- "They're killers you hear? Murderers. Take it from me, Wormhead. You're an outsider. Keep your nose in your own business."
- ―Ism Oolos records an encounter with a Drovian in his journal
The Drovians were a sentient species that was bipedal in form, with corpulent bodies several times heavier than that of Humans. Their four limbs were extremely strong tentacles, which terminated in three pincers. Their bodies were grey or orange, with black or brown hair. Most Drovians developed an addiction to zwil, originally an offworld cake flavoring agent.
The Drovians were native to Nim Drovis, a planet in the Meridian sector. The species was split into two tribes, the Drovians—from whom the species name was derived—and the Gopso'o. Having developed into a network of pastoral communities, these two tribes were engaged in a vicious civil war that persisted for centuries, its original cause lost to time. The first to make contact with the wider galaxy, the Drovian tribe became ascendant, with higher education, income and technology levels. Several Drovians spread out into the galaxy, eventually appearing on worlds such as Jebble, Taris, Tatooine and Cato Neimoidia, involved in criminal endeavors, such as swoop gangs, gladiatorial contests and working for underworld kingpin Jabba Desilijic Tiure. While a member of the Galactic Republic, on several occasions, the Drovians found their homeworld located within Sith territory, such as during the Jedi Civil War and the New Sith Wars.
Nim Drovis was part of the Imperial splinter faction known as the Greater Maldrood, before joining the New Republic. The civil war came to a head in 13 ABY during a Death Seed pandemic, when the Gopso'o tribe almost gained control of the planet while financially aided by the Loronar Corporation. Eventually, emissaries from the New Jedi Order managed to peacefully resolve the conflict.
Biology and appearance
- "Not a particle of difference between them, you understand, except that they have been at blood feud for, literally, centuries."
- ―Ism Oolos
The sentient Drovian species was bipedal in form, with corpulent bottom-heavy physiques. They averaged twice the weight of a standard Human and were comparatively tall, averaging around two meters. Their stocky bodies were supported by two thick, trunk-like legs; a form of extremely strong tentacle. Each limb ended in three, sharp, articulated pincers. These could be either the same color as the limbs themselves, or a different shade.
Drovians breathed through membrane-lined breathing tubes on their necks, often covered in mucus. Through these, most Drovians would suck fist-sized plugs of raw zwil. Zwil was a yellow, cake flavoring agent from Algarine cuisine, smelling of cinnamon and vanilla, that had a mild narcotic effect on Drovians. Zwil was introduced by offworld traders and became so prevalent that virtually all Drovians were addicted to the substance. This led them to develop a more potent variation known as Drovian zwil, which had a narcotic effect on other species too, such as the Shistavanens, and which soon became available on major worlds such as Coruscant.
Drovians had numerous sensory devices in their bodies, giving them exceptional aim and depth perception. Drovian skin pigmentation included gray and orange. Tufts of dark hair grew from their heads, which was worn according to cultural affiliation.
Society and culture
- "I made the mistake of asking a Drovian the reason for their animosity against the Gopso'o. The Drovian, whose temperament I'd usually describe as "agreeable," thrust me against the wall, pressing his sharp pincers hard into my chest."
- ―Ism Oolos records an encounter with a Drovian in his journal
Prior to contact with the Galactic Republic, the species had developed into a pastoral network of tribes. The two major tribes were the Drovians—from whom the species name was derived—and the Gopso'o. The tribes were separated by cultural differences, such as hair styles. The Drovian tribe cropped their hair short, while the Gopso'o tribe grew their hair in a long topknot. They braided into this topknot random shapes of colored plastic and rubber used as animal totems. Both tribes spoke Drovian, though they had slightly different meanings for certain words. For instance, the word for truth was singular for one tribe and plural for the other.
This difference in meaning was theorized as a possible origin for a civil war that broke out between the two tribes; however, the exact origins were lost to time as the conflict raged unresolved for centuries, with atrocities building up on both sides. The Drovian tribe gained a significant advantage over the Gopso'o by making first contact with the wider galaxy. Ultimately, they became the dominant tribe, with higher-level technology, and greater access to quality education and higher paid employment. The Drovians also adopted Galactic Basic Standard as their lingua franca, leaving the more primitive Gopso'o to speak Drovian. When speaking either language, Drovian voices were nasal, and, coming as they did from esophaguses stuffed with zwil plugs, sounded bubbly.
