- "These gave as good as they got, and 'cold' and 'hot' wars alternated for a thousand years—while the Republic flagellated itself with inquisitions—until Pius Dea rule met its end in that famous encounter which hardly needs retelling here."
- ―Gabrel Treon, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Praji: A Cartel of Genes
The Pius Dea crusades were a series of conflicts that lasted 11,965 BBY to 10,966 BBY, and served as the defining events of the Pius Dea Era. The Pius Dea were a prominent religious sect with humanocentric and militaristic tendencies that emerged in the centuries prior to 12,000 BBY. They installed one of their own—Contispex I—as Supreme Chancellor, gaining effective control of the Republic government and military. Having neutralized the unpopular Hutts, the sect unleashed a series of military crusades and inquisitions against rival alien sects over the following centuries. This brought about a protracted series of alternating hot and cold wars which contributed to interspecies tensions between the human-dominated Core Worlds and the alien Outer Rim Territories. In 10,967 BBY, the Pius Dea was split by the Renunciation, which began the Seventh Alsakan Conflict. The war ended in 10,966 BBY at the Battle of Uquine, removing the Pius Dea from power and bringing an end to the crusades. The repercussions of the crusades, however, would have far reaching consequences in subsequent millennia.
Initiated by the Pius Dea cult when Contispex I was elected Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, the Pius Dea sanctioned several "crusades" against rival alien sects around 12,000 BBY. As Contispex's successors were all members of the Cult, the crusades had the resources available to the Republic Navy and Army. Tapping into the unpopularity of the Hutts among many citizens of the Republic, Contispex sanctioned an invasion of Hutt Space. However, Contispex and his successors soon turned their attention to other alien species and sects within the Outer Rim which had been members of the Republic for millennia. Finally, the sect even targeted Humans accused of being alien sympathizers.
Unhappy with the Pius Dea's fanaticism, the Jedi Order recused itself from the Republic in 11,933 BBY, retreating to the academy world of Ossus. For centuries, the Jedi disapproved of the Pius Dea's actions but had nothing to do with the Republic's affairs. However, this Recusal sparked deep divisions within the Order. Some knights errant Jedi were involved in vigilante crusades against the Pius Dea while other Jedi aligned themselves with the sect, becoming the Order of the Terrible Glare.
For millennia, Alsakan and Coruscant had been rivals for dominance of the Republic. Due to the Pius Dea's origins on Coruscant, the planet became a stronghold of the sect. Religious tensions coalesced with political and economy rivalry to culminate in the Sixth Alsakan Conflict in 11,820 BBY. During that conflict the Core World of Alsakan and their territories in the Perlemian Trade Route seceded from the Pius Dea Republic. Many alien worlds subsequently aligned themselves with Alsakan in return for protection from the Republic.
For over a millennia up to 10,966 BBY, the Republic was embroiled in crusades against different alien factions, who fought back, leaving the galaxy in a permanent state of "hot" and "cold" wars. These crusades, embarked upon in the name of the Goddess, were very violent, and marked a devastating period in galactic history. The Pius Dea's religious rationale for the crusades was that chaos lurked beyond the Rim and that they were merely following The Goddess's edict to subdue it. The Pius Dea were also lured by the promise of wealth and secrets which led them to plunder conquered worlds. The loot would then be ferred back to Coruscant in naval galleons. Therefore, the sect justified and promoted military imperialism and privateering as a means of religious merit.
During this period, several military outposts known as Ordnance/Regional Depots (O/RDs) were established to ostensibly protect human settlers from hostile alien threats. This further deepened interspecies tensions with the anti-alien nature of the crusades forcing an exodus into Hutt Space and turning the Rimward Slice into a militarized zone dominated by war profiteers. These O/RDs operated as home bases for Republic Navy units and Pius Dea missionaries to launch military and religious expeditions into the frontier. Cathedral ships became essential to sustaining these expansionary campaigns; doubling as warships and religious temples. Due to a hereditary system of patronage, these massive warships were crewed by the descendants of naval crews who had converted to the sect.
