Ommol was a planet in the Unknown Regions, the homeworld of the Umdals. Heavily colonized by citizens and subjects of the Tetrarchy of Mezlagob, it became one of the Tetrarchy's forty-nine "prime worlds" and a crucial manufacturer of military technology, most notably the fearsome shock tanks that made up the backbone of the Tetrarchy's ground assault forces. The site of a lightning raid at the height of the Great Liberation, Ommol was captured by the Golden Empire after the the surrender of Mezlagob and became a member system of the new government.
Originally heavily forested, much of the land of Ommol was cleared by Tetrarchy colonists. The expansive, relatively flat praries were home to numerous cities and settlements, many of which were centered around military factories and radiated numerous suburbs in all directions. The forests around the equator gave way to even denser jungles, with oppressive humidity and a wealth of flora and fauna. The far poles were covered in snow, though there was land below them both.
Though two-thirds of Ommol's surface was water, it had no large oceans, only numerous small ones and a large number of inland seas and lake chains. Initial civilizations were connected as much by river traffic as by roads on land, and in later eras, these routes provided less expensive transportation of military hardware to major spaceports and ground bases.
Society and culture
The lone sentient occupants of Ommol were the Umdals, semi-humanoid herbivores. Despite their non-predatory nature, the Umdals had a history of war, and Ommol's cities were heavily fortified with both physical barriers and projectile defenses.
After joining the Tetrarchy, Ommol quickly became one of its most important worlds. Its existing fortifications and production capacities made it an ideal military depot, and it served as the defensive stronghold of the entire Mezlag sector, with only Mezlagob itself boasting similar defenses. As a result of its importance, Ommol became one of the most staunchly loyal worlds of the Tetrarchy. It also acquired a nasty reputation among other worlds, particularly the more persecuted "vassal worlds" of the Empire, for willingness to follow (or request) even the most brutal orders from the Tetrarchs to suppress insurgency or spread the Tetrarchy.
Stubbornly resisting integration into the Golden Empire even after its own military forces were crushed at the Battle of Ommol, Ommol became one of the few worlds in the Empire at the time to have a standing garrison. Its reputation improved only very slowly among the worlds of the fallen Tetrarchy, and most of that was due to the unquestioned honor and integrity of Ommol's most famous son under the Empire's rule, the Centurion and Legate Sorrik.
How a species of pack herbivores like the Umdals developed one of the most warlike societies in the entire Mezlag sector was lost to history. Certainly food was abundant on Ommol, more than enough to sustain populations with minimal competition. Nonetheless, by the time the Umdals began to settle into cities and abandon nomadic herd movements, warfare and interclan struggle was already a way of life.
The growth of cities was both a prime goal and a difficult task for the Umdals. While they were eager to expand lands under their control, putting defensible borders against enemies farther and farther from the nerve centers of their own societies, they also needed extensive grazing and farming lands. City-states developed first, with walled cities surrounding small tracts of farmland, and then square kilometers of farmland beyond the walls. In the event of attack, stored harvests and the interior farms would provide emergency sustenance to the besieged Umdals until they could rally against their attackers.
Gradually, city-states conquered one another and formed nations. Arms races flared in and out of existence around the globe, with the mightiest nation usually conquering its neighbors. Despite a strong cultural insistence on self-reliance, which limited trade, the Umdals nonetheless wound up passing their military knowledge around the world, with progressively strong states emerging to challenge one another and crush weaker ones.
Despite the heavy industrialization needed to sustain and increase arms production, there was a strong emphasis in all Umdal states (backed by one of the few international treaties) on protection of forests and other food-producing areas. Intentional deforestation was a serious war crime, and only overwhelmingly secure or suicidal nations even attempted it.
By the sixth century before the Battle of Yavin, the Umdals had conquered one another thoroughly enough that only a few countries remained in a state of mutually-assured destruction. Around that time, they were visited by Mezzel spacefarers from nearby Mezlagob, who persuaded the Umdals to combine their strengths and form a single, world-spanning nation in return for high-level military and spacefaring technology. Along with Telacia and Hudrel, Ommol and Mezlagob became the founders of the Tetrarchy.
Over the following centuries, Ommol continued to develop its manufacturing capacities. Its small space stations expanded into enormous shipyards, churning out warships for the Tetrarchy's growing military. As such, Ommol was a main contributor to the Tetrarchy's colonization and conquest efforts. It also became the lone producers of the Tetrarchy's shock tanks, which were crucial in subduing enemy populaces or resistance efforts.
By the time of the Great Liberation, the cities of Ommol had replaced their classical fortifications with heavy redundant shield generators and turbolaser cannons. Orbital defense platforms protected the shipyards, making Ommol one of the most heavily-defended systems in the entire Tetrarchy, supposedly immune to invasion or assault.
At the eruption of war with the Golden Empire, Ommol was a staunch loyalist of the Tetrarchy, ramping up production of warships and shock tanks. The latter made it a vital target, all the more so after the Royal general Keltrayu sacrificed his life to protect Rin Sakaros from a shock tank. A vengeful Tariun Sakaros snuck a commando team onto Ommol in a raid that destroyed the shock tank factory and all the shock tanks not yet deployed, a devastating morale blow to the Tetrarchy's military.
Ommol remained stubbornly loyal to the Tetrarchy even as the Xoquon and Vall`to sectors fell to the Empire, and refused to lay down arms even when Mezlagob itself was captured. It was the site of the final battle of the Great Liberation, when the Tetrarchy's lone remaining fleet was wiped out and Ommol itself captured.
"Reduced" to equal status with all other member worlds of the Golden Empire, Ommol steadily resisted integration into Royal culture, though the installation of a Royal Army garrison on the planet kept grumbling and sulking from becoming rebellion. Many of Ommol's defenses were reduced and contracts for defense production were granted instead to worlds such as Mir Kaldu`uz, Baes, and later Waldragos, hampering Ommol's economy and leading many Umdals to reluctantly adopt a more supportive attitude to the Empire, knowing that the only other real option was gradual but relentless economic strangulation. Many former vassal worlds of the Tetrarchy were not at all to see Ommol diminished in importance, and its relations with neighboring worlds were often strained.