal Throne. It was scarcely used with only a few ships collecting tributes from other worlds under the Eternal Empire's control. However, a century later after its reactivation under the request of Valkorion's sons Arcann and Thexan, the Fleet underwent a blitzkrieg campaign through both the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire that ultimately led to the footsteps of Korriban itself.





Star Fortress

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Star Fortresses are massive battle stations powered by sun generators, essentially artificial stars, which could also be used as a weapon of deterrence against rebellion - the station could vent the excess plasma from the sun generator into a beam fired into the surface. The stations included a production level for skytroopers, the Eternal Empire's formidable droid footsoldiers. They also carried organic soldiers as necessary, including Knights of Zakuul with even a contingent of Paladins. In overall command of the fortress was the Exarch to serve as a combination of governor, occupation commander, and religious leader.

A majority of the computerized functions required to run the station or at very least use the sun generator's plasma on a planet's surface comes from the use of an EPHEMERIS AI system, which could transfer its functions into a mobile droid form. Despite their potential, they have very little in the way of external defenses save battle cruisers from the Eternal Fleet, and the shield generator on the surface that keeps ships from entering or exiting the station without permission.

Every enslaved world has its own tale of life under the oppressive shadow of a Star Fortress. Some blame the stations for spreading blight and disease through the environment; others have stories of friends incinerated from orbit for daring to speak their minds about Arcann or Zakuul.


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Skytroopers are fourth-degree battle droid models manufactured and mass produced in factories located within Zakuul and aboard Star Fortresses. Given the amount of Skytroopers produced, most of the Eternal Empire's military is composed of these droids. Ranging from blaster rifles and rocket boosters to weapon mounted systems and flame throwers, Skytroopers come in all sorts of variants to combat and wipe out any threat to the Empire.

Often times, squadrons of Skytroopers are commanded by Knights. Although there are Captain variants of Skytroopers that have AIs capable of directing large numbers of Skytroopers, the force sensitives of Zakuul take combat authority over the legions of the droids. From boarding parties, guarding installations, or assaulting land positions, the Skytroopers are utilized in almost every facet of the Eternal Empire's ground forces.



Overwatch

Since Skytroopers are utilized primarily for military engagements and Knights are limited in numbers, Zakuul often employs a department of non-force Zakuulan authorities known as Overwatch to enforce the minute laws and regulations in Zakuulan core worlds. From trespassing to theft, Overwatch is the first authority outside of the Knights to uphold the law throughout Zakuul.


Conventional Forces

Although both the Skytroopers and Knights compose a majority of the Zakuulan military ground forces, the Eternal Empire employs small contingents of Zakuulan born soldiers to operate alongside the Eternal Fleet. Even though numbered in the few, there are man operated star ships that employ non-force sensitive officers and soldiers to serve the Empire's interests the same way the Knights do.



Zakuulan Commandos Promotion through the Zakuulan hierarchy is possible with the non force sensitives of the Empire. It has been noted that military personnel who display exceptional skills in marksmanship, leadership, and loyalty are placed into specialized operational forces tasked with working alongside the Knights and even guarding the infamous Star Fortresses.
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Zakuul

The planet Zakuul is the home to the Eternal Throne and defended by its Eternal Fleet. After two years into the Galactic War that sprung from the destruction of the tentative peace treaty between the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire, the Eternal Empire and her fleet swept across the core worlds, dominating both civilizations and establishing Zakuul as the new superpower of the galaxy.

Although relying mainly on droid labor, Zakuul is technologically advanced with a seemingly endless amount of resources. Harnessing immeasurable power from the perpetual fusion of suspended stars, Zakuul exists in a no scarcity society that's able to construct metropolises that rival even Coruscant. The Spire, recognized as Valkorion's golden city, symbolizes the victory the Eternal Emperor held over the Old Ways of Zakuul. Filled with countless neighborhoods with differing themes and personalities, the Spire is a sprawling megacity populated primarily with humans. However, Zakuulan society is steadily accepting more alien races as the Empire expands.


The Old Ways


Before Valkorion's rise to power, Zakuul was a backwater planet in Wild Space with almost no contact with the rest of the galaxy. Forced to settle in bogs and swamps, early Zakuulans were a superstitious, nihilistic people who worshipped a pantheon of ruthless gods. These deities expressed their power through the pain and suffering of their followers. The pantheon's father was Izax, the god of death and the Ultimate Devourer. The ancient Zakuulans believed their fate was tied to the will of the gods and belonged to Izax. Those who challenged this view were considered demons. While most Demons were outcasts and expelled from society, a prophecy emerged claiming that one would climb beyond Izax's reach--an immortal god of gods who would topple the pantheon and usher in a new age for Zakuul. Claiming to be the Demon Savior of prophecy, Valkorion began his campaign against the Old Ways.



