- "The Mistryl are the warriors of a forgotten cause; and if we hire ourselves out as temporary security to people like you, it's because our world and our people require money to survive. We will not work with Imperial forces. Ever."
- ―Manda D'ulin, to Kellering
The Mistryl Shadow Guards were an elite group of all-female Human mercenaries. They were sent from their home planet of Emberlene to earn money in support of the devastated communities of their world. The Shadow Guards history was a long and tragic one, full of deception, greed, anger, and destruction, beginning long ago, with the loss of Emberlene.
- "The Mistryl that I joined twenty-two years ago was an honorable clan of warriors fighting to preserve what was left of our people. Honorable warriors don't knowingly deal in murder. I would hope at least some of the Eleven remember that."
"Maybe the Eleven have changed. Maybe the Mistryl have changed."
- ―Shada D'ukal and Karoly D'ulin
Three years before its destruction, Emberlene used its might and wealth to conquer its neighbors. They subjugated dozens of worlds in their sector, plundering their wealth, and destroyed anything of value that they couldn't take with them.
The remaining planets in the sector decided that they could not stand idly by and wait for the armies of Emberlene to crush them underfoot. Pooling their resources, the governments of these worlds hired a mercenary army to fight for them. The mercenaries struck hard and fast, devastating Emberlene's forces and reducing the planet's infrastructure to rubble. Ensuing firestorms and air strikes against populated areas effectively ended the Emberlene threat, reducing its people to abject poverty.
In the years after their destruction and partial reconstruction, the Eleven Elders decided to create a lie from this disaster. From a young age, the citizens of Emberlene were taught that many years ago, while the Galactic Empire was still young and early resistance had not been crushed, Emperor Palpatine ordered the destruction of Emberlene as an example to all. Emberlene had been a rich planet, full of splendor and beauty, and had made it apparent that they were ruled by no one but themselves. Fearing the planet's growing power and prestige, the Emperor sent his forces to destroy Emberlene as an example to those who thought they could escape the rule of the Empire. This lie was created to instill a sense of loyalty and pride in the people of Emberlene, as well as a false sense of duty amongst the Mistryl.
Since then, the Mistryl hired themselves out as mercenaries, to earn enough money to support the millions of refugees left after the planet's destruction, and loathing the Empire's role in the disaster.
Shadow Guards were sometimes employed by the Smugglers' Alliance and in 11 ABY, two of them helped the Alliance take control of the Spice Mines of Kessel and later fought against the Death Star prototype when it attempted to blow up the planet.
- "We're Mistryl. We're given orders and we follow them."
- ―Karoly D'ulin, to Shada D'ukal
The Shadow Guard typically operated in small teams led by a commander known as the Team Prime. In 0 BBY, the team led by Manda D'ulin consisted of six warriors, including herself, Karoly D'ulin, Pav D'armon, Shada D'ukal, Sileen and Cai, together with two heavy starfighters, Skyclaw and Mirage.
If a larger force was required, several teams could be called in—for example, Team Prime D'ulin planned to assemble a force of twelve ships to escort the Hammertong convoy. On the other hand, Mistryl sometimes traveled as master-and-apprentice pairs, and individual warriors could be contracted out long-term as bodyguards. After the breakup of Manda D'ulin's team, Shada D'ukal traveled the Galaxy with trainee Dunc T'racen aboard the freighter The Fury, before becoming Mazzic's bodyguard, a position she held from at least 9 ABY until she left the Shadow Guard to become Talon Karrde's lieutenant in 19 ABY.
True to their mythos that Emberlene had been ravaged by Imperial forces, the Mistryl claimed that they never worked for the New Order, although when that loathing got in the way of a job, they often forgot this animosity, either through convenience or necessity.
Equipment and methods
- "The Mistryl shadow guards do not kill casually or without cause."
- ―Flim, to Grodin Tierce
While the Guard were deadly at any time, the Shadow Guard were especially adept at close-quarters combat. They were well trained in martial arts, and also had a large amount of weapons training as well. They were trained to use hold-out blasters and vibroblades, and were also educated in the use of more exotic weapons such as hand claws, shock whips, and zenji needles.
The Mistryl were legendary for their stealth and ability to remain unnoticed at all times. They had access to a huge database of profiles of galactic citizens. When needed, a guard could quickly use one of these and assume that person's identity in order to either get close to a target or get away from an area.
- "Deal with a Demon"—Star Wars Tales 3
- Star Wars (1998) 40 (Mentioned only)
- Hammertong: The Tale of the "Tonnika Sisters"
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (First appearance) (Retcon)
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
- "Easy Credits"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 9
- Hutt and Seek
- The Last Command (First appearance) (pre-retcon)
- The Last Command audiobook (pre-retcon)
- Champions of the Force
- Jade Solitaire (Mentioned only)
- Specter of the Past
- Specter of the Past unabridged audiobook
- Vision of the Future
- Vision of the Future unabridged audiobook
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Balance Point (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory I: Conquest
- The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory II: Rebirth
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- The Last Command Sourcebook
- The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook
- Gundark's Fantastic Technology: Personal Gear
- The Smuggler's Alliance"—Star Wars Gamer 3 "
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- Hero's Guide
- Star Wars Miniatures: Bounty Hunters Expansion Set.
- Ultimate Adversaries
- "Q&A"—Star Wars Insider 95
- Galaxy at War
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Reader's Companion