The civil war occupied a central and sensitive place in Drovian psychology, with every inhabitant of Nim Drovis, circa 14 ABY, knowing casualties of the war. When questioned as to the origins of the conflict, otherwise agreeable Drovians were known to react violently, reciting litanies of grievances attributed to the other side. Alleged atrocities committed by the Gopso'o tribe included using molds to torture and kill captives. This burnt the bodies so badly that the corpses were unrecognizable. They were even believed by some Drovians to take pleasure in killing innocent family members of their enemies. During skirmishes, Gopso'o warriors often invoked the names of their murdered ancestors, shouted some of the Twenty-Five Personifications of Virtue, such as Truth and Beauty, or yelled some other choice oath such as "chunder."
Those members of the species not directly involved in the civil war occupied a range of positions. Gopso'o tribespeople worked on slugranches. These ranches produced bulk protein, which was purchased by interplanetary corporations. Some Drovians worked as professional mold-and-fungus removers, while others worked as small-time providers of goods and services. Members of the Drovian military were given three-hour rest breaks. These were often spent alongside assorted other Drovians consuming alcohol, spice, and other chemicals in local cantinas such as the Wookiee's Codpiece.
By the time of the New Republic, the architectural style common on Nim Drovis was represented by heavy stone walls, supported by thick, wooden supports. Buildings also sported numerous balconies, plank gardens, and bird traps. The city of Bagsho, divided into a new and old town, contained numerous canals, spanned by wooden bridges. It included a slum known as the Thousand Stinking Ditches, which was primarily occupied by Gopso'o. Their lower levels of education and lower paid work combined to confine them to such dilapidated areas.
The Drovian species evolved on Nim Drovis, a planet located in the Meridian sector of the Outer Rim Territories, a sector located on the Perlemian Trade Route and one sector rimward of the border with the Mid Rim. The climate of Nim Drovis was hot and humid, with the planet prone to monsoons and flooding. Other species to evolve on the planet included slugs, marsh-gunnies, gulpers, green-eyed wadie-platts, reeds, fungi and many forms of carnivorous mold. The Drovians developed into an agrarian society, farming the slugs in ranches. As for the mobile carnivorous mold, many Drovians worked with acid and flame-throwers to exterminate the fungi.
Eventually, the Drovian species divided into two tribes, the eponymous Drovians and the Gopso'o. Civil war was sparked between the tribes, although the exact cause was soon lost to memory. The Drovian tribe was the first to make contact with the wider galaxy, sometime prior to 4000 BBY, by which stage Nim Drovis was considered part of the the "civilized" galaxy. This provided the Drovian tribe with access to technology far in advance of their domestic capacity, which they soon translated into dominance over the Gopso'o. Contact with the galaxy had other effects: It produced immigration to Nim Drovis, with colonists from the Core Worlds' planet Alderaan establishing a freeport on the world. It also saw the introduction of the narcotic zwil from Algar, to which eventually nearly all Drovians became addicted.
Between 3959 BBY and 3956 BBY, the Drovian homeworld was part of a large swath of the northeastern Outer Rim Territories that was absorbed into the growing territory of Sith Lord Darth Revan, who invaded the Galactic Republic with a massive fleet constructed from an ancient, hidden factory known as the Star Forge. The Republic defeated the Sith Empire in 3956 BBY, and five years later scattered the Sith Triumvirate that had arisen to replace it. Following these victories, the Republic slowly began reintegrating its lost territory. Some three-thousand years later, Nim Drovis again fell within Sith territory, this time during the conflict known as the New Sith Wars. This conflict ended in a climactic battle on Ruusan, with the Republic emerging victorious and the organized Sith hegemony collapsing.
Under the Republic, a number of Drovians could be found offworld, such as the Force-sensitive Drovian, Silus, who competed as a gladiator in the Outer Rim in 33 BBY, and several Drovians in the employ of Jabba the Hutt. The next major galactic conflict facing the Republic, the Clone Wars, also involved the Drovians' homeworld, which fell within one portion of the territory of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The Confederacy sought to break away from what it perceived to be a corrupt Republic. The conflict lasted for three years, from 22 BBY until 19 BBY, before the Confederacy was defeated and a new form of galactic government established: The Galactic Empire.
