- "When politicians seek to play at being warriors, one must anticipate disaster."
- ―Shedao Shai
The Praetorite Vong were a specialist military force within the Yuuzhan Vong hierarchy, combining the roles of scouts, assault troops, combat engineers, pioneers and logistics corps. Their purpose was to act as the vanguard of invasion, establishing planetary bases to serve as both strategic and logistical nodes in subsequent wars of conquest. Accordingly, it was the Praetorite Vong who launched the first attacks of the Yuuzhan Vong War in 25 ABY.
Role and organizationEdit
The core personnel of the Praetorite Vong were a specialist cadre within the administrative Intendant caste though it was open to members of all castes. In addition to them, their numbers were bolstered by a large number of slave units attached to their operations. Its head was an individual holding the title of High Prefect and was responsible for overseeing its deployments. Among their ranks included scouts, pioneers, logistical personnel, assault troops, engineers as well as defensive soldiers. In addition, some members of the Praetorite Vong also served as bodyguards for high ranking military personnel. In addition to their normal forces, this group of Yuuzhan Vong were also aided by members of the Shamed Ones. Senior commanders, however, knew that the work of the Praetorite Vong was absolutely indispensable to Yuuzhan Vong military strategy, as every advance depended on the groundwork they laid for staging points and equipment. It appears that several domains were directly affiliated to the Praetorite organization, but members of other castes and massive armies of slaves were also seconded to their command structure as required. Warriors in particular were regularly assigned to augment the fighting strength of Praetorite Vong taskforces, an assignment they often found dishonorable, as it required them to work directly under the operational command of Intendants.
Their primary goal was to aid in paving the way for the Yuuzhan Vong invasion forces. Thus, their actions typically ranged from espionage, infiltration and information gathering to sabotage, creating bases and destabilizing target governments. The ultimate aim of this strategy was to turn target populations against themselves: thus weakening them for the Yuuzhan Vong military. As such, infiltration was considered the key strength of the group, and they ensured that outlying systems were often kept at each other's throats, thus leaving them defenseless when the invasion forces arrived. To accomplish this, the Praetorite Vong often recruited spies, saboteurs and propagandists from the local populations in order to use them against their own governments.
To better facilitate their operations Praetorite Vong agents were known to use the ooglith masquer, which was commonly used to cover the faces of its members. Furthermore, they made use of its cousin, the Gablith masquer, as well as the ooglith cloaker in order to disguise their features. To further aid them in their goals, they also made use of the organic communication biots known as tizowyrms. In terms of starships, the Praetorite Vong were known to make active use of Yorik-stronha spy ships as well as the Sliviliths, which they used as organic probes to scout space. Beyond this, they made use of worldships in order to bring their forces to bear against a target region.
At some point prior to the Yuuzhan Vong invasion of the galaxy, Prefect Da'Gara became a high ranking member of the Praetorite Vong. He along with his cohorts decided to spearhead his peoples attacks against the inhabitants of the galaxy. To that end, he formed an alliance with the Executor Nom Anor for weakening the outer edges of the galaxy so that he could lead his Praetorite Vong to fortify the region in preparation for the warrior caste.
- "The Praetorite Vong will walk across the galaxy, one system at a time."
- ―Danni Quee
Da'Gara and other senior Praetorite Vong collated and analyzed the intelligence gathered by Executor Nom Anor during his years in the galaxy, selecting their initial bridgehead at Vector Prime and dispatching a scout, Yomin Carr, to infiltrate the Extragalactic Society monitoring base on Belkadan. This done, Da'Gara entered the galaxy with a squadron of three worldships and a young yammosk to coordinate his forces.
Although outwardly loyal, however, the Praetorite Vong were in fact pursuing their own independent strategy, plans which Da'Gara had been developing since the Yuuzhan Vong first discovered the galaxy. The support of the Praetorite domains for the coup which saw Shimrra of Domain Jamaane become Supreme Overlord was merely a cover for their own independent ambitions. Da'Gara had also inveigled Nom Anor into his schemes, persuading the Executor to obtain a yammosk without authorization, albeit one that was regarded as imperfectly formed by the Shapers who had created it.
The Praetorite Vong subsequently established a major base on Helska 4, landing their ships and implanting the war coordinator there. However, as their plan was foiled when the New Republic destroyed Helska 4, killing the yammosk and the majority of the Praetorite Vong invasion force in the Second Battle of Helska. Da'Gara and many elite warriors were slain. Alongside these military losses, the reputation of the corps was dramatically weakened.
The Warrior caste reacted to the defeat by sending Commander Shedao Shai to temporary take command of Yuuzhan Vong operations inside the galaxy as the next wave of invasion forces arrived. As honor required, Shai was forced to re-conquer the worlds lost by the Praetorite Vong, disturbing the overall invasion plan. After the death of Shai and his second in command Deign Lian, Warmaster Tsavong Lah entered the galaxy with the remainder of the invasion force.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Praetorite Vong are the main villains of Vector Prime, the first novel of the New Jedi Order series. However, they hardly appear subsequently: their role and organization, and their place within Yuuzhan Vong society and strategy, are only explicitly explained in the New Jedi Order Sourcebook. In turn, the implication of this source that the Praetorite Vong invasion was simply a methodical part of the overall Yuuzhan Vong strategy is shown to be less than the whole truth by Nom Anor's reflections on Da'Gara and his agenda in The Unifying Force. This novel, by mentioning the "Praetorite domains", also shows that the Praetorite Vong organization is constructed around a group of Yuuzhan Vong domains, rather than being an entirely administrative structure.
The name Praetorite resembles the Latin verb praeire, meaning "to lead the way", an appropriate meaning for a term describing spearhead forces. However, the word is more immediately evocative of the Roman leadership title of Praetor, and the name of the Praetorian Guard, an elite corps of paramilitaries often associated with bodyguard duties. Like the Praetorians, the Praetorite Vong are also led by a Prefect.
- Vector Prime (First appearance)
- Dark Tide II: Ruin (Mentioned only)
- Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse (Mentioned only)
- Edge of Victory II: Rebirth (Mentioned only)
- Star by Star (Mentioned only)
- Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
- The Unifying Force (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- Coruscant and the Core Worlds
- Ultimate Alien Anthology
- Star Wars Miniatures: Jedi Academy
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- Galaxy of Intrigue
- The Essential Guide to Warfare