Red Eclipse was a criminal organization in the Unknown Regions devoted to slavery, though it occasionally engaged in acts of piracy and assassination as well. Feared and spoken of only in hushed whispers, if at all, Red Eclipse preyed on the regions in and around the Tetrarchy of Mezlagob and the early Golden Empire until it was destroyed by Rin Sakaros and the Order of Keltrayu.
The bloody red eye is everywhere. And it's always watching.
—Common saying about Red Eclipse
Red Eclipse's operations were mostly conducted through pirate-style raids and invasions of defenseless or lightly defended systems. In the former, slavers would simply attack a vessel with one of their own, enslave the crew, and steal the ship. In the latter, they would attack worlds which were on the fringe of known civilization, or unknown altogether, destroying their defenses and enslaving cities, countries, or even entire worlds. As time went on and slave sales brought in extensive wealth, Red Eclipse began to back away from its attacks on shipping. If a ship disappeared, someone, be it an owner, financier, or intended recipient would remark on its disappearance to law enforcement; if some unknown world "misplaced" some of its inhabitants, no one would be any the wiser.
It is unknown whether the Tetrarchy itself had any dealings with Red Eclipse (though Rin Sakaros came to believe that the Tetrarchs had at least tolerated the group's existence, if not openly doing business with it), but Red Eclipse's primary source of income was selling slaves to unscrupulous companies on the vassal worlds of the Tetrarchy, which were treated as second-class to begin with. Mining operations, in which workers both could be kept out of sight and regularly died due to poor conditions, were particularly frequent customers.
While the operation of a massive slaving syndicate just on the border of a major regional power would normally draw down the full force of law and military might, Red Eclipse took many steps to protect its interests. Law enforcement officials, system governors, and military commanders were often bribed to turn a blind eye to the transit of slaves through their systems. Those who could not be bought often disappeared along with their entire families, either dying in a mysterious accident or simply vanishing into slavery on some undreamt-of world. Tales abounded—many of them probably invented by Red Eclipse agents, but some probably true—of police who had reported on Red Eclipse work to their superiors, only to disappear shortly thereafter, the superiors having been paid off by Red Eclipse.
Red Eclipse was believed to have its agents in government, law enforcement, the military, docking authorities, and shipping companies. This combination of lucrative bribes and vague, shadowy dread of omnipresent enemies served to stymie any serious attempts to track the slavers down.
Like most of Red Eclipse, its history was shrouded and obscure. Much of this was deliberate; by not attaching a name to a founder or a world to a birthplace, Red Eclipse maintained a mysterious air, as if it had always existed, and at some point it simply became known. It can be stated for certain, though, that at least the basic existence of Red Eclipse was known in the Vall`to sector by the time it was annexed by the Tetrarchy of Mezlagob in 214 BBY. It is unclear whether Red Eclipse began in the Vall`to sector and then spread through the Tetrarchy, or whether it had started on the fringe of the Tetrarchy, operating in the Vall`to sector even before the Tetrarchy managed to get there.
Red Eclipse was known to have a base on Varga, a mostly barren vassal world of the Tetrarchy that doubled as a shadowport for all manner of unsavory characters. Under the leadership of then-Sector Captain Zhin-Vel, Red Eclipse conquered the peaceful Heshoos of Harth Gool toward the end of the first century after the Battle of Yavin and established a permanent outpost on that world. Safely outside the borders of the Tetrarchy, Red Eclipse transferred a good deal of its main operational command to Harth Gool, coordinating slave "acquisitions" and sales throughout the Tetrarchy and other slightly-off-the-chart systems.
During the first years after the Great Liberation, Red Eclipse continued mostly unworried; though the Golden Empire was showing much greater concern for the former vassal worlds of the Tetrarchy than the Tetrarchs themselves ever had, slave sales outside the Empire's borders were flourishing, and the occasionally necessary attacks on shipments in the Empire were blamed on the Nightside Raiders. However, after the death of Raider Captain-General Kilwyo Kesh and the subsequent collapse of the group in 109 ABY, many officers of the government began to suspect another player in the various suspicious accidents and disappearances speckling the border of the Empire.
At the command of Rin Sakaros, Prefect of the Order of Keltrayu Tariun Sakaros put his Centurions to work to root out the source of the Empire's woes. After several years of investigation—and putting numerous witnesses into protective custody—they had finally put names to the undefined shadow. Once a slave transport ship was captured by the Armada and the existence of Harth Gool and its Heshoo natives discovered, Rin directed her brother to bring the full might of the Empire to bear in exterminating the syndicate.
What followed became known as the "Hunt for Red Eclipse". Taking the Prime Fleet of the Empire to Harth Gool, Tariun Sakaros wiped out the Red Eclipse presence there, arresting dozens of high-level officers and killing hundreds of its soldiers and slavers, along with liberating the Heshoos and bringing Harth Gool into the Empire. Armed with intelligence from the interrogated prisoners and tidbits Heshoo slaves had overheard, the Order of Keltrayu set out on a campaign to scour Red Eclipse from all it systems.
Anonymously tipped off, the Order tracked Zhin-Vel to Synno, and though he narrowly escaped, he was hunted to Haerch and killed. Zhin-Vel's second-in-command, Sayl Leikvold, assumed command of Red Eclipse. However, with the full force of the Empire bearing down on the group, she was kept constantly off-balanced, losing ships and agents on every system. Finally, Leikvold and what remained of the Red Eclipse fleet were drawn into an ambush at Bolera and slaughtered. With the organization decapitated, the local leaders of Red Eclipse could not hold it together, and the syndicate splintered, with individual factions being ruthlessly wiped out.