Knights of the New Republic
The Chiss Ascendancy
Arguably the most powerful military and political force in the Unknown Regions, within the boundaries of Alliance space, it remains most famous as the birthplace of Grand Admiral Thrawn, the man who was nearly able to restore the Galactic Empire to power in the early years of the New Republic. The Imperial Admiral remains something of a legendary figure, despite being long-dead, the victim of assassination by his own bodyguard. However, Thrawn, or, more properly Mitth’raw’nuruodo, was essentially an outcast from his own culture. Although the Chiss were quick to acknowledge his tactical brilliance, his aggression made them deeply uneasy, and eventually led to his exile.
Despite the fact that the Chiss were largely unknown in Republic space prior to Thrawn’s arrival on the scene, encounters with the Ascendancy in the last century are not the first ones the Chiss have had with the larger galactic society. There has been periodic, generally limited, interaction throughout history, dating at least as far back as the Great Galactic War nearly 4,000 years ago. However, the Unknown Regions inaccessibility, combined with the fact that Chiss culture has historically been isolationist and xenophobic, has meant that, apart from some limited trade, these contacts have been generally short-lived. This trend has begun to change in more recent decades, having gone so far that the Ascendancy now maintains a Legate in the Galactic Senate, and formal diplomatic relations with the Fel Empire as well.
As further evidence of a shift in Chiss culture, in the years following the Second Galactic Civil War, the Ascendancy moved to officially annex much of the territory once claimed by the so-called “Empire of the Hand,” a region of space that had, for a time, been governed by a splinter faction of Chiss who had followed Thrawn and adopted the governing style of the Galactic Empire. This has led to the territory directly governed by the Ascendancy to nearly triple in size from its traditional borders, and it now shares a territorial border with both the Fel Empire and the Galactic Alliance. The Ascendancy continues to exert less direct influence over a considerable portion of the surrounding Unknown Regions as well, as they have for centuries.
The Ascendancy is governed by a complex oligarchical system led by an extended group of ruling families. More local affairs are handled by democratically elected parliaments on each of their roughly 30 colonies, but larger decisions are passed up to a cabinet of appointed governors, and then the heads of the ruling families. Each family is given preeminent control over a different segment of government affairs. The four primary families are House Csapla, controlling colonial affairs, agriculture and redistribution of resources; House Nuruodo, responsible for military and foreign affairs; House Inrokini, in charge of industry and science; and House Sabosen, which handles social issues such as justice, health, and education. There are also 5 lesser clans with more limited influence and control.