Bal'demnic was an ocean planet adorned with rocky tropical islands in the Bak'rofsen system of the Auril sector, located within the Outer Rim Territories. The hostility of its native Kon'me species, together with its extremely harsh climate, discouraged most people from ever visiting the planet, despite the beauty of its giant rock cliffs, pristine beaches, and vast azure oceans. It was mostly of interest to cartographers, xenobiologists, and fisherfolk, until knowledge of the planet's rich deposits of cortosis ore fell into the hands of Sith Lords Darth Tenebrous and Darth Plagueis.
After Plagueis killed his master Tenebrous on the planet, and later acquired mining rights to a large portion of the main continent, Bal'demnic did not figure into pan-galactic politics until the Clone Wars. The Confederacy of Independent Systems moved in to invade and mine Bal'demnic of its cortosis to bolster their own war effort. However, the Kon'me eventually rose up against the invaders, just as they were about to be liberated by the Galactic Republic. As a result, the natives drove off both the Republic and the Confederacy, although the former maintained a significant naval presence in the system following the battle.
- "The galactic economy is a hypercomplex system, full of unexpected movements and ill-discerned effects, where the flutter of a pigeon on Trantor may create a typhoon on Bal'demnic."
- ―The Golden Emperor of Prekaz
Located in the Bak'rofsen system, which was in turn found within the Outer Rim Territories' Auril sector, Bal'demnic was considered a planet of stark yet rugged beauty. Mostly covered by ocean, the world was pockmarked with small tropical beach islands, a small primary continent, and a northern polar ice cap. To an unwitting observer, the planet was an aesthetic paradise. Vast azure oceans glistened in the sun, crashing white on the shorelines of land masses tiny and large. High cliffs and narrow rock formations towered through the white mists of the rough seas. Pristine beaches of both white and black sands rested at the bottom of gargantuan canyons.
But the scorching climate kept any would-be holiday maker well away. Bal'demnic held a noxious atmosphere, and seismic events often rocked the planet and changed the landscape. Hawk-bats took shelter in crystalline caves often found just below the coastal rocky surface. Bloodthirsty insects flew in swarms along the dry treeless terrain. Great winds whistled through the cliffs, and heavy rains surged in the wet seasons of the planet's long year.
The native Kon'me had razed much of the planet's forests for building materials and firewood, leaving only inaccessible vegetation found on steep sided gorge walls. The planet's primary city contained Kon'meas Spaceport, perched at the top of high cliffs overlooking the ocean. Shorelines were dotted with beachside dwellings, the high class living in glistening bubble-like structures embedded within the high cliffs. The low class fashioned simple thatched huts on the beaches.
Murder of a Sith MasterEdit
In 67 BBY, Subtext Mining provided Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Tenebrous with secret intelligence revealing large deposits of cortosis ore within the planet's crust. Tenebrous acted on the new information personally, traveling to Bal'demnic with his apprentice, Darth Plagueis. Tenebrous ascribed special significance to the mission, believing that two Sith Lords mining cortosis at the apex of the Rule of Two era amounted to the “closing of a circle,” a circle that had began with Darth Bane, starting on the path toward darkness in the Apatros cortosis mines a millennium earlier.
In a crystalline cave, Tenebrous commanded Subtext's M-2 mining probe droid to verify the secret mining survey team's claims. During the process, the M-2 unit ceased taking orders from the Sith Lord, and proceeded to drill in the direction of a highly combustible pocket of lethane gas. Tenebrous sensed great danger and fled the cave with his apprentice. Before they were able to reach the surface, the Sith Lords were overcome by the large explosion caused by the M-2 unit's breach of the lethane pocket. The surrounding cavern ceiling collapsed, and both Master and Apprentice used the Force to prevent large slabs of rock falling on them and their ship.
With Tenebrous distracted, Plagueis realized that the fear his Master had sensed earlier was his own death - at his apprentice's hands. With the Force, Plagueis sent the levitated slabs crashing down on Tenebrous, crushing him almost to death, and damaging his ship. After a brief exchange of words, Plagueis snapped his Master's neck. Tenebrous' remains would be undisturbed for decades, possibly centuries, after his death.
Over a long sleepless night, Plagueis traveled on foot utilizing a Force speed technique to cover hundreds of kilometers to Kon'meas Spaceport. There he stowed aboard the Woebegone, whose crew he killed whilst in transit, and took the ship to Muunilinst.
A most valuable resourceEdit
Despite killing his master, Plagueis sought to avenge Tenebrous' betrayal at the hands of Subtext Mining. Under the Sith Lord's deathly interrogation, the Gossam owners of Subtext revealed to Plagueis unprecedented natural reserves of plasma on the planet Naboo. In essence, the Sith duo's mining survey on Bal'demnic revealed a far greater discovery that would shape the future of the galaxy--Darth Plagueis meeting young Palpatine.
At some point over the next two decades, a secret mining operation on Bal'demnic was established. Some of the processed ore was used in the manufacture of cortosis shields. Darth Sidious supplied a shield to the Yinchorri, to be used against the Jedi during the Yinchorri Uprising of 33 BBY. The shield from Bal'demnic's ore proved to be most effective, factoring into the deaths of two Jedi during the raid: Jude Rozess and Tieren Nie-Tan.
