- "Son of Xer!"
- ―Common Outer Rim exclamation
Xer VIII was a Tionese nobleman, born circa 25,200 BBY, who became a pirate chieftain and later a King of Cron, forging an empire from the disparate elements of the Tion Cluster. With the loot he had gained as a pirate providing him with the ambition and drive, Xer began claiming territories for his own, establishing the Kingdom of Argai from Dravione to Panna. This attracted the attention of the Kingdom of Cron, and its king, Ferece, offered Xer all manner of titles in exchange for fealty. Xer, insulted, conquered the Cronese capital of Chandaar, and established himself as the new king.
He then initiated the Cronese Sweeps, expanding his territories and establishing his new empire. His son, Xim, proved to be an effective and competent leader, laying waste to various worlds and attracting an infamy that eclipsed even that of his father. When Xer had unified three of the Four Thrones of Cron, he looked to push on toward Desevro, and the dominion of the Livien League. He was pushed back, however, and decided to focus on strengthening his existing holdings. In time, he allowed Xim to take his place as ruler. His son went on to greatly expand the territories held by his father, before disastrously clashing with the Hutt Empire years later.
- "I boiled the same when my father gave my mother's love to a younger bird and I returned him the favor of my sword."
- ―Xer VIII, from The Pirate Prince
Xer VIII, born circa 25,200 BBY, was a Human Tionese noble by birth. Hailing from Argai, he became a pirate chieftain. This was not uncommon for sons of Argai—the cold and bitter planet was known for producing tough pilots and traders who had a tendency to resort to piracy at any given point. According to the play The Pirate Prince, when Xer discovered that his father was being unfaithful to his mother, he took his sword to the man, killing him.
Xer had his fleets explore the Ihala Spiral, where they managed to carve out new secret routes and hiding places. The chieftain then had his fleets hide within the Spiral, from which they harassed shipping within the more backwater regions of the Kingdom of Cron. They also struck out and raided distant worlds such as Caluula and Rudrig. Xer's forces utilized the "lighthouse network" of navigational beacons set up throughout the Tion Cluster in order to move from world to world, and by tapping into the wealth of navigational data at their fingertips, were able to hide in the interstellar dark between star systems and wait for their prey. Xer's pirates littered the spacelanes with chunks of ice—the collision warning systems of innocent travelers would then force them to revert to realspace, allowing the pirates to move in. Xer's men would later melt the ice with their lasers. The wealth and success of these raids drew more raiders to Xer and his fleet. The pirate chieftain went on to sire a son, Xim, who followed in his father's footsteps, and became a raider.
In time, Xer grew to become incredibly wealthy from the excessive plunder he and his men had raided. As a result, he became far more ambitious and sought to claim territory for himself. He had already been hailed as the lord of Argai, and so he moved against Dravione. Taking the planet, he had carved out a pocket realm for himself, which became known as the Kingdom of Argai. An early victory also saw Xer defeat raiders from Algor, a deed that was revered throughout the kingdom for years to come. The Kingdom of Cron, however, was too involved in their own internal issues, and paid little attention to the advances of Xer. This emboldened the pirate chieftain, and he began cutting a swath through the Ihala Route, overcoming the satrapies of younger Cronese nobles and weak descendants of long-dead warlords. Over the space of ten years, Xer pushed the boundaries of the Kingdom of Argai, advancing toward Panna via Corlass. By the time the kingdom spanned from Davione to Panna, Xer had finally garnered the attention of the Cronese rulers on Chandaar.
King Ferece of Cron, in response to Xer's rapid expansions, summoned the "lord of Argai" to Chandaar. There, Xer was offered a series of noble titles in exchange for an oath of fealty to Ferece and the Kingdom of Cron. Xer scorned the offer and was unimpressed by the court of Ferece and Chandaar. He vowed to return in a month with what he deigned to be a suitable tribute for the court. Departing, he mustered a considerable fleet at Panna and launched a campaign toward Chandaar. The Lord of Argai engaged a Cronese battlefleet at Duinarbulon and smashed the opposition, allowing him to push on. Pasmin, Soruus, and Barancar fell to Xer's forces, leaving him free to finally move against Chandaar. His forces swept into the capital, forcing King Ferece and his retinue to flee in terror. Xer was named the new King of Cron, and he made a vow to his new, cowering court that he would make the stars tremble at his name.
The Cronese Sweeps of the Pirate King
- "Cron? Cron is dead?"
"Cron is ours."
- ―Xer and Xim, in The Pirate Prince
Xer initiated the Cronese Sweeps, during which he subjugated a series of pocket kingdoms, including Nuswatta, Eibon, and Pasmin. Xer was feared throughout the Kingdom of Cron, as he set about reforming his lands as he saw fit. Anyone in his court who was dismissed as being useless was swiftly eliminated, along with their families and their followers. Any warlords perceived to be of worth, however, were dispatched to combat various rebellious Cronese worlds, as well as any independent territories on the fringes of the kingdom. In order to achieve this, Xer had his warlords capture the heirs of the rebel leaders as hostages, assuring their fealty. The warriors of Duinarbulon, in particular, served Xer with vigor. During the Sweeps, Xer's reputation came to be eclipsed by that of his teenage son, Xim, who emerged as a warlord during the campaign. Xim quickly became an infamous figure throughout the kingdom, laying waste to the Timber Palace of Pasmin and the High Fane of Xo on Nuswatta.
