Cerberus Sector lies along the Corellian run, about mid-way between Rodia and Tatooine. Though considered back-water by most, Cerberus Sector is gifted with a booming economy and plentiful resources. The sector was first settled nearly a thousand years ago by Antun Kaeron. Since then, his family has grown and prospered, eventually becoming the dominant force in the region. Events during the Rebellion Era have shifted the balance of power dramatically, and the Kaeron Syndicate is no longer firmly at the helm. It is in this time period that the leaders of the Kaeron families must make choices that are sure to affect the future and well-being for years to come.
Brief History of the Kaeron Syndicate
Antun Kaeron was an enterprising Etti who was born and raised in relative comfort in the Corporate Sector. Early in his life, he grew tired of his sedentary existence and set out to make his own fortune. Liquidating many of his family's assets, he made his way across the galaxy into what is now known as the Cerberus Sector (after the Cerberus Nebula, a roiling cloud of gas and debris that stretches for millions of miles).
His early business successes were due in part to his willingness to take risks, as well as his lack of moral qualms, and he quickly became one of the most powerful men in the sector. While his wealth and power grew, he settled on Caulfeld III, erecting a dome that is referred to by the rest of the family as "the Palace." Tales of his successes filtered back into Etti space, and distant relatives flocked to his banner.
Those who came looking for a free ride were routinely turned away at the proverbial door. Even though his successes had been encouraging, there was still much work to be done. Antun Kaeron had no time for the lazy and idle parasites of the Corporate Sector that he'd struggled so hard to leave behind. Hard work, however, paid off. Many of his more diligent relatives were rewarded with their own "territories," the earliest of which (Nilea and Vale) brought in staggering profits once they had been established as Kaeron powerbases. In later years, the descendents of these households, commonly known as the Nilea Kaeron and the Vale Kaeron, would become some of the most powerful beings in the sector.
While much of Kaeron's public dealings were more or less legitimate, he continued to gain influence on the gray and black markets. His interest in crime was described as a hobby, but after his death at the ripe old age of one-hundred thirty-eight standard years, his progeny (who by this time numbered in the hundreds) continued to use the legitimate businesses as fronts for the many criminal endeavors their sire had set into motion during his long and illustrious life.
The Rise of the Empire and the Rebellion
With Palpatine's ascent to power, business blossomed. The individual systems in the sector, once controlled independently, were now under the authority of an Imperial-appointed sector moff. The structure of the Empire made corruption within its ranks almost second nature, and the Kaeron syndicate had little trouble greasing the gears, so to speak.
The legitimate arm of the family, the Kaeron Industrial Cartel (or KIC for short), cultivated several agreements with some of the Empire's most trusted contractors (KDY, Sorosuub, and Santhe/Sienar) to supply parts and materiel for the booming war effort (pun intended). At the same time, the sector's black market flourished, with the burgeoning Rebel Alliance one of its best customers. The syndicate's view of the conflict was, if anything, detached and sensible. The services offered by the Kaeron, both legitimate and criminal, were in high demand, and they were more than willing to oblige both sides of the conflict in order that they might profit from it.
The Kaeron family's criminal element dabbled in different rackets early on, but eventually settled on three primary trades: graft, narcotics, and weapons.
Early on, the family had co-opted many of the sector's customs officials, who began to charge unofficial "tolls" of merchant and smuggler vessels that were carrying less-than-legal contents or passengers. As lucrative as this was at times, it was not without its own problems. Occasionally, an official would take more than his cut, or spend his wealth recklessly, potentially attracting attention to himself and the syndicate. These individuals were often dealt with quite harshly, which in turn convinced the others to act responsibly.
Narcotics and "spice," as well, play a major role in the syndicate's profits. While the Nilean Kaeron pride themselves on their medical expertise, they also manufacture large amounts of medicines which are popular with perfectly healthy people. In addition, the Vale Kaeron export an indigenous fungus that, when properly refined, exhibits extraordinary recreational properties in test subjects. Referred to by the Kaeron as "truffles," large shipments of this remarkable spice are routinely sent to Toscano, where it has become an overwhelming success.
By far, the fastest-growing of the Kaeron rackets is in illegal weapons. As the war between the Empire and the Rebellion begins to intensify, the weapons trade grows as well. Although no weapons are actually manufactured in Cerberus Sector, the Kaeron's friends and contacts within the field are nonetheless impressive. For a price, everything from individual hold-out pistols and disruptors to plex missiles can be acquired. Time is usually the key, however, and getting your ordinance fast will sometimes double or triple the price.
This is not to say that the Kaeron's only interests lie in these rackets, for they have their fingers in just about every illegal pie in the sector. Any service, from data theft, droid modification, cybernetics, and the occasional assassination, can be bought from the Kaeron, and at reasonable prices (generally speaking).
The sector capital, Travis, has in recent months been plagued by open rebellion. The garrison was subsequently bolstered with fresh troops (many conscripted locally) on Moff Guillaume's orders, and a campaign to quash the rebellion in its infancy ensued. While Guillaume was a competent politician, he proved to be a very poor military commander. His tactical ineptitude led to an eventual stalemate between planetary forces (half of which were Rebel sympathizers to begin with) and the planet's freedom fighters (who had gained backing from Rebel Alliance advisors and specialists).
Try as he might, Guillaume was unable to keep news of his problems from reaching the Core. Several divisions of the Emperor's finest troops, supplemented by two dreadnoughts and a star destroyer, were dispatched to bring the matter well in-hand. A low-key investigation into the matter and its circumstances was launched by elements of the ISB, who determined in short order that Guillaume was living opulently and well beyond his means.
The ISB kept Guillaume under surveillance, diligently recording his every move. When enough evidence had been collected, they moved in and placed him under arrest. Unfortunately, Guillaume managed to commit suicide before charges could be brought against him, and a group of "guests" that he had been entertaining at the time of his arrest managed to escape from a high-security detention facility. The entire sector has since fallen under the strict jurisdiction of the Imperial military, in order to pacify the vast and sweeping contingent of pirates, rebels, and dissidents that call it home.
Under increased Imperial scrutiny, Cerberus Sector has become a very tense place to be. Elements of KDY and Sienar saw a chance to gain valuable resources within the sector, while at the same time cutting the Kaeron Industrial Cartel out of the picture completely. The corporations put forth petitions to the Emperor seeking to take control of most KIC holdings in the sector, with the cited reasons for the take-over being security and resource management. Despite a loud protest from the KIC board of directors, the petitions were approved, and much of the Kaeron family's industrial holdings in the sector changed hands overnight. These days, KIC's only legitimate toehold in the sector consists of the colonies on Nilea, Roweleni, and Xalandra.
With their legitimate arm crippled by the takeover, the Kaeron Syndicate began to change its focus to less than legal means of collecting income. Although Kaeron control of the shipyards on Trisep and Caulfeld III was lost, there remained a sizable workforce on those planets that was completely loyal to the Kaeron, yet now under the employ of either Sienar or KDY. This allowed for a certain amount of espionage, as information and intelligence from the two corporations was routinely placed in the hands of Kaeron agents, who then passed copies on to the Syndicate for sale to the Rebellion.