- "We are as he says. We can make no move, nor create any thought, without our master."
"Without your master? Or without a master?"
"What do you say?"
"I say that I am your new master. I will lead you until you can return to your people."
- ―The vassal and Pathfinder navigator Qilori
The Kilji were a sentient bipedal species hailing from the Kilji homeland astronomical object in the Unknown Regions. Members of the species were extremely religious, and had eyes, dark orange skin, which reflected emotional responses, and dark brown hair. They possessed arms ending in fingered hands that could operate warship consoles. The government of the religious species was the Kilji Illumine, an expansionist nation that forced what the Kiljis perceived as enlightenment upon other nations, groups, and species. The Kiljis spoke of enlightenment in the Kilji language, and their culture was based on their religion, the Kilji way of order and enlightenment. Generalirius Nakirre ruled the Illumine's people, and all those enlightened—Kilji vassals—could create no thought, or make no move without him or an enlightened master, such as General Crofyp. The fanatics of enlightenment did not care about skill or efficiency, instead, of who they could successfully control. Control boards and Kilji warship controls were laid out easily so anyone could know how to use them without being taught to do so. Kilji war cruisers and picket cruisers were designed in a first-strike strategy, as they were short-tempered.
The Kiljis, through their generalirius, allied themselves with the Grysk warlike species, who shared the concept of conquest with the Illumine while Nakirre provided transport to the Grysk Jixtus aboard the war cruiser Whetstone. Forces of the Illumine's battle fleet, the Illumine Kilhorde, assisted the Grysks' plot to destroy the Chiss Ascendancy. However, Senior Captain Thrawn of the Chiss and the Paataatus Hiveborn government destroyed the Kilhorde. Nakirre was killed shortly after by Jixtus, who viewed the generalirius as useless without the Kilhorde, and all vassals aboard the Whetstone went catatonic.
Biology and appearance
The Kiljis were a humanoid sentient species with dark brown hair, dark orange skin that reflected emotions through patterns, and two legs. The Kiljis could be short or tall, with the Kilji ruler, Generalirius Nakirre, being taller than a member of the Grysk warlike species or one of the Chiss, and General Crofyp being short. Kilji skin was repulsive and wrinkly.
Society and culture
- «Your path is simplistic, self-contradictory, and self-defeating. The only ones who accept it are those the Kiljis are able to force it upon."
"You lie, […]"
"No, for once I'm telling the truth. […] Look at your own servants. Did you choose them for skill, initiative, or even enthusiasm? Of course not. You chose them because they were willing to trade their last scraps of freedom to you in the hope that you would take care of them for the remainder of their lives.»
- ―Jixtus and Nakirre on the Kilji path
The Kiljis, hailing from the Kilji homeland, were obsessed with what they perceived as enlightenment, the Kilji way of order and enlightenment. The Kilji enlightened commanders and leaders could make a move, or create any move without a master—however, they needed the "firm" hand of their generalirius to find the proper path—while the Kilji vassals could not, and obeyed their leaders' orders without question. The vassals ignored the unenlightened or their orders, for the Kilji way forced them to do so, which annoyed the Grysk operative Jixtus, an ally of Nakirre.
The Kilji path established that the enlightened did not run from battle, they fought and prevailed, however, the Kiljis' arrogance and first-strike strategies—and warship design—proved that false, as the opponents of the enlightened that were not weak and impoverished defeated the Kiljis easily. The government of the Kiljis, the Kilji Illumine, as well as the Kilji commanders, sought the enlightenment of the universe, which would create unprecedented order and stability, in Nakirre's mind. Members of the Kilji religious species spoke the Kilji language, but they could also speak the trade languages Taarja and Minnisiat, with their Taarja being the clearest. The Kilji voice was gruff.
Jixtus and Nakirre
- «Your Kilhorde has blocked any surviving Chiss refugees from fleeing to those worlds and regrouping. You have provided me with a transport that the Ascendancy’s military can examine at length, assuring itself that the Kiljis are not a threat, while the reality of their true enemy remains hidden. Those are the services that the Kiljis have provided."
- ―Jixtus and Nakirre
At some point after the defeat of Nikardun General Yiv and his nation, the Grysk operative Jixtus allied himself with the leader of the Kilji Illumine, theocracy of the Kiljis, Generalirius Nakirre. While Jixtus promised the generalirius guide and advise in the religious conquests of the Kiljis, Jixtus requested transport aboard Nakirre's Kilji war cruiser Whetstone, from where he intended to talk with the representatives of four nations the Grysk species had deemed most easily conquered. Receiving permission from the Kilji Overlords, the generalirius began to travel with Jixtus, visiting the Unknown Regions planet Zyzek, where Nakirre met Chiss Senior Captain Mitth'raw'nuruodo core name "Thrawn." The Chiss and the generalirius engaged in a confrontation, with Nakirre promising that the Illumine would bring the Kilji beliefs to the Chiss.