During the crusades, the main Pius Dea modus operanti was to deploy Republic naval warships carrying millions of troops to enemy worlds or "fronts of chaos." Military verterans who emerged from trench warfare during planetary invasions received substantial rewards for themselves and their families. Entire species deemed irredeemable like the Zarracines and Teirasans were subjected to genocide. Despite its humanocentric origins, the sect's numbers swelled as thousands of Rimward worlds and species were forcibly converted or coerced into joining the Pius Dea. Conversion was seen as a means for alien individuals and worlds to gain favor with the Pius Dea Republic since it afforded greater autonomy and lessened interstellar travel restrictions for those joining the military. However, these alien converts were often contempously referred to as "Rimkin" by their human brethren.
The religious zeal of the Pius Dea Republic antagonized many species and powers within the galaxy. Following the Sixth Alsakan Conflict, Coruscant's rival Alsakan opened secret lines of communication with several alien species alienated by the Crusades including the Duros, Herglics, and the Hutts. By the 11,100s BBY, the Republic's military expansionism had stalled and the Pius Dea leadership began launching internal inquisitions to root out apostates, heretics, and unbelievers within their ranks. These inquisitions created much hardship and deaths. Caamasi emissaries came to the Jedi stronghold of Ossus and succeeded in convincing the Order to end its recusal in 11,100 BBY.
The Jedi subsequently collaborated with the Caamasi and Alsakani to engineer a heresy within the Pius Dea adherents. In 10,967 BBY, these religious heretics announced themselves during the Renunciation; creating a vicious civil war which wrecked the Republic. This allowed a broad anti-Pius Dea coalition led by the Jedi to assail the Pius Dea Republic. While much of the Republic Navy defected to join the Renunciates, the Pius Dea still maintained a large fleet of thousands of Cathedral ships which they used to wage warfare on their enemies. In 10,966 BBY, the sect was militarily defeated when the Bureau of Ships and Services seeded the Pius Dea fleet with rogue navicomputers codes which caused much of the fleet to leap into hyperspace. Many of these Cathedral ships would remain trapped forever in the depths of unexplored space, unable to restart their engines. Those trapped aboard subsequently perished due to starvation and lack of supplies.
The crusades finally ended after the Battle of Uquine which saw the annihilation of the Pius Dea fleet and the capture of Supreme Chancellor Contispex XIX.The Jedi subsequent took over the machinery of the Republic with Grand Master Biel Ductavis assuming the chancellorship. Meanwhile, all members of the sect were removed from positions of power including the Galactic Senate and the Pius Dea gradually died out within a few generations. Despite the defeat of the Pius Dea, interspecies tensions between the Human-dominated Core Worlds and the predominantly alien Rimward territories lingered for millennia. The tensions from the fallout of the crusades would deepen the rifts between the Core Worlds and those of the Outer Rim, which Palpatine would come to exploit during his reign as Supreme Chancellor and Galactic Emperor thousands of years later.
Timeline of the Pius Dea CrusadesEdit
- 11,987 BBY
- 11,965 BBY
- 11,947 BBY
- 11,939 BBY
- 11,933 BBY
- 11,884 BBY
- c. 11,820 BBY
- 11,660 BBY
- The Twelfth Pius Dea Crusade.
- c. 11,100 BBY
- 10,967 BBY
- The Renunciation: The Renunciate movement reveals itself and allies with the Alsakani, Caamasi, and the Jedi Order. This splits the Pius Dea faith from within, pitting the Faithful against those who have abandoned the faith.
- Renunciate forces clash with Faithfuls at Fondor, Ixtlar, and Cyrillia, supported by the Jedi, Alsakani, Duros, Herglics, and Hutts.
- 10,966 BBY
- The Bureau of Ships and Services seed the Republic Navy with rogue navicomputer codes, which forces the Pius Dea's ships to jump randomly to hyperspace and become lost forever.
- At the Battle of Uquine, the Renunciate forces annihilate the remaining Pius Dea ships. The Jedi capture Contispex XIX aboard the Flame of Sinthara, taking him to Caamas where he stands trial and is imprisoned.
- Grand Master Biel Ductavis assumes the position of Supreme Chancellor.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Codex entry)
- The New Essential Chronology (First mentioned)
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas (Mentioned as part of the Pius Dea Era)
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Essential Atlas
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3