The Hunt for Red Eclipse was a campaign undertaken by the Golden Empire to wipe out the slaving syndicate Red Eclipse. It began with first investigations following the defeat of the Nightside Raiders in 109 ABY, and culminated at Bolera in 116 ABY.
The Golden Empire acquired the territory of the Tetrarchy of Mezlagob after conquering the Tetrarchy in the conflict which became known as the Great Liberation. In doing so, it also absorbed the Tetrarchy's woes. For centuries, the Tetrarchy's worlds had faced numerous small pirate forces, but the two largest offenders were the aggressive Nightside Raiders and the shadowy, secretive Red Eclipse. The Raiders proved the easier threat to eliminate; the Royal Navy was able to intercept and destroy several Raider squads, and the death of the Raider Captain-General Kilwyo Kesh robbed the group of its organizing genius.
After the Raiders were destroyed, however, Rin Sakaros and her military and law enforcement leaders began to notice that some of the problems which plagued the Empire—shipments and citizens mysteriously disappearing, subtle sabotage of law enforcement facilities, and a general climate of subdued fear on the fringes of the Empire's territory—had persisted despite the fall of the Nightside Raiders. Tariun Sakaros, Prefect of the Order of Keltrayu, sent his Centurions and Royal Intelligence to root out the cause of the Empire's continuing woes.
Investigation was painfully slow. Red Eclipse had long existed as a source of dread among the few who could even put a name to it, and the hideous fates (or those left to the imagination) of those who had sought to oppose the syndicate in the past kept many quiet. However, by arranging protective custody for sources and their families, the Sakaros siblings finally learned of the existence of an organized, well-funded group of slavers, and put the name "Red Eclipse" to their nemesis.
Using the pieces of information they had gleaned and Rin's own precognitive abilities, the Armada was able to hunt down several shipments of slaves. Most went down fighting and were destroyed, but a few were captured. One included a cargo of Heshoos, from whom Rin learned both the plight of Harth Gool and the Heshoo language, Heshuub. The Armada was directed to locate Harth Gool, while the Centurions continued to root out Red Eclipse collaborators. Any slaver allies who refused to share information were publicly executed immediately, which inspired others to share what they knew.
In mid-115 ABY, Harth Gool was finally located, and the Prime Fleet attacked. The Battle of Harth Gool destroyed Red Eclipse's base of operations and scattered its fleet, along with liberating the Heshoos, who were able to provide the Golden Empire with a wealth of information about the Red Eclipse leaders and their habits.
The first priority of the Empire after Red Eclipse scattered was the elimination of the syndicate's leader, Zhin-Vel, who had evaded capture or execution at Harth Gool. Acting on an anonymous tip, the Centurions Melnanooin and Aquila Corcer tracked Zhin-Vel to Synno, but when they confronted him, he managed to kill them both and escape. Every Centurion of the Order (and many Novices) were tasked with finding the slaver lord, who was declared an Enemy of the Empire. Eskol Kaartinen and Rajj-Yo finally found him on Haerch, and after a brief and violent clash, Zhin-Vel was slain.
With its leader dead, Red Eclipse was thrown further off balance. Zhin-Vel's deputy, Sayl Leikvold, assumed command of the syndicate, but the Royal Navy relentlessly acted on every lead, its capital ships skirmishing with Red Eclipse ships on dozens of worlds. Rin and Tariun Sakaros conceived a plan to wipe out the main body of the slaving forces, and saw to it that Red Eclipse sympathizers, through a few intermediaries, came to have access to the navigational charts of the entire Empire, including those worlds which had been members before the Great Liberation. Coupled with tactfully laid false information that Bolera was lightly guarded and had poor communications, the Sakaros siblings set a trap for their enemies, and some native Athans even volunteered to serve as bait.
Red Eclipse first tested Bolera's defenses, and some of the volunteer Athans were captured and sent into slavery. Emboldened, Sayl Leikvold led her fleet to the world, intending to launch a lightning raid and round up thousands of Athans. However, an hour into the raid, with many Red Eclipse forces deployed, half the Armada decanted from hyperspace. The ensuing engagement, which became known as the Ambush at Bolera (as historians considered it too one-sided to be called a "battle"), saw the massacre of the Red Eclipse fleet and the death of Leikvold.
Now totally decapitated, Red Eclipse reeled from its loss. The Athans who had been bait-slaves had been given microchip transmitters embedded in their bone structure, so Centurions were able to track them, freeing both the Athans and other slaves and exterminating Red Eclipse camps and customers in a series of simultaneous raids. Rin went on the Royal HoloNet to formally sentence every Red Eclipse agent and collaborator to death and, emboldened, many turned informant who had previously lived in fear. Former syndicate leader Selti Lurn was arrested, tried, and publicly executed. By the end of 116 ABY, Red Eclipse had been exterminated to the last man.
Aside from ridding the Golden Empire of a notorious slaving ring, the ruthless efficiency with which Royal forces had prosecuted the campaign both comforted members of the Empire, who had seen firsthand that no enemy they knew could stand against Rin and her Armada, and sapped the will of many who had considered rebellion. The destruction of both Red Eclipse and the Nightside Raiders, and with them the major threats to internal stability, also allowed the Empire to focus on expansion and social welfare, which set off a wave of discovery of new worlds and colonization of uninhabited ones.