- "Only heroes die. Villains and cowards are left to suffer."
- ―Adalric Brandl
Adalric Cessius Brandl was a Force-sensitive Human male from Trulalis who was the father of Jaalib Brandl and became one of the most notorious Imperial Inquisitors during the rise of the Empire. For almost 10 years, he served the Emperor Palpatine with other servants such as Inquisitor Tremayne.
Around 5 BBY, Adalric became the only known Inquisitor to ever go rogue. Flying with the likes of Thaddeus Ross, he evaded capture until he was forced to fake his own death to throw off pursuit. Adalric was a skilled lightsaber duelist and taught the Jedi Fable Astin how to wield a lightsaber.
Intelligence suggested that after the Emperor's death, Adalric had set up his own small empire called the Protectorate that recruited skilled Imperials to fight against both the New Republic and the Imperial Remnant.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Personality and traits
- 3 Behind the scenes
- 4 Appearances
- 5 Sources
- 6 Notes and references
Brandl was born in the twilight of the Old Republic on the planet Trulalis. He lived in the small settlement of Kovit, which was known for its enormous amphitheater that sat in the middle of the town. At a young time in his life, Brandl became apprenticed to the task director of the theater, Master Otias Atori. Under Otias, Brandl studied to become an actor. He spent years preparing and training to develop his skills as an actor. Besides speech and language lessons, Brandl was schooled in the art of sword fighting, which was the main action in many plays.
Otias was a strict teacher that desired perfection, and Brandl was prohibited from practicing parts of well-known, famous plays until his skills developed to a level that was acceptable to Otias. One such play was Uhl Eharl Khoehng, a famous play adapted from Old Corellian from which Otias did not even allow Brandl to read until his acting skills reached their peak.
During his studies under Otias, Brandl met a beautiful woman with auburn hair. Little is known about this woman save for the fact that Brandl eventually married her and that she agreed to go off-world with him when the time was right for him to perform for the galaxy at large. When Brandl was nearly thirty years old, he was finally allowed to read for the lead role in Uhl Eharl Khoehng. After a long period of studying the part, Brandl mastered the role and decided to seek his fame as an actor off-world. At this time, Brandl's wife had also become pregnant, and the move may have also been an effort to provide his family with a comfortable lifestyle.
Entertaining the Emperor
- "When the Emperor came calling you couldn't resist!"
- ―Otias Atori
Finally away from Trulalis, Brandl had immediate success as an actor and was incredibly popular with audiences. He played the lead role in Uhl Eharl Khoehng, and his flawless performance was renowned enough that several holos were made of it and his other stage work. Brandl's work eventually reached the height of its popularity, and Brandl was scheduled to perform for Emperor Palpatine.
The Emperor was entertained by Brandl's performance, but not for the same reasons that others of lesser vision enjoyed his work. The Emperor recognized Brandl's mastery of the Force, the way he subtly influenced the audience's emotions as he wove a captivating story. The Emperor was also able to look inside Brandl and pinpoint his desires and fears. After years of studying and portraying tragic figures, Brandl had become almost obsessed with becoming a tragic hero himself. The Emperor offered Brandl a chance to leave the pretend world he lived in and embrace the real thing. Instead of manipulating audiences he would manipulate whole worlds, and in place of a moral or fable a new message would be heard, one promoting the Emperor's New Order.
- "I brought pleasure to my master through the tears of his subjects."
- ―Adalric Brandl
Just as he had seduced Anakin Skywalker years before, the Emperor found Brandl to be easily convinced that his ideas and methods were noble, and that those that did not understand just did not have the vision to see it. Brandl soon became an Imperial Inquisitor and quickly rose through the ranks as one of the Emperor's favorites. However, although Brandl had been swayed, his young wife became incredibly uneasy about Brandl's new line of work. While seeking their fortune, she had given birth to a baby boy, Jaalib, and was concerned for his future now that his father had become increasingly darker in demeanor.
The circumstances of Brandl's and his wife's separation are unclear, but Brandl was forced to make a choice between his family and his life of purpose under the Emperor. In the end, around 13 BBY, Brandl's wife took their four year old son and returned to Trulalis. The woman was devastated by her husband's betrayal and was unable to even look at recordings of Brandl performing in plays without breaking into tears.
Meanwhile, Brandl's power and prestige continued to increase as he did services for the Emperor. Brandl's crimes became legendary, and killing became like a second nature to him. It is unknown how many lives he had on his conscience, and even he himself lost track of the number he had taken. After eight years of serving the Emperor, Brandl was part of an Imperial armada sent to destroy a village on Janara III that was reported to be a hive of Rebel activity that harbored Jedi-in-hiding. With Brandl leading the task force, the town was completely destroyed, and thousands of innocent civilians massacred. Brandl did not realize that a young Force-sensitive child survived the assault.
Sifting through the rubble of one homestead, Lt. Chanceller, a young officer, pulled a small unconscious 6-year-old girl out of the wreckage; Alex Winger. Chanceller's superior, Senior Lieutenant Brandei, who had not known of Brandl's true orders, chose to take the child to be adopted by Imperial Governor Tork Winger of Garos IV.
After the assault on Janara III, Brandl began to doubt his service to the Emperor. His mission reminded him of his own son and his actions had alerted him to the possible deadly future of his family.
- "The dark side beckons with the promise of easy gain, but there is always a price, always a tribute to its passion."
- ―Adarlic Brandl to Fable Astin
With no warning, Brandl left Imperial service. He began to hitch rides as he hopped from world to world trying to return to Trulalis before the other Inquisitors could catch up with him. On his journey, Brandl was eventually found by Inquisitor Tremayne. The two briefly dueled and Tremayne's lightsaber cut into his left hand. Somehow, Brandl was eventually able to escape and fled to the planet of Najiba. Storming into the local tapcafe, Brandl requested a pilot who could shoot as well as fly. A regular at the bar, a local man by the name of Lathaam approached Brandl and told him that no one was allowed to fly off world at the time due to the Children of Najiba, a local asteroid belt that made flying difficult during certain seasons. In response, Brandl Force choked Lathaam's lover, Arruna, to death.
The owner of the bar, Reuther, promised that he would find a pilot if Brandl would leave the rest of the populace alone. Brandl agreed, and Reuther left to find his pilot. Reuther found Thaddeus Ross, a former bounty hunter turned smuggler that was known for his daring. Brandl found Thaddeus acceptable and agreed to pay him 6,000 credits along with an additional 1,500 credits to accompany him on Trulalis. The two departed from Najiba in Ross's ship, Kierra, and set course for Trulalis.
- "Homecomings are always hard. At least for some of us."
- ―Thaddeus Ross
Landing on the outskirts of the Kovit settlement, Brandl and Thaddeus slowly made their way into the city. Thaddeus constantly berated Brandl on their short trip, accusing him of having no conscience and sneering at his former loyalty to the Emperor. Ross even went so far as to shoot at Brandl, testing his skill with the lightsaber. Brandl was unfazed by Ross's verbal and physical attacks, casually deflecting the blaster bolts into the dirt.
As the duo moved further into the Kovit settlement Brandl realized that the people there had indeed heard of his exploits as the entire town retreated into their homes to watch the dark figure pass by. As Brandl made his way to the amphitheater in the center of town, he was once again able to lay eyes on his beloved wife and child. However, his wife shielded her twelve-year-old son's eyes and retreated away from the street. Frustrated at himself, Brandl entered the theater and sought out his former task director. Otias was now old and frail, but he still remembered his greatest student. Brandl was at a loss of what to say. He finally settled for the words "What happened to me?" Otias was able to show Brandl how he had fallen, but he was unable to show him the way back.
Brandl left the encounter feeling cold, and decided to return to the Emperor. He activated a transponder within his robes and returned with Ross back to his ship. Waiting at the ship was a young brown-haired boy, Brandl's son Jaalib. From his mother's reaction, he had sensed who Brandl was. Brandl spoke lovingly to the boy and learned that his wife had not told him anything of his terrible deeds for the Emperor. Before leaving, Jaalib told Brandl that Menges, a local man, planned to use his modified Z-95 Headhunter to kill Brandl for the evil he had done. At that moment, a concussion missile hit the ship and threw them to the ground. Brandl and Thaddeus boarded the ship and attempted to lose the fighter in the clouds. The chase continued until an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer, replying to the transponder signal, emerged and captured the Kierra in its tractor beam.
Capture and disappearance
- "Tonight, Fortune calls for the final exit. I can no longer live the lie."
- ―Adalric Brandl
Brought onboard the Star Destroyer, Brandl was immediately questioned by a Captain Grendahl who informed him that their ship was to rendezvous with the Interrogator and that Inquisitor Tremayne would be "interviewing" him personally. Brandl was able to get out of this by using a mind trick on the commander of the ship, Admiral Etnam. He then stole a thermal detonator from the confiscated weapons stock and freed Ross. After Brandl put him back in his ship, Thaddeus was able to escape from the Star Destroyer. Meanwhile, Brandl returned to the docking bay and activated the thermal detonator. It exploded and gave the appearance that Brandl had sacrificed himself to protect his family. The blast ripped into Brandl's face, destroying the right side of his face and leaving his right eye as a clear yellowed orb, but with the help of the Force, he survived.
Brandl returned to Trulalis, but was shocked to find the Kovit settlement devastated by an Imperial attack. Everyone in the town had been killed, including Brandl's wife. Not even the local banthas were spared. However, Brandl did find one living person, his son Jaalib. His mother had died protecting him from stormtroopers. Swallowing his grief, Brandl began to raise the boy as an actor in an effort to lead him away from the terrible path that he had taken. Brandl buried the dead of the town in a patch of land near the amphitheater known as The Barrows. In order to hide his presence, Brandl used Otias's name as an alias when dealing with public business.
A new prize
Five years later, Jaalib was a grown man and was performing plays on the nearby world of Iscera. Jaalib's performance in For the Want of an Empire moved a young rebel named Fable Astin enough that she began to delve into his background, eventually finding the name of his father, who had been reported dead five years earlier. Fable was also a young Jedi and was haunted by dreams of another Inquisitor, Vialco, with whom she had had a brief but terrifying encounter. In order to quell her fears and to improve her fledgling skills, she followed Jaalib back to Trulalis. Spying Jaalib and Brandl practicing for a future play, she made herself known and asked to be trained by the Inquisitor. Brandl agreed.
Over time, Brandl had longed for the higher purpose that serving the Emperor had brought, but he knew that he needed a prize to offer his master if he would be able to return alive. Brandl was unable to bring himself to use his son in this endeavor, but Fable would prove the perfect tool.
Brandl began to train Fable in the art of the lightsaber. The training consisted of a cadence in which one used their lightsaber to disintegrate ball bearings from the tops of tall candles. Fable was infinitely poor at the exercise and began to incur the wrath of Brandl. Luckily for the young Jedi, Jaalib took pity on the girl, defended her from his father and began to teach her how to excel at the exercise.
Brandl was pleased when his student began to show promise, but became infuriated when he learned that Jaalib and Fable had fallen in love. Seeing how Fable's ties to Jaalib could lead his son down the dark path, he did everything in his power to stop the relationship. He sent Jaalib off-world and contacted the Emperor, telling him of the prize that he had for him. As a final test, Vialco was sent to Trulalis to test Fable's skill. Using the techniques that her master had taught her, Fable disarmed her opponent and left him lying on the grass. To complete her fall to the dark side, Brandl ordered that she kill Vialco, but Fable hesitated. To force her hand, Brandl created an illusion of Vialco reaching for his lightsaber. Fooled by the deception, Fable decapitated Vialco, only to learn of her master's treachery.
- "Arrogant, deceitful child!"
"No less arrogant than my father."
- ―Adalric Brandl and Jaalib Brandl
Frustrated that Fable had not completely fallen, Brandl made plans to take her to Byss and be turned by the Emperor himself. However, Brandl had not counted on his son's boldness. Realizing what his father intended to do, Jaalib returned to Trulalis and freed Fable. As his father realized his intent, Jaalib forced Fable onto a Rebel cruiser as he turned to face his father. Fable fled from the world as rain clouds began to form over the town.
Seeing his young son in absolute defiance of his words, Brandl was overcome with fury and began to Force choke the young man, but he could not bring himself to kill his own son. He released the boy and retreated back into the dark confines of the amphitheater.
Returning to the Emperor once more
Brandl once again returned to the service of the Emperor, offering his son to him in place of where Fable should have once been, where he was trained under Brandl's old rival, Tremayne. He presumably remained loyal to the Empire during this time, amassing a small fleet of ships and an army of elite troops under his command.
Some six years later, after the fall of the Empire, Brandl had gone warlord, managing to keep the forces loyal to him under his control, and after recruiting some mercenaries formed the Protectorate with his second in command, his son Jaalib. He still carried his hate for the Empire after these many years, however, and so he fought against the Imperial Remnant, though his forces never joined the New Republic and were in fact known to attack them on occasion. With these forces, Brandl fought for peace in an attempt to restore his home world of Trulalis to what it had once been, a thriving center of the arts where actors would be free to perform whatever they liked.
However, during an attempt to take out Moff Darius Onneir his son was captured by Republic forces and taken to a base on the planet Solstice V in the Al-ghenis system. When Brandl learned of this, he immediately took his fleet of four Star Destroyers to rescue his son. When he arrived there, however, Jaalib was already involved in an escape attempt along with a former companion; his lover, Fable. While Brandl's forces advanced upon the planet, Jaalib arranged for an alliance with the Republic forces, which Brandl entered into above his homeworld.
Personality and traits
- "I was not a king, not a hero, not a god. Just a man trapped in the passion of the play."
- ―Adalric Brandl
Adalric Brandl was a talented actor that had forged his abilities through hard work and determination. With his acting coach, Otias Atori, Brandl had studied for more than thirty years to refine his skills which included the art of sword fighting and unintentionally, the ability to sway the audience's feelings throughout a play. This determination and drive eventually formed into an unrelenting brutality under the Emperor. He became unrepentant and cruel and killed without mercy. He was also indifferent to threats and verbal attacks, and Brandl maintained his stone-cold demeanor even in the heat of battle.
Following his time with the Empire, Brandl still maintained his uncaring persona. After Imperials had slaughtered the inhabitants of his hometown, Brandl had taken the time to bury the populace in a stretch of grass known as The Barrows, but he showed no remorse over his part in bringing the Empire's troops to the defenseless world. With his departure from Imperial rule, Brandl had lost one of his eyes, which had become a glassy yellow orb. This only served to heighten his fearsome demeanor, and Brandl made no effort to hide the scar.
Although Brandl had been a brilliant student, it did not translate into being a caring teacher. He was a very harsh mentor and berated his student, Fable Astin, unmercifully when she proved unable to meet his demands. This brutality also transferred over to dealings with his son, and Brandl had little mercy even for his own flesh and blood. When it seemed that Jaalib had betrayed him regarding the release of Astin from his clutches, Brandl came close to strangling the young man to death with the Force.
Even though his one true passion was the art of theater, Brandl proved a brilliant swordsman. He had mastered the saber technique developed by Vo'ren Faalo, and was able to perform it flawlessly on demand. As well as his skills with a lightsaber, Brandl was also talented in the Force and had performed mind tricks on some of the Imperial fleets most decorated men. Besides the mind trick, Brandl was most talented in using the Force to kill, which he proved during his abrupt departure from the Galactic Empire.
Behind the scenes
Adalric Brandl was created by Patricia A. Jackson for the short story, The Final Exit appearing in Star Wars Adventure Journal 4. The character was influenced by Ethan Brand, the title character of the short story, Ethan Brand—A Chapter from an Abortive Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the name of the character is similar to the Hawthorne character to indicate this connection. Brandl appeared in one other story in Star Wars Adventure Journal 8, Uhl Eharl Khoehng, and Jackson had plans to continue the Brandl story when the Star Wars Adventure Journal was cancelled. However, Patricia wrote a final chapter to the Brandl story, entitled Emanations of Darkness which finishes the story of Jaalib, Adalric, and Fable as noted above. Since the story has not been published, the story is classed as cut content and so is questionably canon.
Brandl had the privilege of appearing in The New Essential Guide to Characters, near the end of the book. He is listed as appearing in Tales from the Empire but leaves out his appearance in Tales from the New Republic.
- "The Final Exit"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 4 (First appearance)
- "Uhl Eharl Khoehng"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 8
- "Betrayal by Knight"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 12 (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Encyclopedia (Under Trulalis)
- The Emperor's Pawns"—Star Wars Gamer 5 "
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Rebellion Era Campaign Guide
- The Essential Reader's Companion