The Freeworlds Territory was a border region of the Tapani sector until its annexation by the Galactic Empire. Because of its proximity to the Colonies, planets in this region, known as Freeworlds, were relatively independent from the Coreward noble houses of the Expanse. The Freeworlds banded together into the League of Tapani Freeworlds, and consolidated their defenses into the Freeworlds Common Navy, to avoid annexation by the growing power of the seven wealthy Expanse provinces. Some time in or after 3 ABY, the Galactic Empire invaded and occupied the Freeworlds, and cut it off from the Tapani sector, intending to form a new one. The Shapani subsector was thus created, and the Empire assigned a new Moff to oversee the new Tapani oversector. Eventually, this partitioning was reversed, and by 40 ABY the Freeworlds were once again a part of the Tapani sector.
The Freeworlds Territory was a rimward part of the Tapani sector. The worlds were generally rich in ores, which made them targets for mining operations, but were generally considered backwater. The five most important worlds in this region were Tallaan, which later served as a capital and shipyard. Mrlsst housed a famous university, Aleron, home of the Aleron Trade Cooperative, Lamuir IV, once a part of the Herglic Trade Empire and the ocean world of Neona. Another world was Fondor, another major galactic shipyard.
Several important hyperspace routes crossed the Freeworlds: The most important onewas the Shapani Bypass, also called the "Bacta Run". Part of the large Rimma Trade Route, it was the most important route to transport Bacta from Thyferra to the Core Worlds. The Giju Run connected the Freeworlds with the Herglics and continued in the Procopian Shipping Lane, which connected them with the rest of the Tapani sector. The Three Ellas Run was a spur of the aforementioned Procopian Lane which sprung of at Tavya and connected the worlds Pernella, Dorella and Sorella.
When the worlds in the Freeworlds Territory were first settled, they were nothing more but minor mining colonies of the noble houses of the Tapani Federation. The nobles also used the worlds as a place of exile for house members that had fallen out of favor. Since at this time the Shapani Bypass and other routes had not yet established, the only market for Freeworld ore were the other Tapani worlds. This left the colonies generally poor and exploited by the Tapani Houses. This changed first with the establishment of the Giju Run. The connection with the Herglic worlds brought and economic boom to Tallaan and Neona. 18 centuries later the Shapani Bypass was scouted and the rest of the Freeworlds profited as well. This resulted in a fierce competition between the Houses for the control of the worlds. Before a full-scale war could break out, however, the Nobles agreed to declare the region as "Freeworlds", similar to the sector capital Procopia, which gave them a certain independence.
League of Tapani FreeworldsEdit
The worlds banded together as the League of Tapani Freeworlds, with Tallaan, Mrlsst, Aleron, Lamuir IV and Neona as the major members. Since most of the mining corporations were still under the control of the Nobles and pirates plagued the worlds as soon as the protective navy had withdrawn, the Nobles thought they could control these "independent" worlds with relative ease.
However, the worlds had soon built up enough economic strength to shake of the reign of the Nobles. They nationalized companies and then sold them to investors from outside the sector. Trading treaties with the Core were signed and pirates driven away by the newly founded Freeworlds Common Navy. Acts of sabotage, carried out by the houses in revenge soon ceased after several companies joined the powerful Mining Guild.
The already settled worlds diversified their industry and other worlds of the sector were developed and settled. Tallaan became a major shipping center while Mrlsst became famous for its university and research centers. This era of independence lasted for several centuries.
The Freeworlds were also non-voting members of the Tapani Great Council and were partially affected by decisions made within its halls, though they were not admitted to the Tapani Senate or the Council of Ten.
When the Galactic Empire became the ruling power of the galaxy, the nobles made an arrangement with Palpatine that left the Nobles to their own devices, as it had been under the Old Republic. The Empire stationed several forces in the sector under the control of Moff Laird Gustavu, with most the forces concentrated in the Freeworlds Territory to protect the heavily-traveled Shapani Bypass. However, several powers worked behind the scenes to force the Empire to invade the Freeworlds, which happened some time after 3 ABY. The Freeworlds then became the newly-created Shapani sector, a sub-sector of the Tapani sector.