Mezlagob was the ecumenopolis homeworld of the semi-humanoid Mezzels. Located in the Mezlag sector of the Unknown Regions, it rose to interplanetary prominence as the capital of the Tetrarchy of Mezlagob. Accumulating enormous wealth from the Tetrarchy's taxation and plundering of its vassal worlds, Mezlagob became the focal point of anger from the Tetrarchy's subjects. Following the Great Liberation, it became a possession of the Golden Empire and lost much of its wealth in reparation payments to formerly exploited worlds.
Originally a planet of multiple climates and geographic features, by the time of the Great Liberation Mezlagob was an ecumenopolis. While, like many ecumenopoleis, it had lower regions less safe than the upper ones, it was closer to Taris in scope than Coruscant or even Nar Shaddaa. Its tallest skyscrapers reached kilometers in height, and no two points on the planet were unconnected to one another by mass transit with the exception of Weylos Island.
Mezlagob had originally boasted much more surface water than it did as Mezzel civilization expanded. Some areas of the oceans were simply covered by enormous floating cities; others had dried out due to the use of nuclear bombs or the presence of evaporative pollution.
Most of Mezlagob's native fauna were extinct, save those kept in massive farming complexes. The planet received most of its sustenance from offworld suppliers. Government disaster officials speculated that, in the absence of supplies, Mezlagob would not be able to sustain more than six million residents, less than a tenth of a percent of its twenty-seven billion citizens.
Mezlagob had a single moon with insufficient atmosphere to sustain life, though it was rich in minerals.
Society and culture
Life on Mezlagob was fast-paced even before it became the capital of the Tetrarchy, though it became exponentially more so after. Trade ships came and went at all hours of every day, and no spaceport ever closed except for security reasons. Even at night the planet was constantly lit by the glow of artificial lights.
Crime was not nearly as rampant in the lower regions of Mezlagob as it was in the lower areas of Coruscant and Taris, largely due to the influence of the Tetrarchy. As the Tetrarchy's capital world, Mezlagob held itself to be the prime example of civilization. As such, gangs and organized crime were cracked down on with brutal efficiency, and mass arrests and executions were common. Though instilling a bit more oversight into arrest raids, the Golden Empire allowed the harsh crackdowns on organized crime to continue, preventing a new wave of lawlessness from sweeping the lower cities after the Great Liberation.
Politics was cutthroat on Mezlagob, with backroom deals and mutually profitable alliances the order of the day. In the first decade after the Great Liberation, Mezlagob experienced more executions for public corruption than any other planet in the Empire. While the Empire's zero-tolerance policy for corruption in officials gradually diminished the influence of bribes, legal political alliances and favor-trading remained common.
Mezzels were always the overwhelming majority on their homeworld, and their desire for influence over other beings shaped Mezlagob's culture. Mezzels (and immigrated aliens, copying them) tended to honor jobs with prestige and the potential for advancement over other beings, especially politics, business, and military service. Mezlagob had relatively little public art and few museums, although the Empire installed some and attempted to change that aspect of the culture with mixed success. Notably, Saduna Aimoel, the composer of "Flame Eternal", was a native of Mezlagob.
Mezlagob was originally a temperate world, and the omnivorous Mezzels evolved in roughly the middle of the food chain, eating some smaller creatures but themselves being eaten by dedicated predators. It was the Mezzels, however, who evolved sentience, and their tribal structures, led by a single Mezzel chieftain, gradually developed the tools and weapons needed to defend them against predators.
Early Mezzel civilizations warred with one another regularly, but usually with the goal of conquest and spreading influence rather than total destruction. As Mezzel societies grew and expanded, economics became another favored instrument of control, especially over foreign states. Mezzels fought viciously for areas rich in natural resources in order for their nations to be self-sufficient and beholden to no foreign Mezzels.
Mezzels regularly negotiated alliances, and as military technology continued to evolve this became more and more dangerous. A conflict between two Mezzel nations could easily turn into a massive war as allies were drawn in on the side of both parties. Over one particularly brutal period of a century and a half, Mezzels fought seven different world wars, with over three hundred million beings killed in the last two alone. As a result of this epidemic of destruction and the development of nuclear weaponry, the surviving Mezzel governments created a worldwide organization for the purposes of arbitrating disputes, hoping to avert violence.
The building blocks of empire
The theory worked for a while, and actually led to greater transnational cooperation. This in turn fueled the development of spaceflight technology. Around 6,000 BBY, the Mezzels began to make major breakthroughs, able to sustain flight and launching multiple space stations. Mezzel physicists began experimenting with faster-than-light travel a century later, and by 5,600 BBY the Mezzels were testing out primitive hyperdrives. These systems worked only in one direction and most tests resulted only in Mezzel spacefarers accidentally destroyed by interstellar debris or slowly starving to death due to miscalculations. One, however, led to the successful colonization of Hudrel.
After no word returned from their long-range colonization efforts, the Mezzels worked on mastering spaceflight within the Mezlagob system. Over the next two-and-a-half millennia, they established mining facilities on Mezlagob's moon and two other planets in the system. The development of ray shield technology allowed voyages closer to Mezlagob's star, but energy experimentation also led to the development of blasters and turbolasers. The technology sparked an arms race which the world arbitration commission could not slake, and it inevitably led to yet another war.
