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|Siblings|| Jaecar Nordstroem,
|Born||Year -14 Day 221 (age 35)|
|Prior Service||*Fleet Commanding Officer, 3rd Imperial Fleet|
Childhood on Corellia
The third child of Antonin Nordstroem, a trade magnate and head of the House of Nordstroem, Mordus grew up on Corellia. Though his family was wealthy, Mordus was poorly treated and ill-favoured by his father, who regarded the birth of a third son as an unwelcome development, preferring instead a daughter to be married into other Corellian houses to build alliances. Mordus' mother Adeline died giving birth to him, rubbing salt in his father's wound. Though Antonin was not entirely uncaring, he nonetheless wished to have little to do with Mordus and left him to be raised by the family's staff.
Much of his childhood was spent playing in the orchards of the family's estate, hiding from the groundskeepers and reading novels perched up amongst the apple blossom. In his teen years Mordus had grown resentful of his father and of his two older brothers, Jaecar and Luitpold and shunned spending time with them. What time he did spent was riven with arguments and spite.
On his 18th birthday Mordus one of his family's servants presented with a hand-written note on a piece of flimsiplast, from his father Antonin. Explaining that he had transferred a large amount of credits to Mordus' account, Antonin said he considered his debt as a father discharged. He issued a challenge to his son: make something of yourself and be your own man.
Though his relationship with his father had always been so poor that Mordus had little interest in making him proud, their history together did inspire in Mordus a wish to succeed to spite his father, who he felt expected failure. He rented an apartment in an upmarket district and began considering his options. He decided he would begin a business in freight, specialising in high value, low volume shipping. Though his father's gift had been substantial it was not enough to launch a shipping business. Instead, Mordus invested the majority of it into the purchase of his own ship, a second-hand Class 720 freighter named The Ends of Invention. He reasoned that this would allow him to explore the galaxy, develop a network of contacts for future use and undertake miscellaneous shipping jobs to build capital for his planned freight company.
Operating along the Senex-Juvex Loop, Mordus' initial attempts to develop a name for himself were largely unsuccessful. Those with high value cargo preferred companies with an established reputation, and the Ends of Invention did not have a large enough cargo capacity to turn a profit on lower value, mass-cargo fare. Resisting the temptation of taking on jobs operating outside the law, he sought desperately to find a way to break into the existing markets.
Identifying an opportunity in moving hyperspace-sensitive precursor explosive chemicals in small batches and at high risk, Mordus took out a loan with Vekis Grumb, a Gran moneylender from Velga. The credits, secured at an exorbitant rate of interest, paid for the installation of the advanced stasis fields necessary to even consider moving the chemicals past lightspeed. And so Mordus and the Ends of Invention began to ply a regular trade route on the Senex-Juvex Loop, picking up chemicals from the systems of their manufacture near the Thull's Shroud nebula and moving them rimward, out to major trade worlds for sale, returning via the Loop's coreward section and collecting luxuries for sale on the isolated chemworlds of the chemicals' manufacture.
After almost a year Mordus' route was now highly profitable, and he increasingly found that his services were sought by those with something to move and the money to pay for personal care for their items. As his name spread however he found himself in increasing conflict with Grumb, who had agreed with Mordus a repayment schedule which was crippling initially but was now being met with ease. Grumb, who Mordus now knew had only offered Mordus the loan in the anticipation of foreclosing and seizing the Ends of Invention, made ever more unreasonable requests for additional payments and fees. Mordus refused to exceed the terms of their contract, but came to suspect he was living on borrowed time with the avaricious Gran.
One day Mordus, returning from the coreward systems of the Senex-Juvex Loop, received an automated message from a hyperspace beacon warning of an obstructed hyperlane ahead. Reverting to realspace near the Nepoy system, he found himself ambushed by a hostile Corellian freighter which rapidly locked on and began hammering the Ends of Invention with laser fire. Evading, Mordus was able to take advantage of nearby stellar debris on the outskirts of Thull's Shroud and, jettisoning a remaining container of the explosive chemicals in the path of the pursuing Corellian ship he was able to inflict enough damage to allow his outgunned and damaged freighter to limp away for repairs at Nepoy.
It had been close. The elderly Class 720 was not built to stand up to attack, and it was pure luck that the hostile freighter hadn't landed a blow near the cargo bays which would've destablised the chemicals and reduced both the freighter and Mordus to molecular dust. It was time to move on.
Picking out the Outer Rim, specifically those sectors in the galactic north, Mordus quickly set his affairs in order and moved to the Outer Rim. Trying to establish his business again he rapidly ran into unexpected problems. Traders and merchants regarded him with fear, their complexions draining as he entered their shops. So too would cantinas fall quiet when he entered. He even had to dodge a few blaster bolts on occasion. Something was wrong.
Making enquiries, he found that he was being mistaken for Kael Zhagel, a man who brief research identified as a notorious bounty hunter and hired muscle for mob bosses across much of the Outer Rim. That research also revealed that the two didn't look just slightly similar. Gazing at the holocam footage, it was hard for Mordus not to agree they looked exactly alike. Considering Zhagel's past, Mordus felt the similarity was unlikely to be a lucky coincidence.
It didn't take long for Mordus' concerns to be proved correct. During a standard meeting with a trader on Tatooine, armed thugs stormed in, murdering Mordus' business partner and taking him prisoner. Subjecting him to weeks of mistreatment, his captives, convinced he was Kael Zhagel, tried to elicit from him the location of a vast nova crystal stockpile Zhagel was known to be associated with. Unable to answer, Mordus had little he could do but suffer. His pleas of mistaken identity were disregarded, and he became increasingly angry at the injustice of his situation. Fortunately for him, a rival gang's raid gave Mordus the opportunity to escape.
Reporting the gang's crimes and intent to the local authorities, Mordus found his words falling on deaf ears. Instead the local governor advised him simply to leave and stop making trouble. Incensed, Mordus flew to safety, concealing his ship in a huge asteroid field near the Stenness Node in the Inner Rim. He had seen too often that for many in the galaxy justice was an abstract quality, far removed from the reality of their lives. It was not right that across the galaxy billions were living at the whim of local thugs and hardmen. The galaxy needed order and justice.
Imperialisation and Early Service
Eligible for direct entry to officer training, Mordus nevertheless underwent several voluntary studies at the Imperial Academy which tended to be mainly completed by enlistees whose attitudes required some correction prior to further study. He did so as he recognised that neither his childhood spent rejecting his father's attempts to groom him for a life in the trade guilds nor his recent years eking out a living as a freighter captain had well equipped him for a military training school. These lessons opened Mordus' eyes to the wider principles of politics and governance, the state and the citizen's role within it. His childhood on Corellia had taught him what he was owed, Imperialisation taught him responsibility.
The galaxy was in chaos, he had seen that first-hand. Profiteering, criminality, and outright warfare had blossomed. And he began to understand how these things were an inevitable product of a system without firm leadership and order.
When his Academy studies began in earnest, Mordus scored highly in Naval aptitude tests, displaying excellent spatial awareness and an instinctive grasp of space tactics. As soon as the basic cross-branch training was complete, he was invited to specialise in the Imperial Navy on a signals pathway. Studying under Captain Lahna Khar, Mordus was trained in both fighter piloting and capital ship operation, along with signals and electronic warfare.
Operations in the Corporate Oversector were another marked change of pace. The realities of an extended logistics chain and a propensity of smugglers operating throughout the Outer Rim made Corporate a challenging but rewarding environment. In 6th Group, Mordus fell under the direct command of then-Rear Admiral Adrian Althalus, with Captain Quin Huntington in overall command of the fleet.