Since KOTOR: Manaan
Shuuru // Personal Datalog
It is not a foolish endeavor to try and anticipate one’s future path, or even the path of an entire civilization. But it can be. If we do not first take stock of that which lies in our wake, we can never truly know how to negotiate the currents ahead. It is with this concern in mind that I indulge in this analysis of the ebb and flow of my dear home, Manaan.
For a long time--longer than we have records for--the Infinite Empire ruled our world. They enslaved us until their eventual fall, and we Selkath vowed we would never be placed in servitude again. As offworld explorers eventually arrived on our world, they came to see our kolto as a vital resource in their contest for dominion over the galaxy. We in turn came to see how valuable kolto could be. Due to our history, however, we also saw how it could become a detriment.
Therefore, my ancestors wisely vowed to remain neutral in the galactic fray. They even went so far as to allow both the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire to establish embassies on our surface metropolis, Ahto City. While their truce on our world was tense, the importance of kolto to their efforts gave them no choice but to conduct themselves in a lawful manner.
At least, that was what we believed.
A visit from a Jedi named Revan changed everything. He exposed a terrible truth--that the Sith were abducting and manipulating our youth, indoctrinating them into the ways of the dark side of the Force. This revelation did not sit well with my ancestors, and the resulting tensions eventually sparked an uprising led by one of those abducted children, Shasa--by this point a powerful Force practitioner in her own right.
The Sith were driven from Ahto City, their embassy razed. We continued our relations with the Republic, but warily so, ever mindful of the pattern of transgressions visited upon us by offworlders. More and more, we Selkath turned to our Force-wielding Order of Shasa--so named for the brave architect of the Sith’s ouster--for guidance. Taking after the pragmatic stance of their namesake, the order sought the abolishment of the Republic embassy from Ahto City, thereby isolating Manaan from the ongoing turbulence beyond its waters.
Ultimately, the action was unnecessary. Like how the flutter of a single fin is said to culminate in a great wave, it seemed as though our actions caused the Empire to crash and disperse. Tensions finally abated. For a time we Selkath prospered. Many of our kind even ventured out into the great sea of stars in search of new lives and opportunities.
We did not know it then, but like the fabled Binexan Shark the Sith Empire rose up from the black depths in a stronger, bolder form. When this resurgent Empire demanded our allegiance, my ancestors attempted to extend the same offer of neutrality they had found acceptable in the past. We only served to anger them. They bombarded our world from space, sinking nearly every last surface structure, Ahto City included.
With their inaction in our time of need, the Republic delivered the finishing blow--and this without having fired a single shot. Betrayed and embittered, we retreated to the depths, no longer willing to associate with any offworlders in any way. To us, they were all slavers. Abductors of our children. Calm-water friends at best.
Those years are said by many to be the greatest in Selkath history. Our own culture and traditions thrived. There was little strife. In our independence from the rest of the galaxy, we were together. But many secretly yearned for the ways and means the offworlders’ presence brought, and we came to find ourselves in economic distress. After a great deal of debate it was finally decided that, despite the lessons our past afforded us, our absence from the galactic stage was not to be permanent.
As our first new surface structure in many years, the Mercantile Plaza opened with strict rules as to who was given landing privileges. At first, this meant only special ambassadors from Republic-aligned worlds were allowed to visit. By this time I was heavily involved in shaping extra-planetary policy, and I pressed to extend an invitation to the Sith. I had been dissatisfied with the Republic’s inaction in our time of need and did not wish to invite a second bombardment from their enemies.
In the time since once again offering the Empire a kolto trade agreement and a presence on Manaan, the Republic has proven itself a more assertive and competent ally than in the past. I can earnestly say they have won me over. That does not mean, however, that we should renege on our deal with the Empire. It serves us well to strike a balance. After all, what guarantees do we have that either side would remain at arm’s length if left unchecked?
The answer to such a question lies in the churn of our wake.