Twenty-eight years before the Battle of
Yavin, tucked away within the safe and utterly alienated confines of the
Hapan border, Htaere became the fifth daughter of the ancient and
wealthy Ka`a Sha`ar lineage. Her mother, Qeio`i Eschuu da Sha`ar was a
prominent member of the nobility and the lead counsel and controller of
economy and trade with the cluster. For thousands of years, the Sha`ar
established and maintained rights to the superfluous wealth of the
rainbow gem mines of inner region planet, Gallinore, harvesting the
glowing silicon-based life-forms valued at the cost of a Calamarian
cruiser after thousands of years of maturation. Careful and limited
mining kept the demand high and the cost higher as bids for the living
jewels often exceeded traditional value.
The empire the Sha`ar built earned them
seemingly limitless wealth, the couture luxury of their estate,
Iisombernahy, complete with 264 room palace and automatic invitation to
all the prestigious and royal events.
Like most Hapan blue-bloods closely
associated with the higher court, the Sha`ar were deeply engulfed in the
scheming and manipulation that served as the backbone of corruption that
plagued most political venues.
The rivalry among competitors looking to
gain higher footholds among the ranks was as bitter in many households
as it was in the audience halls of the grand estates. The Sha`ar were no
exception, the back-stabbing abundant and on-going among Htaere's four
older sisters in their desire to win a place among royal suitors. In a
society of the excessively beautiful, the glamour and haute culture
masked the betrayal and rampant wrongdoing.
While a poster child of good breeding,
lineage and beauty, Htaere's similarities to the typical Hapan ended
there. Where the female dominance and lust for self-promotion
constituted the average mentality, Htaere chose a more passive mindset,
obediently mindful of what was expected of her, yet unwilling to foster
the greedy self-righteousness that drove those in her caste, including
Because of the importance of image,
Qeio`i Eschuu da Sha`ar insisted on having her daughters made readily
identifiable and available as prospects for the royalty, their markings
constituted by various tattoos and surgical additions of rainbow gems.
Qeio`i found Htaere to be lacking in the
same ostentatious qualities found in her sisters, their cut-throat
ambition all but devoid in her youngest daughter. Unanimously agreed
among Hapans, submission and pacifism were flaws, ruling Htaere out as a
While the product of the finest
academies, etiquette instructors and political icons, Htaere's
reluctance to adopt the necessary ruthlessness of the nobility forced
Qeio`i to make alternate plans for her reluctant daughter.
In recent years, the Hapans had
established a highly selective "mail-order bride" program. Not only did
it provide an outlet for pacifists within Hapes, but it planted seeds of
amnesty in out-lying systems by establishing connections sympathetic to
It was in this grouping of political
wash-outs that Htaere found herself at her mother's arrangement. While
she may easily have been the best looking daughter of the Ka`a Sha`ar
house, her lack of ferocity would impede her ability to move through the
ranks, rendering her as a mere trophy. For a perspective dignitary
outside of Hapes, this was ideal, and Htaere was made available as a
As much a disappointment as she may have
been perceived by her race, Htaere was still a member of the elitist
society and that warranted careful consideration in choosing a mate.
When an Alderaanian noble made a bid for
Htaere's hand, Qeio`i Eschuu da Sha`ar was sold nearly instantly on the
man's presumptuous arrogance and obvious penchant for manipulation. As
the Duke of Delaya, Julius Rodney was a competent ruler, making
arrangements for his son in efforts to guarantee their lineage would
remain. Qeio`i appreciated the determination in Rodney, with the same
disregard for the considerations of his offspring as the Hapans
harbored, seeing only the need to ensure their place in the aristocracy.
In Qeio`i's mind, the Rodneys could in
no way match the spectacular reputation and mass wealth of the Sha`ar,
but she agreed to let Julius Rodney have Htaere, under the hopeful
impression that her daughter's intended husband shared the same tenacity
and machinating tendencies of his father. The submissive Htaere would
either tire of being controlled by a man and develop the dominant
matriarchal attitude instrumental in aristocratic success, or she would
adversely collapse into the mental state of a glorified servant.
Keenly aware of the potential outcomes,
Qeio`i Eschuu da Sha`ar finalized the agreement and shipped Htaere off
in the care of the Attaché Corps head, My`Ahme Renault to be delivered
to her husband, widower Claudius Rodney, Viscount of Delaya and Admiral
in the Imperial Navy.
Silently aware of her failure in Hapan
politics, Htaere sits quietly in the transport en route to meet her
intended husband for the first time. Soft-spoken, dignified and
unwavering elegance continue to define the young woman as she resolves
not to be a further disappointment to her mother, or to Hapes.