By the time the Cronese Sweeps had come to a conclusion, Xer had greatly expanded the Kingdom of Cron and strengthened its existing holdings. The King also now had a battle-hardened fleet at his disposal, and he looked to further expansion. From Dravione, he moved against Jaminere, Cadinth, and Barseg—the Three Allied Kingdoms that occupied the ringward flank of Xer's existing holdings. Xer's next targets were the worlds along the Back Spiral. He carved new territories through Caluula, Brigia, Eredenn Prime, Rudrig, and Tion, and had opulent palaces constructed on Raxus Prime, which was also known as the Circlet of the Tion. Soon, there was but one power standing against Xer in the Tion Cluster—the Livien League, a confederation of worlds comprising Livien, Desevro, and Kanaver. He moved against the League, launching from Corlax and Barseg, but the Cronese fleets suffered defeat at both Amarin and Lorrad in turn.
The Livien campaign had proved costly, and Xer took his errors to heart—he understood that he had overextended himself with his latest expansion efforts. Retreating from the Livien League's borders in, he looked to solidify his existing holdings, transforming the Kingdom of Cron into an empire. To augment this, he had the network of navigational beacons extended along the Back Spiral and the Cadinth Run, while establishing a bureaucracy that was both effective at commerce and warfare. At the same time, Xer made sure that it was clear his ambitions were merely deferred to his successors, and not to be ultimately denied. He reorganized his empire into three provinces, with the capitals being Chandaar, Cadinth, and Raxus Prime. Court rituals referred to Four Thrones of Cron, however—those three worlds, and the still-independent Deservro. Raxus Prime received Xer's favored attention, and he eventually deeded it to his concubines, as well as their retainers.
The son, the Despot
- "Xer, unfurl your flags, reveal your fleet."
- ―Queen Hylei Indrexu Cortess, in The Pirate Prince.
In 25,130 BBY, Xer VIII relinquished the throne to Prince Xim and retired to Raxus. He was able to unify Deservo under his father's existing empire, giving way to the Xim Empire. Although Xer had created an able bureaucracy, the empire was still finding it difficult to integrate new worlds into its fold—the conquest of Deservo allowed the Tionese to abandon their logographic writing system and adopt a new alphabetic standard. According to The Pirate Prince, Xer had sired four other sons during his reign: Xic, Xil, Xom, and Xuc, with Queen Hylei Indrexu Cortess. According to Direus'pei's play Evocar, Indrexu was the eighth wife of Xer. Xim, having killed King Ferece and recovered the crown of Cron, learned of this and slew his half-brothers, before killing his father, which then allowed him to declare himself Emperor.
Xim used the skilled beings of the former Livien League to launch new campaigns that dwarfed the conquests of Xer and consequently earned the epithet of "the Despot." He greatly expanded the Tionese borders, and plundered some of Xer's former holdings, but eventually ran afoul of the Hutt Empire. Xim's treatment by the Hutts reminded him of how the Cronese nobles had scorned his father, and he used Xer's response as his inspiration, kindling the Xim Wars. Xim eventually died in a dungeon of the Hutt lord Kossak Inijic Ar'durv. The Tion Cluster then had to suffer and endure invasion by the Hutts. The strength of the foundations that Xer built, however, ensured that the center of the Xim Empire stood for nearly a century before fragmenting.
Xer was later referenced in The Despotica, a drama based on the life of Xim, though scholars would be undecided on which of The Despoticas tales were based on actual events. A character based on Xer VIII also appeared in the play The Pirate Prince, penned by Lisst'n dramatist Lyechusas. Thousands of years later, the history of Xer's and Xim's reigns became less and less clear to scholars, and it became difficult for historians to distinguish just which accomplishment belonged to which Tionese warlord. By and large, Xer's efforts were obscured by his son's later accomplishments. Xer's name also went on to become part of a popular exclamation throughout the populace of the Outer Rim Territories—"Son of Xer!"
Personality and traits
- "It pleases me, my son understands, and our family at last can be one."
- ―Xer VIII, from The Pirate Prince
Xer was a bloodthirsty individual and an aggressive warrior, claiming many territories during his reign. Although he was of noble birth, he chose to pursue the life of a pirate. This was not uncommon for those hailing from Argai—the world was infamous for breeding hard-nosed raiders and spacers who often resorted to piracy. He felt insulted when the Cronese King offered him titles in exchange for a vow of fealty, and apparently glowered at what he perceived to be the simpering courtesans who populated the court of Chandaar. In response to the insult, he waged a bloody campaign against the Cronese, and vowed to become an object of fear and respect once he had seized the capital.
His ruthless governing techniques allowed him to ascertain his reputation, as he effectively destroyed anyone under his rule whom he considered weak and useless, while implementing the talents of those he perceived to have worth. Under his rule, the Kingdom of Cron saw massive expansions, although he was infuriated by his defeats at the hands of the Livien League. He took the setbacks to heart and understood that he had overextended himself. He then chose to allow his successors to reap the future glories, while he spent the rest of his tenure as the ruler of his new Empire solidifying his holdings. Xer was also capable of respect for his fellow beings—the populace of Eibon, in particular, earned the consideration of the Pirate King.
Behind the scenes
Xer VIII was first alluded to as the father of the character Xim in The New Essential Chronology, penned by Daniel Wallace and Kevin J. Anderson, and published in 2005. He was later identified in 2008's The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.
- The New Essential Chronology (First mentioned)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (First identified as Xer VIII)
- The Essential Atlas
- The Essential Guide to Warfare