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|Spouse||Valya Karrade (Dec.)|
|Born||Year -25 Day 30 (Galactic date)|
|Prior Service|| Minister of Truth
|Awards|| Imperial Bronze Star
Garen Karrade was born on Coruscant to Atrus and Ditra Karrade, both mid-level bureaucrats in the General Ministry of the Galactic Republic in the year -25. Karrade's parents were shrewd observers of power politics within the Republic and aligned themselves with senior bureaucrats loyal to Galactic Chancellor Drayson during the consolidation of power that proceeded the Proclamation of the New Order. The Karrades were thus well positioned in the early days of the Empire and could afford a rigorous education for their only child.
Karrade attended universities on Coruscant and Kuat, eventually earning a Doctorate in Communications, concentrating on media studies. Karrade took a professorship at the Coruscago campus of the Coruscant Planetary University, where he met Valya Araside, a colleague on the faculty. The two were married the next year. The marriage was happy but short lived; Valya would die in labor two years later.
Early Imperial Career
After his wife's death, Karrade resigned his chair and drifted about the Coruscant sector for months. Early in Year 5, Karrade enlisted in the Imperial forces on a whim, trying to break the rut into which he'd fallen. Karrade quickly completed the basic training course for new enlistees, graduating with honors, and was posted to the 371st Interceptor Squadron attached to the First Assault Fleet under the command of Admiral Slicer.
Karrade's tenure in the Imperial Navy was brief and unremarkable. He became fast friends with his commanding officer as well as Lord Maximus Archer, the Sith attache to the First Assault Fleet. He rose through the ranks rapidly, eventually being posted as a Flight Officer within the Fleet. In a reorganization of the Navy, Karrade was posted to the Second Carrier Group under the command of Captain Dimitri Sephiroth, but other forces would intercede before the transfer was processed.
Karrade began his Imperial career during a period of instability in the Empire. Shortly after his graduation from the Academy, Grand Moff Kirov Quel-Droma was assassinated and Vlademar von Ismay led the secession of the New Anzat Order from Imperial rule. The constant upheaval led to a string of defections and a pressing need to change the public narrative surrounding the Empire.
During this time, Karrade attracted the attention of Emperor Vodo Bonias. It is unknown why the Emperor took an interest in the junior enlistee, but he quickly arranged Karrade's commission and transfer to the Ministry of Finance. Adjutant Karrade's duties were wholly separate from the Ministry's activities, however, as Karrade soon found himself managing the Empire's presence on the Galactic News Service and consulting the Emperor on diplomatic issues.
Karrade's role soon brought him into conflict with power members of the Imperial government. Karrade most often clashed with Grand Moff Daelin Zerk, the Head of the Imperial Government. Zerk often undermined Karrade's attempt to carry out his duties, withholding information needed for release to the media and attempting to limit Karrade's access to the interstellar holotransmitters. The tension between the two arose from Karrade's enlisted days, when he along with Guinar Ndengin, Mika Noris, Ness Relenti, and Crean Holtor formed a social club for Imperial enlistees. The social club existed outside of any approved or monitored Imperial organization, which Zerk found threatening. The Grand Moff accused the organization of everything from being an illegal trade union to a front for seditious activity. The sterling reputations of the organization's members as well as Karrade's influence with the Emperor prevented Zerk from taking overt action against them, but the relationship between Zerk and the group was permanently poisoned.
The Beginning of the Third Imperial Civil War
Karrade began to associate with other officers with whom Zerk often butted heads, moving in a circle of senior officers who had sided with Emperor Charon during the Second Imperial Civil War. Particularly, Karrade developed relationships with Moff Kolace Jorgensen, ISB Director Matrel Byden, and Imperial Intelligence Director Cyrus. The cadre, along with Admiral Slicer and Captain Michael Pangborn, and Karrade's compatriots among the enlisted and junior officer corps became increasingly convinced that action needed to be taken against Zerk. The Grand Moff meddled pervasively in the affairs of every branch, and morale and efficiency suffered as a result throughout the Imperial forces.
The tensions came to a head late in Year 6. The Emperor embarked on a holiday, leaving day-to-day management of the Empire to Zerk. Before his departure, Bonias charged Karrade with opening a dialogue with the Avance Coalition and instructed him to coordinate efforts with Zerk. At the time, Karrade was one of the key figures in the non-security aspects of COMPNOR working with then-Grand Vizier Frank Bach on diplomatic affairs as well as propaganda. When Karrade approached the Grand Moff to discuss plans for the talks with the Coalition, Zerk dismissed Karrade off-handedly, claiming diplomacy was the exclusive province of the Imperial Government.
Karrade, furious that the Grand Moff would countermand a direct order from the Emperor, made plans to plead the case for Zerk's removal directly with the Emperor. Before the Emperor could return, Zerk interfered with a Sith mission, resulting in the arrest of Lord Archer by Adam Flynn of the Sorosuub Corporation. Zerk also ordered the execution of the popular Rear Admiral Kaine. The succession of blunders brought anti-Zerk sentiment to a fever pitch within the ranks, particularly within the Navy which for so long had been the base of Vodo's power.
When the Emperor returned, Karrade met privately with him, giving his report of the past month and the state of the Empire. When the young officer concluded, Vodo informed him he would not remove the Grand Moff. The Emperor casually stated that Zerk was useful to him and would remain as Head of Government. Upon hearing the Emperor's decision, Karrade and his co-consiprators agreed that action had to be taken. Karrade returned to the press briefing room within the Imperial Palace and broadcasted a message across the galaxy charging Zerk with incompetence and malfeasance and calling for his immediate removal.