Later the same year, Nakirre met with Chiss Mitth family representative Patriel Thistrian, who ordered the generalirius and his Whetstone to go away. Jixtus, who did not wish to fight the Chiss, accepted the order and left, which provoked a later confrontation with Nakirre, in which the Grysk threatened Nakirre with the Illumine's destruction. Although Nakirre dismissed the threat, the Kilji continued to serve Jixtus—who he wnated to kill—fearing the destruction of the Kilji homeland, the point of origin of the Illumine from where the theocracy expanded and engaged in its conquests of enlightenment. Nakirre and Jixtus then visited the Clarr family's planet Rhigar, where the Kilji and Grysk offered warships of the Illumine to Captain Clarr'os'culry core name "Roscu", as Jixtus had told the captain that her family was threatened by another Chiss family; however, Roscu rejected the generalirius' offer.
Jixtus dispatched Illumine General Crofyp and his task force to the Unknown Regions Rapacc system to retrieve some refugees, however, Paccosh official Uingali foar Marocsaa and Thrawn teamed up and destroyed Crofyp's flagship, the Kilji war cruiser Anvil, while the picket cruiser Hammer escaped to the Sunrise system in the Unknown Regions.
- «Then hear and understand, […] You serve the Grysks. The Illumine serves the Grysks. You and your people live or die at the pleasure of the Grysks. I do not travel aboard the Whetstone at your pleasure; rather, you and the Whetstone survive at mine. I will travel aboard this ship wherever I wish, for as long as I wish, and you will obey every command I choose to give. Do you understand?"
"And what of our agreement?"
"It still stands. […] We'll assist you in bringing enlightenment to the peoples of this region. But it will be the peoples of our choice, and on our schedule.»
- ―Jixtus and Nakirre
After the Hammer's escape, Nakirre and Jixtus met several Chiss officials from the Nine Ruling Families, the nine families that led the Chiss Ascendancy, nation of the Chiss species. The Kilji offered ships of the Illumine, however, Jixtus changed the offer into warships of the Grysks, providing ships to the Chaf and Ufsa families. After Thrawn found the Hammer at the Sunrise system with assistance from Pathfinder navigator Qilori, the navigator of the Anvil that had escaped the ship's destruction and was retrieved by Thrawn, the Chiss and Paccosh forces boarded the picket cruiser, obtaining information on the Kilhorde's weaknesses and combat doctrines following the assassination of all aboard. At some point after the battle, the Chiss senior captain shared the information with the Paataatus government of the Paataatus Hiveborn, as the Kilhorde battle fleet had gained Grysk permission to conquer worlds and nations to the south and southeast of the Chiss Ascendancy, which put the fleet near the Paataatus borders. Deeming the Kilji battle force's operations unacceptable, the Hiveborn sent a multipronged Paataatus attack fleet to destroy the Kilhorde, defeating the battle force.
Nakirre and Jixtus, who had been informed of the Hammer's destruction, traveled to the Sunrise system themselves, and observed a destroyed Chiss fleet floating over the planet Sunrise. Thrawn, who was in command of the fleet, hailed the Whetstone through comm, and informed Nakirre—and indirectly, Jixtus—of the Kilhorde's destruction. As the Grysk operative had allied himself with the Kilji only to have the Kilhorde conquer nations and encircle the Chiss Ascendancy, he shot Nakirre, killing him, ending the alliance with the Illumine. Shortly after, Jixtus's fleet and Thrawn's fleet fought to the death.
During the battle, Qilori, who was aboard the Whetstone, feared that Jixtus—who had now fled to his flagship, the FateSpinner—would move on from the battle against the Chiss and destroy the Whetstone while fleeing Sunrise. The navigator was able to become the Kiljis' new master, convincing them to disintegrate the FateSpinner's entire starboard aft flank with the Whetstone's weapons. This, and the fear of Thrawn studying Grysk technology, prompted Jixtus to use a self-destruct mechanism, to kill himself and destroy his forces. After the death of Jixtus, Qilori reported Generalirius Nakirre's death to Thrawn. Although Nakirre was absolutely sure that the unenlightened could not change the enlightened's fate, the Kilhorde's, his vassals', and his own fate were changed by Jixtus of the unenlightened Grysks.
Behind the scenes
- Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil (First appearance, simultaneous with Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil audiobook)
- Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil audiobook