The Empire was a centralized, pro-Human administration. Its policies attracted opposition in the form of an Alliance to Restore the Republic, which succeeded in 4 ABY in killing Emperor Palpatine, and proclaimed itself the New Republic. This defeat swiftly led to the once unitary Empire splitting into several feuding fragments. From 4 ABY until 8 ABY, Nim Drovis was claimed as part of the Greater Maldrood, under the control of Imperial Admiral Treuten Teradoc. Teradoc was convincingly defeated by Admiral Ackbar at both |Maridun and Thanos, following which he abandoned his holdings and fled to the Deep Core. Imperial control of Nim Drovis and its surrounds was soon asserted by a new Imperial commander, Grand Admiral Thrawn, who almost brought the New Republic to its knees only to be assassined by his own bodyguard. Nim Drovis then joined the New Republic.
- "I'm killin' those moldspawns because they killed my family, see? Because they disemboweled Garnu Hral Eschen, because they tore the flesh off the bones of the children of Ethras, because they…"
- ―Sergeant Knezex Hral Piksoar
Under the New Republic, Nim Drovis' largest freeport, Bagsho, became a link with the neutral planets of the Meridian sector. However, continuing unabated throughout these various galactic conflicts was the Drovian civil war. It came to a head in 13 ABY, when the Loronar Corporation organized planetary rebellions on a number of planets, including Nim Drovis. Loronar had aligned with Seti Ashgad, a former-Imperial senator who had been made a political prisoner, who sought power in the Meridian sector. Loronar sided with the Gopso'o tribe, equipping them with smuggled Loronar blaster rifles. After months of unrest, the Gopso'o launched a coordinated assault against the dominant Drovians, bombing public buildings and rumored to use bilal and rush gas on civilian neighborhoods. The Gopso'o had numerous successes, including capturing a minor spaceport. Pinned down by the outbreak of the Death Seed plague and other conflicts in the Meridian sector, promised New Republic troops were unable to assist the beleaguered Drovians in Bagsho. Eventually, however, the Drovian government managed to drive back and subdue the attackers without Republic support.
Afterwards, in amends for the lack of aid and the damage caused by the Death Seed plague, the New Republic took a greater interest in Nim Drovis. In addition to financing a weather station to control the incessant teeming rain—enabling the prolific molds to be controlled. This change allowed for slug ranching to became big business on Nim Drovis. Jedi Knights from the revitalized New Jedi Order also visited Nim Drovis during this period, and succeeded in brokering a historic peace accord between the Gopso'o and Drovian tribes. Nim Drovis also continued to host the Sector Medical Facility. In 25 ABY, the Yuuzhan Vong species invaded the galaxy. As part of a convoluted plot to destroy the Jedi Order, the Yuuzhan Vong Elan and her familiar, Vergere, defected to the Republic. They were initially transferred to the Nim Drovis Sector Medical Facility, where Republic Major Showolter took custody of the pair, before transferring them offworld. The pair's plot was foiled, although Vergere later played a key role in the Yuuzhan Vong War. By 29 ABY, virtually all the territory in the vacinity of Nim Drovis was in Yuuzhan Vong control. By 137 ABY, Nim Drovis was in territory controlled by Darth Krayt's Sith Empire. At some point during this period, the Shi'ido anthropologist Mammon Hoole included an entry on the Drovians in his publication The Essential Guide to Alien Species.
Drovians in the galaxy
- "It seems that you're standing in the way of my destiny."
- ―Silus threatens Darth Maul
Since contact with the Galactic Republic, Drovians spread out into the galaxy, able to be found on a number of Outer Rim planets such as Tatooine, and Taris. The Drovians on Taris were part of the Black Vulkars, a notorious swoop gang in the Lower City. In 3964 BBY, they managed to apprehend the rogue Padawan Zayne Carrick and his Snivvian partner, Marn Hierogryph, both marked with large bounties for the murder of a number of Jedi Padawans. However, the pair successfully escaped from the gang members, tricking them into believing a stash of spice was nearby. Later, Wargo, one of those Drovian gang members, was conscripted into the Mandalorian forces on Jebble.