The broadcast set off a powder keg within the Empire. In every unit, officers and enlistees divided amongst themselves, siding with or against the government. Many Imperials had to fight their way off their ships and many more were killed in the attempt. Karrade and the reformers led much of the armed forces and some civilian personnel out of the Empire until the conflict could be resolved. The Third Imperial Civil War had begun.
The New Imperial Order
With the outbreak of Civil War, Karrade found himself in the unlikely position of being in the inner circle of the anti-Zerkist leadership. The cadre soon began to crystallize into two camps based on their perceived goal. The moderates were led by Slicer and Pangborn and largely consisted of navy officers not otherwise connected with the reform effort. They sought the removal of Zerk from a position of authority over the military. The hardliners were led by the Charonist officers and sought Zerk's complete removal (if not Vodo's). The reformers entered negotiations with Vodo to seek a resolution of the conflict. The talks were mediated by Grand Admiral Veynom.
The negotiations, led by Slicer for the reformer side, accomplished freeing the military from Zerk's oversight as well as a month-long offer of amnesty for anyone who left during the outbreak of hostilities. Slicer and Pangborn lobbied aggressively within the reformist cadre to accept the deal while Jorgensen and Cyrus argued against it. Karrade, who was thought to speak for the junior personnel who joined the reform effort, was conflicted. He hated the idea of a long-term conflict that would leave the Empire vulnerable to external enemies and considered Vodo a friend. However, he perceived the agreement as selling out the reform effort as a whole in the interest of the Navy, given that Zerk would remain in charge of the civilian government. Moreover, knowing Vodo's reputation, Karrade did not trust the offer of amnesty. He conceded that even if a deal was reached, he likely could not return to the Empire, but Karrade's conscience could not bear sending people back to the Imperial forces to be executed.
Ultimately, Karrade sided with the hardliners against the peace deal, and Slicer and Pangborn led many of the Navy reformers back into the field. The remaining Imperials girded themselves for a long battle. The Charonist officers began to aggressively recruit their old comrades to the effort, and many skilled officers joined the cause. A governing framework was established and the reform group established a base on Kothlis with assets from the Corellian Engineering Corporation, becoming known as the New Imperial Order.
Karrade was chosen to lead the Order, adopting the title of Steward. Former Grand Admiral Thomas Cherokee joined as Executor and former Imperial Intelligence Director Seele led COMPNOR within the Order. It was decided that Karrade would lead the Order over several senior officers due to his role in the beginning of the movement as well as his familiarity with the rank-and-file members of the Order. Moreover, many within the inner circle feared that if a Charonist officer were chosen to lead, it would lend to the perception that the NIO was merely the extension of the Second Imperial Civil War.
Disillusionment and Retirement
While the NIO achieved early successes, such as preventing the Eidola Pirates from establishing a foothold in Bothan space, Karrade felt overwhelmed in his role as Steward and alienated from his compatriots. The perceived betrayal of his friend Slicer affected the Steward greatly, and Karrade struggled to manage the relationships among his senior commanders, who knew one another for years and had prior dealings the Steward could not appreciate. Although he was committed to the men and women who had invested their trust in him in leaving the Empire, Karrade felt outmatched by the job of leading the movement.
Karrade grew increasingly aloof during the period, delegating more and more authority to his senior advisors. After a particularly angry conversation with Grand Vizier Seele, the Steward came to realize he was lapsing into the same flawed leadership style as Vodo—a detached presence ruling through intermediaries. Shortly thereafter, Karrade turned over leadership of the Order to Cherokee and departed from NIO territory.
Minister of Truth
After leaving the NIO, Karrade returned to academia, touring the galaxy as a traveling lecturer. Karrade spent several years in this fashion, uncertain of his legal status within both the Empire and the Order. During a lecture at the Corulag Polytechnic Institute, Karrade recognized a senior member of Vodo's royal guard in the audience. Assuming that the Emperor had finally gotten around to tracking him down and executing him for his role in the Civil War, Karrade allowed himself to be taken by the Guardsman.
Instead of being killed, Karrade was taken aboard the Emperor's flagship and brought before Vodo himself. The Emperor personally asked Karrade to return to Imperial service. Karrade explained that his doing so would not bring the Order back into the fold, which the Emperor accepted, asking Karrade to consider his offer. Karrade sought out some of his old friends and discovered that Zerk had been banished from the Empire, his role as Head of Government taken by Zee Wolf the Younger, who had succeeded Karrade as propagandist-in-chief. Believing the situation improved within the Empire and that perhaps he could work for the goal of reunification from within, Karrade rejoined the Empire.
The Emperor appointed Karrade as Minister of Truth and placed him on the Imperial High Command. Karrade worked on several projects during this time, including reforming the Imperial Justice System and a proposed revitalization of COMPNOR. Karrade mended his old disputes with Slicer and Pangborn, and the three worked together as a voice for reform on the High Command, conspiring for the ouster of Uther von Kaldreon for his inflexibility.
Eventually, Proconsul Wolf retired and was replaced by Pangborn acting in the guise of Arturus Goth. Rifts soon began developing between Slicer and Goth/Pangborn, and Karrade found himself embroiled in a fresh round of political infighting. Unwilling to get involved in a looming fight between two old friends, Karrade quietly retired.
The retired Minister ventured far into uncharted space to reflect and write his memoirs. Karrade remained out of the picture for several years, absent during the great reunification of which he dreamed and missing the downfall of Emperor Vodo. Word eventually reached him that his old friend Guinar Ndengin had ascended to the Imperial throne. Overjoyed at the news, Karrade rushed home to Coruscant to pledge his service to the Emperor.