- "There were rumors during the final days of Quoreal—Shimrra's predecessor—that a living world had been discovered. Rumors, too, that Quoreal's priests had interpreted the encounter as a sign that we should avoid contact with your galaxy. The ancient texts make clear the existence of a world that was anathema to us—one that could prove our undoing."
Quoreal was one of the last Supreme Overlords of the Yuuzhan Vong species and a conservative leader whose reluctance to invade the galaxy led to his usurpation and death. Reigning in the last century of the Yuuzhan Vong fleet's long journey through the Intergalactic Void toward a new galaxy, Quoreal was seen as a traditional and cautious leader by many Yuuzhan Vong. His ability to maintain unity over the species was frequently called into question by Domain Jamaane, a powerful faction whose champion, Shimrra, was a designated heir to the position of Supreme Overlord. Although Quoreal's primacy was not under a direct threat from the Jamaane, matters changed in 29 BBY, when an advance force returned to the fleet with news that they had encountered a living planet known as Zonama Sekot. Quoreal's priests counseled the Supreme Overlord against prosecuting the invasion, proclaiming that the world would be the undoing of the Yuuzhan Vong. Quoreal subsequently announced that the fleet would abandon its advance and instead search for a new home.
Quoreal's declaration was greeted with hostility from a broad section of Yuuzhan Vong society. In alliance with a coterie of high-ranking warriors, Shimrra launched a sudden and decisive coup against Quoreal and his followers. The Supreme Overlord's warriors were wiped out, his priests, advisers, and intendants purged. Quoreal was toppled from the throne and personally executed by Shimrra, who claimed the position of Supreme Overlord and announced that the invasion of the galaxy would proceed as planned. Over half a century following Quoreal's death, Shimrra launched the invasion, precipitating the Yuuzhan Vong War. It was not until the final years of the conflict that the caution of Quoreal and his priests was vindicated; Zonama Sekot, its existence denied by Shimrra as a falsehood, re-emerged from the Unknown Regions and lent its support to the galaxy's defenders.
- "Quoreal was the Supreme Overlord before Shimrra. Many do not think that the gods chose Shimrra to take his place, they believe that Shimrra dishonorably murdered him."
Quoreal was a member of the Yuuzhan Vong species, a race of humanoids that had departed the war-torn ruins of its own galaxy in search of a new home, traveling into the Intergalactic Void to seek their fortune. For millennia, the Yuuzhan Vong journeyed across the void in a vast fleet of worldships. Thousands of years prior to Quoreal's birth, bioengineered slivilith creatures had scouted a galaxy for the Yuuzhan Vong, toward which the worldship convoy began making a long journey. By the time Quoreal had risen to the rank of Supreme Overlord of the Yuuzhan Vong, in the last century of the Yuuzhan Vong approach to the galaxy, the worldships were rapidly deteriorating. Many Yuuzhan Vong believed that they would die in the void; the shaper caste was powerless to prevent the decline of the fleet, and the warriors competed for Quoreal's favor, often in vicious internecine warfare.
As Supreme Overlord, Quoreal was the conduit to the Yuuzhan Vong gods, and in principle, he held total power over the species. Nevertheless, many Yuuzhan Vong commanders—members of the warrior caste which would be tasked with conquering any new galaxies—felt that Quoreal did not truly believe in the honor of sacrifice and war, and that the Supreme Overlord had a closer affiliation with the priest caste. A powerful Yuuzhan Vong domain, the Jamaane, became outspoken in its criticism of Quoreal. The Supreme Overlord was accused by members of Domain Jamaane of being cautious, conservative, and too weak to maintain the unity of the Yuuzhan Vong during the difficult passage through the void. Although few believed that Domain Jamaane would challenge Quoreal openly, a group of high-ranking officers sided with Shimrra of Domain Jamaane, one of the candidates for the role of the next Supreme Overlord.
Matters came to a head around 32 BBY. Quoreal dispatched Supreme Commander Zho Krazhmir on a mission to the galaxy in order to locate habitable worlds for the Yuuzhan Vong, whose confinement aboard the ailing worldships had led to an unstable political climate. Krazhmir was granted a task force of warships and headed out to scout the galaxy. In a sector of the Tingel Arm known as the Gardaji Rift, Krazhmir's forces chanced across Zonama Sekot, a verdant planet. For two years, Krazhmir's forces monitored and studied Zonama Sekot, interacting with its inhabitants. After attempting to negotiate for control over the planet, Krazhmir launched a biological strike against the world, followed by a conventional attack in 30 BBY—both of which failed due to the unforeseen capabilities of the planet, which repulsed Krazhmir's assault with its own biotechnology. With a stalemate in effect, Krazhmir's forces were approached by Vergere, a mysterious being who promised them her advice and knowledge in return for the cessation of hostilities.