Through their long war against the Gopso'o, many Drovians developed into tough fighters. A fine example of this was the Force-sensitive, pit-fighter Silus. Fighting in a gladiatorial competition, he combined his natural fighting abilities with Force tricks, killing numerous competitors such as the Aleena Tabor and his brother. When his dark Force abilities threatened to alert the Jedi Order, the Sith Lord Darth Sidious dispatched his apprentice Darth Maul to deal with him. In order to test Maul, the Drovian was offered the opportunity to displace Darth Maul if he could kill him. However, he proved to be no match for the Sith's abilities.
Another Drovian of this time was Kurjj, who worked as a mercenary for Jabba the Hutt. It was during this period that Boba Fett first offered his services to the crime lord. When Fett stood his ground against Jabba, Kurjj tried to kill Fett using a litch-knife. Warned by Kurjj's hot breath on his neck, the young bounty hunter disarmed him, dropping him to the ground. After his defeat, Jabba condemned Kurjj to death by his pit beasts. Jabba was known to employ a number of other Drovians as guards and servants, although none dared challenge Fett after Kurjj's death. Drovians also operated on Cato Neimoidia as bounty hunters.
Drovian soldiers included Ethras, whose children had their flesh torn off by Gopso'o, and Garnu Hral Eschen, who was disemboweled during the wars with the Gopso'o. Their descendant, Sergeant Knezex Hral Piksoar, worked for the New Republic on Nim Drovis. Piksoar and his squad greeted Han Solo when he landed in Bagsho with wounded from the New Republic cruiser Corbantis. Piksoar continued his family's fight against the Gopso'o, resisting their uprising in 13 ABY. When Solo ventured into the city to discover what has happening across the sector, Piksoar and his squad, together with Ism Oolos, accompanied him. Encountering Gopso'o, and roving molds, they successfully escaped through the Thousand Stinking Ditches.
During the Yuuzhan Vong War, many Drovians were employed at the Sector Medical Facility based in Nim Drovis' capital city of Bagsho, both as security guards and as secretaries. There, they aided Major Showolter and Doctor Saychel in interrogating Elan. Later, in 138 ABY, a Drovian was present on The Wheel, a Mid Rim space station.
Behind the scenes
The Drovian species was created by Barbara Hambly for her novel Planet of Twilight, published by Bantam Spectra in 1997. Following this, the species received mentions in The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons and the Star Wars Encyclopedia, both published in 1998, before Nim Drovis was again visited in 2000 in James Luceno's The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial. While the former Essential Guide had listed both Drovians and Gopso'o under Nim Drovis' species, the latter The Essential Guide to Alien Species, published in 2001, clarified that the two were separate tribes of the same species.
Drovians made appearances in Elizabeth Hand's Boba Fett: Hunted (2003) and Boba Fett: A New Threat (2004); the latter mistakenly spelled Drovian as "Drovion." A Drovian also featured in "Marked," a comic written by Rob Williams and pencilled by Cully Hamner. "Marked" was published in Star Wars Tales 24 in 2005, and was later referenced in Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 21. Drovians then appeared in several arcs of John Jackson Miller's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic comic series. These were Commencement (2006), Knights of Suffering (2007) and Vector (2008).
In 2009, Randy Stradley, under the pseudonym Mick Harrison, included a Drovian in Dark Times: Blue Harvest, Part 1, while their homeworld was included in The Essential Atlas. This provided information on Nim Drovis' affiliation throughout a number of galactic conflicts.
- Knights of the Old Republic 3
- Knights of the Old Republic 22
- Knights of the Old Republic 23
- Knights of the Old Republic 26
- Knights of the Old Republic 27
- "Marked"—Star Wars Tales 24
- Boba Fett: Hunted
- Boba Fett: A New Threat
- Dark Times: Blue Harvest, Part 1
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided (Mentioned only)
- Planet of Twilight (First appearance)
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial
- Legacy—War 3
- The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons
- Star Wars Encyclopedia (Under Nim Drovis)
- The Essential Guide to Alien Species
- Coruscant and the Core Worlds
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II ("Nim Drovis")
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 21 (Darth Maul: Sith Apprentice, Jedi Killer)
Notes and references