The Old Gods

Izax
"...Honor the omnipotence of Izax, the Ultimate Devourer: father, ruler and bringer of death to us all. His forms are infinite, but his great glory flies on serpent wings...."

Izax, considered the God of Death and Ultimate Devourer, was the primary deity of the Old Ways. Husband of Scyva and baring four children, he was the pantheon's leader and ultimate authority. Even centuries after Valkorion transcended his status as the Eternal Emperor, Knights are still heard crying "Izax claim you!" when charging into battle.



Scyva
"…Walk the path with Scyva, the Constant Companion. Wife of divine Izax and avatar of sorrow, she weeps beside those who gladly march to embrace the Ultimate Devourer…"

Scyva, honored as the Constant Companion and the Mother of Sorrows, was one of the six primary Old Gods, the deities worshiped by the people of the planet Zakuul before Valkorion's ascension as Immortal Emperor. Scyva was the wife of Izax, the Ultimate Devourer, and the goddess of sorrow. Scyva was said to weep beside those Zakuulans who marched to embrace Izax, and Scyva and Izax had four children: the god of rage Tyth, the twin goddesses of passion and envy Aivela and Esne, and Nahut. The Heart of Scyva was a frequent invocation among Zakuulans.


Tyth
"…Storm the battlefield with Tyth, god of rage. The Firstborn of Izax and Scyva leads us to victory against the profane outlanders. Raise your bloodied fist and cry triumph…"

Tyth, the Firstborn, was the warrior god and avatar of rage. The first of the four children of Izax and Scyva, Tyth was accompanied on the battlefield by his sister Aivela, and Zakuulans believed that Tyth would lead them to victory against outlanders.



Aivela
"…Burn all doubt in the fires of Aivela, our goddess of passion. The Favored Daughter stands beside her brother Tyth on every battlefield, radiating grace to the fearless…"

Aivela, loved as the Favored Daughter, was the firey goddess of passion. One of the four children of Izax and Scyva, Aivela was the twin sister of Esne, the goddess of jealousy, and Aivela accompanied her brother Tyth on the battlefield, where she shone her light on fearless warriors.


Esne
"…Beware the shadows of Esne, goddess of envy and twin of Aivela. Forever eclipsed by her sister's incandescence, she will use her venomous tongue to test the faithful and cull the weak…"

Esne was the goddess of envy among the Old Gods. One of the four children of Izax and Scyva, Esne was the twin sister of Aivela, the goddess of passion, and Esne's greed and hatred of her sister led her to test the faithful and weed out the weak from among them by inciting jealous and envy. The Eyes of Esne was a common metaphor for jealousy among the people of Zakuul.



Nahut
"…Bear a single torch for Nahut, the Hated Son. Gray, formless and cold, he is denied by all but the Mother of Sorrows. Do not follow him into the dark. Light the way to lead him home…"

Nahut, reviled as the Hated Son, was one of the six primary Old Gods. One of the four children of Izax and Scyva, Nahut was considered to be gray, formless and cold, and was denied worship by all except his mother Scyva. The Old Ways taught that Zakuulans should not follow Nahut into darkness, but should instead "light the way" to bring Nahut home.



Heralds of Zildrog - Stories of the dragon Zildrog predate Izax's pantheon. In the earliest legends, Zildrog was a guiding mentor who tested the strength of a warrior's spirit. A fallen warrior would be consumed by the dragon, feeding its everlasting power. However, a victorious warrior was rewarded with the Breath of the Dragon. This boon imbued a soul with burning fire, lighting the way to a fortuitous future. During the height of the Old Ways, Zildrog was one of Izax's many forms--a terrible beast that brought only death. To most modern Zakuulans, the dragon is little more than a bedtime story about a mysterious creature in the swamps around the Spire. But a powerful syndicate of zealots in Breaktown who call themselves the Heralds of Zildrog wait for the creature's second coming. Led by the Exalted, the Heralds worship Zildrog as a god and maintain a shaky truce with Emperor Arcann. As long as the Heralds limit their criminal activities to the Old World, the Knights of Zakuul won't meddle in their affairs. However, both parties know this accord is temporary at best. Arcann isn't one to allow dissidence, and the Heralds believe Zildrog's rebirth to be imminent.


The Old World

Centuries ago before Valkorion founded the Eternal Empire, the Old Ways of the nomadic Zakuulan tribes taught that pain represented the power of their gods. The idea of suffering has always been an innate, almost sub conscious fascination with Zakuulans. However, the Eternal Empire exists in a post scarcity society where food, shelter, clothing, and education are all provided to citizens of Zakuul by the Emperor. Most Zakuulans lack any substantial situation that permits them to experience or even witness true suffering.

