Chapter I - Coruscant Knights

“Judge a man not only by his actions, but also by the company he keeps.” – Excerpts from Ged Larsen’s Private Journals

 Ged Larsen and Naizarian Kamin continued their walk through the Imperial Promenade, past the glittering buildings of the Admiralty, and on towards the entertainment district. Ged stopped once again, turning to his Executor.

 “You’ve heard most of this tale many times before…Shall I tell you the sordid details over a few Corellian Ales?”

 A smirk escaped the Grand Dark Jedi Master’s face, “I think this is a wise idea, my Lord.”

 The duo entered a small tap café off the main Promenade. As the Force would have it, they bumped into two other officers of the High Command. Standing tall in his white Grand Admiral’s uniform, and she in her dark robes of the Emperor’s Hand, Marcus Wulfman and Merlyn Gabriel greeted the Emperor and his Executor with a deep bow.

 “Sir, we were just about to leave, but if you and Master Kamin are partaking this evening…” Marcus Wulfman, Chief of Imperial Operations said. “Perhaps we should all get a table?”

 The Emperor gave them all a grin and a nod, “I was about to tell Naizarian about the early days of the Order. If you both could stand for some Imperial history, then by all means…”

 The four Imperials sat at a table of the Emperor’s choosing, a rounded booth situated towards the rear of the tap café that afforded a view of the entire area. They sat, and a serving droid immediately came over to take their drink order. Their presence drew the stares and hushed whispers of most patrons in the café; as all four were Force users, it was even more obvious.

 “You know, Ged, it’s not every day the Emperor and the top tier of his High Command visit a lowly Coruscant dive,” Merlyn Gabriel said with a wink.

 Merlyn Gabriel, Emperor’s Hand, High Priestess of the Krath, Grand Admiral of the Imperial Navy, was still an enigma to Ged after all these years. He had run covert operations with her during the time of Thawn’s campaign, and over the years she had risen through the ranks to become one of the Emperor’s Inner Circle. She had married his Chief of Operations, Marcus Wulfman, and she was one of the few who knew some of Ged Larsen’s darkest secrets. Her brilliant red hair stood out in contrast to the dark robes she wore, giving a hint of the fire and power she possessed within her. She was one of the late Emperor Palpatine’s greatest agents, men swooned before her and women of the Empire aspired to be her.

 In contrast, her life mate and another of the Larsen’s confidants, Marcus Wulfman, was a reserved and stalwart man; strong in the ways of the Dark Side with an uncanny ability in Naval tactics. During the fall of the Empire, Marcus and his crew, aboard the lone Star Destroyer Dragoon, had slugged it out with Rebel forces for years before finally reaching a safe haven within Imperial Order space. The Emperor recognized within Marcus a great talent, and as such, Marcus Wulfman rose through the ranks to join the hallowed Circle of Twelve Grand Admirals.

 The serving droid returned with four Corellian Ales for the patrons. In another corner of the café, a small trio of musicians began playing a low, melodious tune. As the four clinked their glasses together in a toast to the Empire, Ged Larsen’s gaze fell upon his Executor. A tall, foreboding figure, Naizarian Kamin, brooked no arguments from anyone. His steely gaze and Force power seeming to crackle just beneath his well composed surface. Ged could remember back to the early days of the Imperial Order when Naizarian was but a Squadron Commander aboard the SSD Executor II, leading fine Imperial pilots in the conquest of the Galaxy. After sensing his latent abilities in the Force, Ged took Kamin under his wing, putting him through rigorous training in the Dark Jedi Order, as well as Imperial Intelligence, to hone his skills in the Dark Side. His perseverance and will for all things Imperial allowed Naizarian to become Emperor Larsen’s right hand, his Executor and extension of his Will throughout the Galaxy.

 Ged took a long pull of his ale before setting it down and looking at his three companions. “I came here to tell a story, so we may as well get down to business then. A long time ago…”The Emperor’s eyes sparkled, “In a galaxy very near and dear to all of us, there was a great chaos. The Force was unbalanced, the entire Galaxy in upheaval, and an Empire in ruin…”

 The three leaned closer as the Emperor began his tale. “Only one could restore Distinction and Honor…the Imperial Order…”

 It seemed once Emperor Palpatine was murdered, his second Death Star destroyed, and the Imperial Navy in disarray that, never, ever would the Empire rise again. How foolish was the Rebellion to think such thoughts? It was not as if the entire Imperial Fleet, and its ground forces, numbering well into the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, would be destroyed in a single blow. Foolishness. Lack of vision. Countless numbers of Imperial Fleets stood by, in all sectors of the Galaxy, while the battle raged and was ultimately lost at Endor. Many of Palpatine’s High Command and Inner Circle vied and jockeyed for position in the days following his death. Some still to this day: they battle, unable to wrench their minds away from the vision and glory that was…and what they thought was the Empire.

 Being in command of an entire Imperial Fleet; enough firepower to destroy and subjugate entire sectors, Ged Larsen never took his duties lightly. Not only was he one of the Empire’s Twelve Grand Admirals, he was also Dark Side Apprentice of Palpatine’s: trained in the Dark Arts of the Force, trained to conquer and rule. Ged Larsen’s apprenticeship began at an early age, soon after his father, a Fleet Admiral in his own right, was killed in action before Ged’s very eyes; the early Alliance had been responsible. And, not only owing a debt of loyalty to Palpatine and the Empire, he also had a blood score to settle.

 Once, right after Endor, the Alliance Fleets had attempted to invade the Orus Sector and were repulsed by Larsen’s Seventh Fleet. Ged then took it upon himself to begin the long and arduous journey towards rebuilding the Empire. He knew full well the war would not be easy; he relished the challenge, and made all of his trusted officers well aware of this fact. Nothing that can be done well can be done easily. Gone were the days when the Imperial Fleets ruled every shipping lane and planetary system. The Imperial Order, Ged Larsen’s new vision for the Empire, would have to ensconce the very soul and mind of every Galactic being. Starting with his core fleet of ships, and two sectors under Imperial control, not to mention the loyal and serving members of the Fleet and Ground Forces, he embarked on a tumultuous journey.

 Bolstered by the economies of the Orus Sector, of which Ryloth provided an abundance of Ryll spice to the entire Galaxy, Ged Larsen’s war machine began to take form.

 The first days were the hardest; not only did Palpatine’s death leave a massive wound in the Empire, but also a wound in the Force. Wounds in the Force had been the stuff of legends, spoken about in hushed whispers during the times of the Great Hyperspace War, and the Sith/Jedi incursions, but no one still living had ever experienced it. It was a dreadful thing, like losing part of your soul you could never recover. Ged Larsen remained in his chambers for many days after the death of his Master, contemplating his demise and searching feverishly through deep, dark meditation to ease the pain. The few adepts that he had begun training felt the loss too, but not on such a grand scale as Larsen did. To him, it was the death of everything he held true and near to his beliefs and morals.

 The Force did show him the way though, one night during a meditation on how to keep the Empire together. As he sat motionless, his mind one with the Galaxy and the Dark Side, it came to him, as in almost a dream, but a live, living creature. Robust, dark and relentless, he saw the future of the Empire under his banner and knew then what he must set out to do. He saw the vision of a new Empire under the banner of the Imperial Order, one ruled with distinction and honor, one ruled and commanded by Dark Jedi, one that did away with the petty power struggles and political jockeying of old. A true Imperial Order for the entire galaxy and its inhabitants.