More pertinently for Krazhmir, Vergere revealed that Zonama Sekot was a living world, with its own sentience—similar to Yuuzhan'tar, the ancestral living homeworld of the Yuuzhan Vong. Krazhmir excitedly returned to Quoreal to deliver his news, arriving back at the worldship convoy in 29 BBY. The ancient texts of the Yuuzhan Vong, however, held a prophecy, newly uncovered by Quoreal's priests, that a world somewhere existed that was anathema to the Yuuzhan Vong. It was also taboo even to invade a galaxy in which a living world resided. Furthermore, Quoreal's priests proclaimed that the living planet was an ill omen. Reluctant to invade such a galaxy, Quoreal decided to cancel the impending invasion. Rumors of the discovery and of Quoreal's change of heart began to percolate through the ranks of the Yuuzhan Vong.
Quoreal then declared openly to the species that the galaxy would not be the Yuuzhan Vong's new home and that the journey through the void would resume. He ordered the worldship convoy to deviate from its course and search for a new galaxy. The news made the reigning Supreme Overlord suddenly unpopular, and he quickly became an object of hatred and suspicion. Powerful warrior domains such as the Choka believed that Quoreal's priests were merely attempting to deny the warrior caste the right to invade the galaxy in an attempt to preserve their political ascendancy. Others simply believed that there was nothing left for the Yuuzhan Vong in the void and that the galaxy had to be invaded to ensure the species' survival. It was the opening that Shimrra and Domain Jamaane needed. In one swift move, Shimrra's warriors launched a coup, executing all of those warriors loyal to Quoreal. The Supreme Overlord was ousted from his throne, to be killed not in ritual combat, but personally by Shimrra, his furious rival.
- "Some of you are whispering that the bright light that rises at sunset is an omen of doom—a living world encountered during the rule of my predecessor, whose name I will not deign to mention. I am not unacquainted with this rumor. Following my ascension to the throne I dispatched forces to search out this world—this Zonama Sekot—only to be informed that it was not to be found. So I asked myself: had it disappeared? Had Zonama Sekot been destroyed? Or was it nothing more than a lie perpetuated by my predecessor in an attempt to keep us from conquering and occupying what was by gods-given right our entitled domain? I will reveal the truth of it. The bright light is not a trick of the eye. It is in fact the same living world!"
- ―Shimrra, Quoreal's usurper, is forced to reveal the truth decades after the Supreme Overlord's death
The killing did not stop with the deaths of Quoreal and his warriors. Shimrra, backed by his coterie of loyal followers and granted the tacit approval of powerful factions such as Domain Shai and the Praetorite Vong—the Yuuzhan Vong advance force—ordered the extermination of the vast majority of shapers, advisers, and intendants who had supported Quoreal in his decision. The late Supreme Overlord's priests, despite their fervent prophecies that Zonama Sekot was an ill omen, were also executed. Proclaiming that the gods had informed him themselves that the galaxy was a divine gift, so long as they converted all of its inhabitants to the True Way of the Yuuzhan Vong, Shimrra was able to rally support. Quoreal's usurper oversaw the continued advance on the galaxy with a triumphant warrior caste at his side and with loyal priests proclaiming his divine judgment. Few who had borne witness to Shimrra's coup wished to challenge the new Supreme Overlord.
Quoreal's influence and misgivings did not fade with his death. The belief remained among several elite members of the Yuuzhan Vong that Shimrra had dishonorably murdered Quoreal rather than challenge him in battle. The former Supreme Overlord's surviving followers, along with other dissidents, formed a hidden network known as the Quorealists. The Quorealists retained their loyalty to the dead Supreme Overlord, trusting that Quoreal's recalcitrance had been well-founded. Over time, however, the membership and power of the group waned. Records of the coup and the events leading up to it were distorted and manipulated in the Qang Qahsa—the history records of the Yuuzhan Vong— and Quoreal was barely remembered by the time the invasion was launched over fifty years later. All mention of Zonama Sekot was elided from the Qang qahsa as well, and the existence of the living world was flatly denied. Rumors of Zonama Sekot and its mysterious power entered the realms of myth and legend, among both the Yuuzhan Vong and the inhabitants of the galaxy.
In 25 ABY, after decades of preliminary incursions, scouting missions, and the planting of undercover agents, the Yuuzhan Vong invasion was launched. It soon became clear that the Praetorite Vong, who had not supported Quoreal during the coup, had only served Shimrra for their own purposes. A failed attempt to usurp the invasion's leadership and direct it themselves led to the eradication of the Praetorite Vong. Other than the advance force's mistakes, however, the invasion was a success. Within three years, Shimrra ruled over the galactic capital, Coruscant. Quoreal's reluctance, for those who remembered it, appeared misguided. The success of the invasion and the lack of evidence for Zonama Sekot's existence outside of rumors seemingly vindicated Shimrra's decision.
This changed in 28 ABY, when Commander Ekh'm Val returned from a prolonged scouting mission of the Unknown Regions. Val excitedly reported to Shimrra, just as Krazhmir had reported almost six decades previously to Quoreal, that he had discovered Zonama Sekot in the Unknown Regions. Unsettled by the truth—and knowing that if his enemies learned of it, they would use the living world's existence to condemn the divine vision that he had concocted to justify the coup—Shimrra had Ekh'm Val executed, along with his crew. One year later, Zonama Sekot appeared over Coruscant, instigating mass panic and chaos and encouraging the Quorealists to reveal information about Shimrra and how he had risen to power.
