In 8 ABY, a battle took place on the planet Quethold between the Empire of the Hand and the combined forces of the alien warlord Nuso Esva and the Quesoth species. For years, Grand Admiral Thrawn, the leader of the Empire of the Hand, had combated the forces of Nuso Esva and by 8 ABY, he had driven Esva's forces from most of the alien's holdings in the Unknown Regions.
Esva re-located to Quethold and he made a deal with the Queen of the Red, the planet's ruler, whereby the Queen would pledge her support to Esva in return for him killing the Queen of the White, a Quesoth Queen who was due to succeed the Red Queen. Esva plotted to lure Thrawn to Quethold and planned to defeat the Imperial forces and steal some Imperial juggernauts, which he could use to assault the Queen of the White's stronghold.
However, Thrawn anticipated Esva's plans and tricked Esva into believing that the Imperials had fallen for the trap. An Imperial force arrived at Quethold aboard the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Admonitor and three squads of stormtroopers landed on the planet and attacked the Red City, engaging a large group of Quesoth Soldiers. The Imperial pilot Baron Soontir Fel then flew a starfighter through a hold in the Red City's deflector shields and destroyed a number of loudspeakers that the Queen used to communicate her orders to the Soldiers. Esva and the Queen left the safety of the Queen's palace and headed toward the site of the battle, to enable them to stay in contact with the Soldiers.
However, Thrawn had the Imperial played a recording in Quesoth Soldier Speak, which tricked the Quesoth Soldiers into retreating to the Queen's palace. Esva realized that he had been outsmarted and he killed the Queen, shortly before he himself was killed by the Soldiers. The Empire of the Hand emerged victorious and with Esva defeated, Thrawn began making plans to begin a campaign against the New Republic, to restore the Galactic Empire to power.
- Crisis of Faith (First appearance)