Despite this, Zakuulans have adapted to regress toward their Old Ways. Deep within the sprawling high rise towers of Zakuul exists taboo underworlds and towns where citizens can leave their near-utopian lives and shed their indulgent skins. Within the lower recesses of the Spire exists the Old World, one of the sanctioned regions where the Knights of Zakuul possess no jurisdiction and pampered citizens can pay for the pretense of suffering, betting on live gladiatorial fights or living out their dark fantasies in the red-light districts. This special privilege is allowed by Arcann only because it keeps his citizens docile and content.

Within the Old World is Breaktown, an urban wasteland ruled by the Heralds of Zildrog where a variety of outcasts have fled from the Eternal Throne's authority. Although this forgotten city lies in decrepit ruins, debtors, black-market criminals, and even dissenters of the Emperor establish new lives in this underbelly society to distance themselves from Arcann's prying eyes. Even now, the Cartels of Hutt space have set their sights onto the Old World, smuggling business interest into the Red Light District to capitalize on the morbid fantasies of Zakuulan underground culture.




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Zakuul Lore is still ongoing. There's plenty of spaces to fill and Knights of the Fallen Empire is still an ongoing story. Newer developments will occur and new codex pieces will be released. That being said, given the lore of Zakuul is much less substantiated than the Star Wars universe as a whole, many players have different interpretations of how a Knight or member of Zakuul is played. Many players will fill in gaps between their stories, incorporating their own personal headcanon's to accommodate whatever portions the current official Lore does not provide.

That being said, the Knights of Zakuul are heavily devoted to the Empire and Emperor. Zakuulans have been until recently an isolated society within the Wild Space. They've only been given one side of the story: how great their Emperor is. Although evidence dictates that they have plenty of reasons to thank their Emperor, such as planetary unification, technological advancements, and provided directions as a society, Knights have not been exposed to the many niche societies of the Republic, Empire, and Hutts.

Given Knights have lived in a unified post-scarcity society, concepts like poverty, slavery, and racial / religion conflicts would be considerably foreign to them. They may react with disgust, pity, or even sadistic pleasure knowing how well they've been treated. All in all, it's up to the player on how Knights look at the world around them and how long their Knight has been exposed to such areas.

Since the end of the galactic war, Zakuul has installed Star Fortresses over hundreds of planets to maintain control, collect tributes, and conduct research on local populaces. Until further notice, all Star Fortresses remain intact; refer to the individual states of the planets below. In addition, the Eternal Fleet routinely patrols the Core Worlds and major Hyperlanes, as well as having superior surveillance over the HoloNet and its Hyperwave Communications. Thus, resistance and alliance organizations most likely resort to asymmetrical warfare, striking from the shadows. That would mean Zakuul Knights would need to regularly patrol the planets, shifting through the cities, underworlds, and towns of their variously controlled planets to determine the elusive dissenting elements around them. Star Fortresses are not seen above Dromund Kaas or Coruscant. With the Eternal Empire embedded so deeply in the Core Worlds, it is likely Coruscant and Dromund Kaas are no longer blockaded, but probably under stricter surveillance. That would mean heavier patrols or even direct governance might be exercised on these vital worlds.

Arcann seems to have a fondness for "trophies," and seems okay with Bounty Hunters pursuing high-profile bounty contracts with the possibility of bounties being offered Tribute. It wouldn't be out of character for Knights to pursue bounties as well to appease fallen brothers or simply gain recognition with the royal family by turning in known criminals.






OOC Notes!


Hey guys! Thanks for reading my guide and I hope it helped you set up your Zakuul Knight character or assisted you in understanding the Zakuul lore! As I said before, I'll be updating this as chapters come out and increase codex entries and other sorts of lore additions are revealed! If you have any helpful pictures, suggestions, if I missed anything, or if I misinterpreted anything, feel free to drop me a message!


Credit to!
Spoiler: Show

If you'd like to know more about Zakuul's affect on the individual core planets, check this out!

If you or a loved one has any characters interesting in Zakuul sympathizing or advancing your plot with the Eternal Empire, check out Jean's Eternal Empire Conscript Unit!
Posted Jan 15, 16 · OP
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Posted Jan 15, 16 · OP
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Well written guide! Nice job.
Posted Jan 15, 16
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Thank you kindly for putting this together for the community, it's very well-organized and insightful. Kudos to you!
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Posted Jan 15, 16
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This is a great guide, thanks a bunch for writing it!
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Republic
So very nice, definitely filled me in on alot of lore I may have missed or skipped over when doing the story :)
Posted Dec 5, 16
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Oh my god thank you for this i was so confused about the ranks for SO LONG
Posted Dec 6, 16
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Empire
A great guide! Would you mind posting it on swtor-rp's progenitor forum as well or mind if I do it while crediting you?


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Posted Dec 20, 16
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