- "The Mandalore clans are the best fighters in the galaxy... we don't need to wait for a few Jedi."
- ―Mandalore the Indomitable
The Mandalorian Crusaders was the first documented type of Mandalorians, thought to have been established by Mandalore the First in 24.000 BBY. Under the command of Mandalore the Indomitable, they eventually became involved in the Great Sith War and fought for the Jedi turned Sith Lord Ulic Qel-Droma. The Crusaders were traditional Mandalorian warriors, placing highest value on gaining honor and glory in combat.
- "For my people it's the honor and glory of battle that rules us. It's through combat that we prove our worth, gain renown and make our fortunes."
- ―Canderous Ordo
According to legend, the Crusaders were first formed on the planet Mandalore around the year 24,000 BBY by Mandalore the First, who is said to have conquered the world by defeating the Mythosaur, the great beasts who dominated the planet.
The Great Sith War
The Crusaders roamed space seeking war, making conquered worlds their home. Lead by the warrior Mandalore the Indomitable, they arrived in the Empress Teta system by 3,997 BBY. Riding their Basilisk War Droids, they destroyed a Krath carbonite smelter in orbit to provoke the Krath into fighting them. Ulic Qel-Droma, a Sith Lord associated with the Krath agreed to duel Mandalore on Mandalore's newly conquered world of Kuar.
Ulic became the victor, and the Brotherhood of the Sith gained command of Mandalore's forces, an act that left many Mandalorians frustrated. A few extremists amongst the clans even declared themselves leaderless, as Mandalore in effect lost his title to Ulic, and Qel-Droma being an outsider couldn't take it. Too few in numbers, the voices of those objectors wasn't heard. These same objectors later founded the Neo-Crusader movement on Mandalore.
The Crusaders fought on Ulic's side in the Battle of Foerost, Coruscant and eventually were ordered to Onderon by Exar Kun. During that battle, they survived only by retreating to the Dxun moon. Mandalore himself was killed by the beasts of Dxun. The defeat left the Mandalorians scattered, many feeling betrayed and speaking of vengance against the Republic and it's Jedi guardians.
The Mandalorian Wars
Soon after the Sith War, a new Mandalore, named the Ultimate rose to power. He called upon aides to help him reshape the idenitity of the Mandalorian forces, and as a cult of warriors named the Neo-Crusaders began calling for the reestablishment of the tradition, Mandalore used the group as a foundation for his goal. During the onslought on the outer rim, a veteran Crusader named Rohlan Dyre began to question the motive behind the war and specifically the Neo-Crusaders. Ironically, Rohlan soon became a tool for Mandalore, who used him as a cautionary tale promoting the Neo-Crusaders.
During the invasion into the Republic, Mandalore had Neo-Crusaders present in every unit to spread the ideals of uniformality and order in an attempt to boost morale and convert Crusaders to this new way of life. A few resisted, but many more converted, such as the warrior Canderous Ordo. During the invasion of Taris, the Crusader quickly became a shrinking minority in the Mandalorian forces. There were still some objectors, and a few even turned down commands from Cassus Fett.
After the final battle of the Mandalorian Wars, the Mandalorians again scattered across the galaxy. Many honorable warriors continued the traditions, while many others swallowed their pride and became soldiers for hire.
Doctrine and organization
According to legend, the Mandalorian forefathers used to be deeply religious and used warfare as a ritual to their gods. The society changed over the millenia, including their once sophisiticated holy laws devolved into the Canons of Honor, and war itself became the object of worship. Any campaign they waged became a Crusade if it promised holy carnage. Traditional Crusaders had no written laws, but the few rules that existed were sacred to their society. The most important were the resol'nare, or the six actions. Other norms included the Canons of Honor, which helped warriors to gain honor and glory by participating in battles and being loyal to one's clan. Unlike the Neo-Crusader movement, the Crusaders didn't conscript or seek out warriors to join their cause, but attracted individuals by the examples they set. The resol'nare had nothing to say when it came to species, and amongst the Taungs were a great variety of different species all united and dedicated to the movement as equals.
A society of traditionally nomadic warriors, the Mandalorian Crusaders did not recognize bureaucracy. Division of labor sorted itself out organically. A warrior needed to be self-sufficient and compenent, and each warrior was responsible for their own feeding and supplying. Instead of relying on helmet tranceivers, Crusaders carried information through the forces by sound and vision. They always kept an eye on their fellow warriors to respond when battle situations changed. Since the Crusaders had no ranks, they traditionally followed the most experienced veteran on the field into battle. One such man was "Commander" Rohlan Dyre, who earned this honor and lead warriors to countless battles including his last at the Battle of Vanquo.  Even with no formal units, the Crusaders often named these informal formations. One such was Viper Alpha, who fought in the Battle of Ossus during the Sith War.
The Crusaders used two basic suits of armor, the combat suit and battle armor, which was sometimes used by veterans. Each warrior however customized their armors internally as externally so no two suits were identical in any way. Most suits were geared towards personal combat, the form of combat considered most honorable by the Crusaders. It was often organic in appearance, as warriors generally decorated their armors with spikes and straps. During the Sith War, the Crusaders often employed the Zim Systems rocket packs. The armors were airtight, so the warriors could ride the open-mount model of the Basilisk War Droids in vacuum as well as in atmosphere for up to ten hours.
- Mandalore the First (According to legend)
- Mandalore the Indomitable
- Mandalore the Ultimate (Before the Mandalorian Wars)
- Canderous Ordo
- Rohlan Dyre
- Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War (First appearance)
- Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 6: Commencement, Part 6
- Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic: Flashpoint
- Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 14: Days of Fear, Part 2
- Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic: Nights of Anger
- Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic: Daze of Hate
- Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 22: Knights of Suffering, Part 1
- Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 23: Knights of Suffering, Part 2
- Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 28: Vector, Part 4
- Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 30: Exalted, Part 2
- Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 31: Turnabout
- Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 37: Prophet Motive, Part 2
- Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 38: Faithful Execution
- Star Wars Miniatures: Knights of the Old Republic ad (Non-canonical appearance)
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption (Mentioned only)
- "The History of the Mandalorians"—Star Wars Insider 80
- The New Essential Chronology
- Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- ↑ The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 The History of the Mandalorians
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War
- ↑ Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 21: Daze of Hate, Part 3
- ↑ Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 23: Knights of Suffering, Part 2
- ↑ Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 7: Flashpoint, Part 1
- ↑ Knights of the Old Republic
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