The battle for cortosisEdit
During the Outer Rim Sieges, the Confederacy saw the occupation of Bal'demnic and its cortosis as vital to the war effort. Fitting in with their campaign to direct Republic forces away from the Core, the Confederacy descended upon the ocean world during the third year of the Clone Wars. The invading force ordered the native Kon'me to either allow cortosis mining operations to begin, or be destroyed. The upper-class cliff-dwelling Kon'me consented to Confederate occupation, and allowed the operations to begin. In spite of this, the beachfront Kon'me were outraged, and began to develop small pockets of resistance against the invaders.
Confederacy transmissions relevant to the Bal'demnic situation were eventually intercepted by the Republic. Jedi Master Mace Windu realized the potential danger of a Confederate hold on Bal'demnic's cortosis reserves—as a result, the Jedi Council dispatched a task force led by Jedi Knights Halagad Ventor and Sha Koon to investigate and sabotage the Confederate operation. The Republic force, however, found Bal'demnic in chaos. The Kon'me had risen up and cast off the yoke of Confederate rule, using high-tech weaponry that had been smuggled to them by war profiteers. With mounted weaponry in their bubble-like cliff dwellings, the Kon'me were pitted against the combined armor of the Confederate droids. The Confederacy, in turn, dispatched OG-9 homing spider droids to overrun the Kon'me positions. When Ventor and Koon's clone troopers landed, the situation only escalated, resulting in the natives firing on all offworlders, regardless of affiliation. Due to the unusual and unfamiliar island terrain, both the Confederate and Republic forces retreated. With the Confederacy no longer able to harvest the cortosis, the Republic left an orbital fleet above Bal'demnic to dissuade any further incursions from their adversaries.
The planet was mentioned by the Golden Emperor of Prekaz, in his commentary on the state of the galactic economy. The Emperor's quote was later included as an epigraph in Doctor Gabrel Treon writings on House Praji for the Byblos Journal of Historical Science, entitled Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Praji: A Cartel of Genes.
The reptilian Kon'me were the only known sentient species native to Bal'demnic. Their disposition was notorious offworld for being abrasive and isolationist, and they had a class-structure illustrated by location of residence. For instance, the upper-class Kon'me resided in more opulent structures within the beachside cliff walls than their lower-class counterparts. The cliff-dwelling Kon'me made planetary decisions, such as the acceptance of a Confederate occupation during the Clone Wars, whereas the lower-class was destined to bear the brunt of such decisions. As a result, a rift grew between the two classes during the war, with the beach-dwellers establishing a resistance against the Confederates that their upper-class counterparts had welcomed.
Many offworlders visited Bal'demnic for trading purposes; mostly non-Humans from neighboring star systems, Hutt Space, the far reaches of the Perlemian Trade Route and some hailing from as far as the Core Worlds.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "I really wanted to come up with a name that sounded both unique and believable; hopefully I succeeded."
- ―Arthur Papadam
Bal'demnic first appeared in "Chapter 22," an episode of Star Wars: Clone Wars. It was shown fleetingly in a montage of Confederacy of Independent Systems invasions across the galaxy. It was later named, and elaborated on by Arthur Papadam, under the pseudonym "Arf Maul", through StarWars.com's Hyperspace feature, "What's The Story?" Papadam derived the name "Bal'demnic" from the word "condemn," while also making it similar to "demonic," suggesting that the planet's inhabitants were not as innocent as they might have appeared. The first syllable, "Bal," was derived from one of Papadam's friend's nicknames: "B'daniel." In his entry, Papadam also connected the planet to various other disparate elements from the Expanded Universe, including Halagad Ventor from West End Games' Domain of Evil adventure supplement, and Sha Koon from The Stark Hyperspace War, an arc from the Star Wars comic line. In addition to this, Papadam placed Bal'demnic in the Auril sector as he wished to reference the planet Khuiumin IV, as a way of paying homage to one of his favorite Star Wars games, Star Wars: Rebellion. Papadam's placement stemmed from the belief (later disproved in The Essential Atlas) that Khuiumin was also located in the Auril sector; however, he cut his reference to Khuiumin from the final entry.
Following that, the planet received its own entries in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia and Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 2 in 2008. The planet also gained brief attention from sources such as 2009's article Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Praji by Nathan O'Keefe and the same year's The Essential Atlas by Daniel Wallace and Jason Fry. The Atlas confirmed that the Battle of Bal'demnic occurred during the third year of the Clone Wars, and provided the coordinates for Bal'demnic on the galactic map.
Bal'demnic was referenced by Abel G. Peña in his final draft of Underworld Appendix: Swoops, Spice, and Wretched Rogues, but was cut out of the final release.
Papadam's writings were largely elaborated upon in the 2012 novel Darth Plagueis by James Luceno, and the supplemental article The Tenebrous Way by Matthew Stover and Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side by Daniel Wallace. Luceno established Bal'demnic as the location of the death of Darth Tenebrous at the hands of his apprentice, Darth Plagueis. The planet's geography and history were greatly expanded on in Luceno's novel, also setting in motion events that led to the Battle of Bal'demnic during the Clone Wars.
Later that year, Bal'demnic was included in illustrations of the galactic map for the first time by Modi in The Essential Guide to Warfare. Here, Bal'demnic is shown to be in the far top-right corner of grid coordinate R7, in very close proximity to Ossus, Belderone and Trogan.
- Darth Plagueis
- "The Tenebrous Way"—Star Wars Insider 130
- Star Wars: Clone Wars – "Chapter 22" (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 2
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- (First identified as Bal'demnic)
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- The Essential Reader's Companion