During the battle that followed Zonama Sekot's arrival, Shimrra was finally forced to respond to the hostile mutterings and dissent of his people and admit that he had indeed deceived the Yuuzhan Vong about Zonama Sekot. Rather than dwelling on the fact that Quoreal and his priests had not been lying, thus undermining the legitimacy of his usurpation, Shimrra instead attempted to pass Zonama Sekot off as a test from the gods, spurring his warriors forward on one last crusade. The Supreme Overlord was, however, killed during the battle; prior to his death, and even before the appearance of Zonama Sekot over Coruscant, he too had lost popularity as Quoreal had done, turning into a figure loathed by many among the Yuuzhan Vong as a false leader. The Yuuzhan Vong made peace with the galaxy's inhabitants, settling on Zonama Sekot, which was revealed to have been a seed of the original Yuuzhan Vong homeworld.
Personality and traits
- "I am not as lenient as my predecessor."
Quoreal was viewed as a traditional, conservative Yuuzhan Vong leader by certain warriors, who felt that their Supreme Overlord had no profound belief in the ways of conflict and martial honor. Caution and adherence to the counsel of his priests did indeed motivate Quoreal to abandon an invasion centuries if not millennia in the making, which proved an unsound course of action. Warriors who had dedicated their whole lives to preparing for the coming conflict resented Quoreal's lack of commitment and sided with Shimrra against the Supreme Overlord. Many more had no loyalty to their leader and allowed the coup to take place. The priests, who were suspected by some of manipulating Quoreal's fears of the warrior caste to serve their own interests, held great sway over the Supreme Overlord.
Described by Shimrra as lenient, Quoreal did not resort to ascribing his action to divine providence, unlike his usurper, and instead made a bold decision to attempt to preserve the Yuuzhan Vong rather than lead the invasion of a galaxy which was prophesied as the species' undoing. On the other hand, unification was key in the preservation of the species, and the long journey through the void had worn the Yuuzhan Vong down to breaking point. Quoreal's reign was remembered by a number of Yuuzhan Vong as a time when back-stabbing and court intrigue were predominant, and the Supreme Overlord was an object of suspicion and loathing in his final days. Despite this shaky reputation, Quoreal inspired decades of loyalty from a secretive faction that risked death to honor his decision.
Behind the scenes
- "Then, word reached the supreme overlord that one of the scout ships had found an inhabitable world—a world that seemed just like the one described in the ancient Yuuzhan Vong legends. Seizing on this discovery, the supreme overlord claimed to have a vision that the Yuuzhan Vong "promised land" had been found. In actuality, this pronouncement was a way for the supreme overlord to regain full control over his disaffected priests and underlings."
- ―Text from The New Jedi Order Sourcebook that seemingly predates the Shimrra–Quoreal power struggle
An unseen character whose story and identity were only revealed in The New Jedi Order: The Final Prophecy—the penultimate installment of The New Jedi Order series—Quoreal is an enigmatic character in the history of the Yuuzhan Vong. The character's life is referenced in a number of separate sections of The Final Prophecy and the final novel of the series, The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force. Quoreal was referenced in The New Essential Chronology, in which the year 29 BBY was given for his death, and received an entry in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, published in 2008.
In The New Jedi Order Sourcebook, published in 2002, some material which bears a resemblance to the backstory of the discovery of Zonama Sekot is included in the first chapter, although only one Supreme Overlord is referenced. Instead of a coup, the guide claims that the faith of the Yuuzhan Vong in the invasion began to fail, and only the discovery of a planet "just like the one described in the ancient Yuuzhan Vong legends" allowed the Supreme Overlord to proclaim that a promised land had been found and re-establish dominance over his malcontent priests and followers. Therefore, while some of the actions of this unnamed Supreme Overlord relate to Quoreal, others pertain to Shimrra.
- The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way (First mentioned)
- The New Jedi Order: The Final Prophecy (Mentioned only) (First identified as Quoreal)
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- The New Essential Chronology, p. 204.
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol III, p. 65.
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force, p. 62.
- The New Jedi Order: The Final Prophecy, p. 171.
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook, p. 8.
- The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way, p. 78.
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force, p. 70.
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook, p. 12.
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force, p. 282.
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force, pp. 185–186.
- Rogue Planet, pp. 263–264.
- The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way, pp. 77–81.
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force, pp. 113–114.
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force, p. 221.
- The New Jedi Order: The Final Prophecy, pp. 55–59.
- The New Jedi Order: The Final Prophecy, p. 46.
- The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic III: Reunion, p. 96.
- Rogue Planet, pp. 340–341.
- The New Jedi Order: Vector Prime
- The New Essential Chronology, Part 12.
- The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way, Chapter 10
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force, p. 298.
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force, pp. 316–320.
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force, Chapter 43.
- The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way, p. 101.