The 3,029 world war was unmatched in its brutality; over a billion Mezzels died in a little over a year. When the dust had settled, the survivors banded together to form a second world organization. This time, however, it was not an arbitration commission but a functioning, viable government. The dictatorship declared all weapons possessions of the world government, and formed a single planetary army. Though for millennia it served as only a planetary police force while Mezzel society rebuilt itself, it would become vital to the early Tetrarchy.
Around 650 BBY, Mezzel society had developed to the extent that the Mezlagob had hit a population cap; there were no longer sufficient resources to sustain population growth, even with the world government carefully administrating them. While Mezlagob's moon and fellow planets provided ample resources, none had atmospheres conducive to growing crops. Faced with this dilemma, Mezlagob renewed its space exploration. Improvements to hyperdrive technology, lost during the 3,029 war but rediscovered in the intervening centuries, allowed the Mezzels to journey to nearby systems. Many were inhospitable to life, but a few were unoccupied by sentients and presented exciting new opportunities for resource importation.
An even more vital discovery came in 600 BBY, when Mezzel spacefarers discovered Hudrel and their long-lost cousins, now evolved into Hudrelans. The Mezzels and Hudrelans united Mezlagob's army and navy with Hudrel's battle droids to form the beginnings of an Empire. Telacia and Ommol soon joined to form the Tetrarchy of Mezlagob. Mezlagob itself became the capital of the new empire, and the planet experienced the novelty of alien immigrants. Many Hudrelans moved "home", now that Mezlagob could support larger populations through its food-producing colonies, and Dronos and Umdals arrived as well to be closer to the center of power.
Now able to important enough resources to sustain its entire population and then some, Mezlagob covered its last areas of farmland and became a true ecumenopolis by 300 BBY. The Tetrarchy spread, first acquiring worlds throughout the Mezlag sector before it turned its gaze to the Vall`to sector in 214 BBY. The Vall`to Sector Bank backed the Tetrum, slowly eroding the economic influence of Mezlagob's own Bank of Mezlagob, but the planet remained the epicenter of the Tetrarchy. New technology and alien innovations usually reached Mezlagob first from newly conquered or acquired world, and innovation became a civic virtue.
The Tetrarchy had stood for roughly seven hundred years by the time of the Great Liberation. Mezlagob remained adamantly loyal to the Tetrarchy throughout the conflict, even as first the Xoquon sector and then the Vall`to sector fell to the Empire's Armada. However, the capture of Vall`to (and with it the Vall`to Sector Bank) caused an economic collapse in what remained of the Tetrarchy, and especially on Mezlagob. The Tetrum suffered skyrocketing inflation, and the Empire's capture or liberation of most of the Tetrarchy's worlds also interfered with the delivery of foodstuffs to Mezlagob. Hunger was widespread, and officials were looking at the potential of mass starvation when food stores ran out. Fears that the Empire would perpetrate a mass genocide of Mezzels sent the population of Mezlagob into a panic, and civil disorder strained the resources of the surviving Tetrarchs to control.
The Armada arrived to the "Battle of Mezlagob" only for the Tetrarchy navy to surrender. Rin Sakaros restored food shipments to Mezlagob, but all three surviving Tetrarchs and many government collaborators were executed. The planet's coffers of surplus wealth were confiscated and paid as reparations to former vassal worlds. Mezlagob's economy floundered, and most of the Empire's worlds had no interest in investing in Mezlagob-based companies, having no desire to see their former persecutors restored to even viability, let alone glory.
One of many
It was the Empire itself that kept Mezlagob afloat, refusing to allow extortionist prices for food imports and buying from some Mezzel companies, especially MezArms. Nevertheless, Mezzelcentrism was not tolerated by the Empire, and the Minister of Education famously deposed the entire Board of Rectors at the University of Chorrdo for deliberately disqualifying non-Mezzel candidates for admission. The extreme social ostracism experienced by Mezzels throughout the Empire led many to immigrate back to their ancestral homeworld, prompting another population crisis and restrictions on immigration for a decade. Partly to prevent total ostracization and partly to provide an excuse for heavily armed troops to be stationed in Mezlagob's capital district, Rin had a Royal Mint built on the planet.
Mezlagob was insulated from many of the Empire's subsequent wars, and by 145 ABY it had begun to recover economically. The devastation of Dolomir during the Nightmare War alarmed many of Mezlagob's citizens, who had grown used to their planet's removal from war. Mezlagob voluntarily contributed billions of credits to rebuilding programs on the worlds devastated by the Reawakened, though many donors favored the Mezlag sector's own Dolomir. When the 65 Reforms were enacted, Mezlagob became the official capital of the Mezlag sector and seat of its Procurator.
During the Empire's reign, some crime remain common in Mezlagob's "second city", the region below the surface. The swoop gang Afterburn acquired notoriety from 154 ABY to 155 ABY, but was exterminated by Baylis Scytha and Jinyx Windrunner.