- "The Mandalore clans are the best fighters in the galaxy... we don't need to wait for a few Jedi."
- ―Mandalore the Indomitable
The Mandalorian Crusaders were the first documented type of Mandalorians, established by Mandalore the First sometime after 24,000 BBY. Under the command of Mandalore the Indomitable, they eventually became involved in the Great Sith War and fought for the Jedi turned Sith Lord Ulic Qel-Droma. The Crusaders were traditional Mandalorian warriors, placing highest value on gaining honor and glory in combat.
- "For my people it's the honor and glory of battle that rules us. It's through combat that we prove our worth, gain renown and make our fortunes."
- ―Canderous Ordo
According to legend, the Crusaders were first formed on the planet Mandalore around the year 7000 BBY by Mandalore the First, who is said to have conquered the world by defeating the Mythosaur, the great beasts who dominated the planet. After conquering Mandalore, the Mandalorians ventured on crusades in the years leading up to the Great Sith War, gaining them valuable planets such as Ordo, Concord Dawn, Shogun and Gargon.
The Great Sith WarEdit
The Crusaders roamed space seeking war, making conquered worlds their home. Led by the warrior Mandalore the Indomitable, they arrived in the Empress Teta system by 3997 BBY. Riding their Basilisk War Droids, they destroyed a Krath Tetan carbonite smelter in orbit to provoke the Krath into fighting them. Ulic Qel-Droma, a Sith Lord associated with the Krath agreed to duel Mandalore on Mandalore's newly conquered world of Kuar.
Ulic became the victor, and the Brotherhood of the Sith gained command of Mandalore's forces, an act that left many Mandalorians frustrated. A few extremists amongst the clans even declared themselves leaderless, as Mandalore in effect lost his title to Ulic, and Qel-Droma being an outsider couldn't take it. Too few in numbers, the voices of those objectors wasn't heard. These same objectors later founded the Neo-Crusader movement on Mandalore.
The Crusaders fought on Ulic's side in the Battle of Foerost, Coruscant and eventually were ordered to Onderon by Exar Kun. During that battle, they survived only by retreating to the Dxun moon. Mandalore himself was killed by the beasts of Dxun. The defeat left the Mandalorians scattered, many feeling betrayed and speaking of vengeance against the Republic and its Jedi guardians.
The Mandalorian WarsEdit
Soon after the Sith War, a new Mandalore named the Ultimate rose to power. He called upon aides to help him reshape the identity of the Mandalorian forces, and as a group of warriors named the Neo-Crusaders began calling for the reestablishment of the tradition, Mandalore used the group as a foundation for his goal. During the onslaught on the outer rim, a veteran Crusader named Rohlan Dyre began to question the motive behind the war and specifically the Neo-Crusaders. Ironically, Rohlan soon became a tool for Mandalore, who used him as a cautionary tale promoting the Neo-Crusaders.
During the invasion into the Republic, Mandalore had Neo-Crusaders present in every unit to spread the ideals of uniformity and order in an attempt to boost morale and convert Crusaders to this new way of life. A few resisted, but many more converted, such as the warrior Canderous Ordo. During the invasion of Taris, the Crusader quickly became a shrinking minority in the Mandalorian forces. There were still some objectors, and a few even turned down commands from Cassus Fett.
After the final battle of the Mandalorian Wars the Mandalorians again scattered across the galaxy. Many honorable warriors continued the traditions while many others swallowed their pride and became soldiers for hire.
Two murals depicting Crusaders battling Jedi were located under a central balcony of the Sundari Royal Palace in Sundari on Mandalore during the Clone Wars. Both Pre Vizsla, after taking over Mandalore, and Almec, after being reinstated as Prime Minister by Darth Maul, made speeches from the balcony, and Darth Sidious dueled with Maul and Savage Opress on the balcony and in front of the murals.
Doctrine and organizationEdit
According to legend, the Mandalorian forefathers used to be deeply religious and used warfare as a ritual to their gods. The society changed over the millennia, including their once sophisticated holy laws devolved into the Canons of Honor, and war itself became the object of worship. Any campaign they waged became a Crusade if it promised holy carnage. Traditional Crusaders had no written laws, but the few rules that existed were sacred to their society. The most important were the Resol'nare, or the six actions. Other norms included the Canons of Honor, which helped warriors to gain honor and glory by participating in battles and being loyal to one's clan. Unlike the Neo-Crusader movement, the Crusaders didn't conscript or seek out warriors to join their cause, but attracted individuals by the examples they set. The resol'nare had nothing to say when it came to species, and amongst the Taungs were a great variety of different species all united and dedicated to the movement as equals.
A society of traditionally nomadic warriors, the Mandalorian Crusaders did not recognize bureaucracy. Division of labor sorted itself out organically. A warrior needed to be self-sufficient and competent, and each warrior was responsible for their own feeding and supplying. Instead of relying on helmet transceivers, Crusaders carried information through the forces by sound and vision. They always kept an eye on their fellow warriors to respond when battle situations changed. Since the Crusaders had no ranks, they traditionally followed the most experienced veteran on the field into battle. One such man was "Commander" Rohlan Dyre, who earned this honor and lead warriors to countless battles including his last at the Battle of Vanquo.  Even with no formal units, the Crusaders often named these informal formations. One such was Viper Alpha, who fought in the Battle of Ossus during the Sith War.
The Crusaders used two basic suits of armor, the combat suit and battle armor, which was sometimes used by veterans. Each warrior however customized their armors internally as externally so no two suits were identical in any way. Most suits were geared towards personal combat, the form of combat considered most honorable by the Crusaders. It was often organic in appearance, as warriors generally decorated their armors with spikes and straps. During the Sith War, the Crusaders often employed the Zim Systems rocket packs. The armors were airtight, so the warriors could ride the open-mount model of the Basilisk War Droids in vacuum as well as in atmosphere for up to ten hours.
- Mandalore the First (According to legend)
- Mandalore the Indomitable
- Mandalore the Ultimate (Before the Mandalorian Wars)
- Rohlan Dyre
- Canderous Ordo
- "The History of the Mandalorians"—Star Wars Insider 80
- The New Essential Chronology
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 The History of the Mandalorians
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War 1: Edge of the Whirlwind
- ↑ Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- ↑ 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 The Essential Atlas
- ↑ Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 21: Daze of Hate, Part 3
- ↑ Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 23: Knights of Suffering, Part 2
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Shades of Reason"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Lawless"
- ↑ Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 7: Flashpoint, Part 1
- ↑ Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War 6: Dark Lord
- ↑ Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic