The Battle of Kolatill was a small engagement fought in 8 ABY at the planet Kolatill in the Kathol sector of the Outer Rim Territories. The engagement was contested between the combined forces of the New Republic and the Kolatill Defense Force, and Imperial forces allied to Moff Kentor Sarne, the Imperial warlord of the Kathol sector. That year, Sarne was ousted from his capital, Kal'Shebbol, by New Republic forces. In response, Kolatill overthrew its Imperial governor and declared allegiance to the New Republic. This act of defiance resulted in the Ton-Falk-class escort carrier Kathol Protector bombing the capital city of Domaz.
Following the bombing, the Kolatill Council sent out a distress signal to the New Republic forces at Kal'Shebbol. The CR90 corvette FarStar responded to the call, and was in orbit of the planet when the Kathol Protector returned to assault Kolatill for a second time using TIE bombers armed with pathogenic bombs. The New Republic corvette and its starfighter complement engaged the Imperial force, aided by the local TIE/LN starfighters of the Kolatill Defense Force. The battle was fought both in the planet's orbit and within its atmosphere, with the FarStar and a number of its starfighters engaging the Kathol Protector directly while the Kolatill Defense Force and the remainder of the corvette's screening force engaged the escort carrier's bomber force. The joint effort between the New Republic and the Kolatill Defense Force managed to neutralize the threat posed by the pathogenic weapons and drive off the escort carrier. However, the battle was not without cost to the victors—Captain Keleman Ciro, commanding officer of the FarStar, was captured by Imperial forces during the battle, and his younger brother, pilot Noell Ciro, was killed in the engagement.
In 8 ABY, the New Republic liberated the planet Kal'Shebbol—capital of the Kathol sector—freeing it from the rule of Moff Kentor Sarne, an Imperial warlord. Shortly after, the neighboring planet of Kolatill followed suit and ousted its own Imperial governor, Tetrum. In retaliation for this act, the Ton-Falk-class escort carrier Kathol Protector—which was part of the Moff's military forces—arrived in the system and launched TIE bombers. Targeting the capital city of Domaz, the bombers unleashed a heavy assault that left the city in flames before withdrawing. The government of the planet issued an emergency distress call to New Republic forces stationed at Kal'Shebbol, pleading for assistance.
The New Republic CR90 corvette FarStar, charged with tracking down Sarne after he had fled Kal'Shebbol with the majority of his fleet, intercepted the distress call while in orbit of the planet. Since the FarStar was the only ship capable of heading to Kolatill immediately, Captain Keleman Ciro gave orders to make for the planet. Governor Monjai, the newly installed New Republic official in charge of Kal'Shebbol, promised to send relief ships as soon as possible.
After several days in hyperspace, the FarStar arrived at Kolatill, where Captain Ciro immediately dispatched teams to the surface to assist in relief and recovery operations. He also ordered the FarStar to constantly scan the system and maintain a combat air patrol. The Kolatill Council, which was hoping to ally itself with the New Republic, agreed to meet with Ciro, and dispatched a diplomatic shuttle to ferry him to the surface.
Captain Ciro boarded the diplomatic shuttle and was in transit to Kolatill's surface when the escort carrier Kathol Protector emerged from hyperspace. The Imperial vessel had returned to the planet to conduct a second strike utilizing a simple battle plan. The TIE bombers would spread across the planet and attack as many of the cities and population areas as possible. Each bomber had been loaded with highly volatile pathogenic bombs that would spread poison over a large area when detonated. The bomb's payload was so toxic that each of the prime components were stored separately and only mixed together immediately before deployment. Kept apart, the individual components were harmless. Arriving to find the FarStar in orbit, the escort carrier's attack plan was altered slightly to deal with the unexpected ship.
The Imperial vessel launched its starfighter complement, which consisted of two squadrons of TIE bombers and four squadrons of TIE Fighters. Both of the bomber squadrons angled toward the planet, while the four fighter squadrons moved to intercept the FarStar and the diplomatic shuttle. The TIE Fighters split their attack; one squadron engaged the diplomatic shuttle, using their superior numbers to herd the small vessel toward the Kathol Protector. The other three squadrons were assigned to harass the New Republic corvette and prevent it from launching its own fighters.
Pursued by TIE Fighters, Ciro's shuttle was slowly directed toward the escort carrier. Once in range, the vessel's tractor beam generators locked onto the shuttle and pulled it into the hangar bay, capturing the Captain. The FarStar, outnumbered by TIE Fighters, fought a desperate defensive action under the command of the First Officer, Kaiya Adrimetrum.
With TIE bombers descending to the surface, the Kolatill Defense Force scrambled its own few TIE Fighters and sent them to intercept the incoming Imperial ships. Fortunately for the citizens of the planet, several of the FarStar's T-65 X-wing starfighters were also on the surface. The X-wings, including those flown by Lieutenant Ranna Gorjaye and Noell Ciro, had been assigned to escort duty for the two transport shuttles that were being used to ferry relief supplies and personnel to the planet.
The combined force of TIE Fighters and X-wings engaged the bombers in Kolatill's atmosphere. As a New Republic fighter destroyed the first bomber, its sensors detected a small concentration of highly toxic poison in the immediate area of the explosion. Suddenly aware that the bombers were carrying pathogenic bombs that could kill millions if allowed to detonate, Kolatill's defenders increased their efforts. During the engagement, Noell Ciro's X-wing took heavy damage that rendered his weapons system inoperative. His sensors detected a bomber nearing its target site, and he realized that he was the only fighter in range that could stop it. Deprived of weapons, Ciro set a collision course and rammed the bomber. The resulting explosion destroyed the Imperial ship and its payload but also cost Ciro his own life. The entire bomber force was eliminated without any of the craft releasing their payloads; with its bomber force defeated, the Kathol Protector's primary mission was a failure. Recalling its TIE Fighters, the escort carrier disengaged and made the jump to hyperspace.
With the Imperial attack repulsed, Kolatill was indebted to the New Republic. The members of the Kolatill Council provided the crew of the FarStar with the coordinates to the planet Gandle Ott to allow them to continue their hunt for Sarne, as the Moff had wiped all navigational records of the sector from the computers in his headquarters on Kal'Shebbol. The FarStar's First Officer, Kaiya Adrimetrum, assumed the captaincy of the vessel following Captain Ciro's capture, with the Rodian Security Officer Gorak Khzam taking over her role as second-in-command. Following his capture, Ciro was delivered to the Q'Maere Research Facility in the Kathol Rift, where Sarne had established a prison, for interrogation.
Behind the scenes
The Battle of Kolatill is featured in the West End Games Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game adventure Omens, which was the first scenario in The DarkStryder Campaign, published in 1995. Although the battle can be run in any way the gamemaster and players see fit, the capture of Captain Keleman Ciro and the death of Noell Ciro are required events, as the rest of the series continues with the assumption that Noell Ciro is dead, Keleman Ciro is captured, and that Kaiya Adrimetrum commands the FarStar. A later plot point in Harm's Way, an adventure published in the supplement The Kathol Rift, which continues the adventures of the FarStar, deals with Keleman Ciro's rescue.
Notes and references
- "Omens"—The DarkStryder Campaign
- "Artifact of Aaris"—The DarkStryder Campaign
- The DarkStryder Campaign
- Number taken from known complement of starfighters onboard the FarStar at the time, according to The DarkStryder Campaign.
- "The Saga Begins"—The DarkStryder Campaign
- The Kathol Rift
- "Harm's Way"—The Kathol Rift