The Mandalorians are a society of warriors based out of the Outer Rim planet of Mandalore. Bearing their distinctive Beskar armor and hearts of steel, the Mandalorians are peerless in their mastery over war. From designing great weapons and armors to leading massive war parties, the Mandalorians have a storied history of battle and conquest across the galaxy. They are feared, respected, and distrusted by many outside of their culture, and Mandalorians in return have a rather dim opinion of ways of life from outside of Mandalore. While many are humans, and may still hold xenophobic resentments towards aliens, Mandalore is a creed rather than a species.
Legacy of the Conquerors
It is said that the Mandalorians descend from an ancient, green-skinned race of conquerors known as the Taung from Coruscant. Driven from their homeworld by their ancient rivals, the precursors to contemporary humankind, the mythical leader Mandalore the First reportedly conquered the planet of Mandalore with his exiled warriors. While the Taung are extinct today, and the truth of this story remains unknown, the creation myth of the Mandalorians demonstrates their view of themself in relation to the galaxy. Downtrodden, outcast, but at their hearts, conquerors and empire-builders.
From their homeworld of Mandalore, the Mandalorian clans have launched countless campaigns against the galaxy. Their enemies have been countless - the Galactic Republic, in all of its various iterations, the Jedi, the Sith, and many others have seen the fury of a Mandalorian armored assault. Aggressive, stubborn, and infused with a unique sense of right and wrong, the Mandalorians brought war and chaos across the galaxy. This has not always gone well for them. Repeatedly, over the course of the millenia, Mandalorian aggression towards the Sith has been rewarded with massive, space-bound firebombing campaigns to destroy habitable life on the world’s surface, colloquially known as ‘glassing.’
An Empire of Blood and Stardust
Mandalore’s history is the Galaxy’s history. While the planet of Mandalore has served as their peoples’ home and a cultural pilgrimage site for time immemorial, the ruins of great, ancient, and powerful Mandalorian societies can be found across the galaxy. These sites can be anywhere - Onderon’s ancient moon Dxun once served as a Mandalorian headquarters, and one of their ancient holdings named Manda is on the opposite end of the galaxy. Without an active Mandalorian presence, many of these ancient sites have fallen into the hands of other governments, pirates, or the wilds of nature themselves. Mandalorians, too, can be found anywhere. While many have remained at the planets within their sector, such as Mandalore, Concordia, and Concord Dawn, they are as vast as the stars themselves. Mandalorians may be found almost anywhere in space, following any variety or interpretation of their ancient creed.
An Attempt at Peace
After millenia of warfare, Mandalore received a new kind of leadership during the Clone Wars era. The Duchess Satine Kryze intended to create a nonviolent, pacifistic Mandalorian society, by expelling those who clung to the the warrior traditions to die on their moon. While her rule was lauded by some for its principled stance against violence, these New Mandalorians found themselves the target of a galaxy of corruption, intrigue, and warfare. The Duchess was betrayed by her most loyal cohorts - Pre Vizla, the governor of Concordia, and Bo-Katan Kryze, her own sister. These two spearheaded the Death Watch, a violent band of marauders and terrorists who undermined the peaceful Ducchess’s rule to drag Mandalore back to its warrior ways. They were aided in this quest by the Sith exile Darth Maul and his brother Savage Oppress, who staged a coup of Mandalore by assassinating the Ducchess.
Maul later challenged the new ruler of Mandalore, Pre Vizla, to a duel to the death, wherein the winner would control Mandalore. After Maul’s victory, the revitalized Mandalorian warriors were split, with some supporting Pre Vizla’s wishes and Darth Maul. Bo-Katan led a rival faction, allied with the Jedi and the Galactic Republic, against Maul’s Mandalorians in a brutal civil war that ended in her victory.
Her rule as Mand’Alor would be short lived, however, as the reign of the Galactic Empire took hold. Bo-Katan was deposed, and in her place, Gar Saxon was made Viceroy of Mandalore. Mandalore was then occupied by the Empire for near the entirety of its rule, despite fierce resistance from Bo-Katan. Occupation and dreams of a united Mandalore were killed in one stroke when the Empire ordered the Great Purge of Mandalore, a planetwide genocide of all Mandalorian resistance. All Mandalorians found were killed, and their Beskar was smelted down to produce Imperial ingots. The remaining Mandalorians were forced into hiding, living in nomadic groups.
Following the Great Purge of Mandalore, Mandalorians were further cast across the stars. With the vast majority of their people killed, clans and tribes became increasingly reclusive and lost their ambition. Mandalorians became little more than bounty hunters and mercenaries, weapons for alien ambitions across the galaxy.
This had been the state of Mandalore for over a century. Their peoples, scattered to the wind. Their home, a barren rock of sand-turned-glass. Mandalore has known dark days, but the centuries of deprivation, generations of paranoia and disunity, have fractured the very Mandalorian psyche. The Mandalorians of the Force Eternal Era were heavily divided along ideological and political lines, with some committing petty acts of terrorism while others lead small bands of warriors towards ambiguous ends. For years, the Mandalorians were unable or unwilling to select a true leader, a Mand’Alor, to lead their people through their darkest days. The Mandalorians were on a downward spiral, a path towards cultural irrelevance more severe than any of the genocides their peoples had suffered throughout their long history. The flame of the Mandalorian people threatened to flicker out.
Sensing this, the then-Sith Lord Darth Raze visited Mandalore and offered its citizens a choice: Choose a Mand’Alor and ally with the Sith, or be conquered and forced into Darth Raze’s service. Of all the Mandalorians who congregated, one man stood up to the plate, giving a speech that would inspire the Mandalorian people to take this path to power and glory with the war machines the Sith would give them. Fenyang Ordo had the backing of the majority in attendance to become Mand’alor, and others were shot or fled. And so he did, Fenyang was the first Mand’alor in over a century.
And with that, the Mandalorians marched off to crusade once more, the first target in the Mand’alor’s eyes: Lothal. Having now conquered their first planet of their enemies, the Mandalorians continue to reindustrialize, reinvigorate, and regenerate their cultural psyche to become the crusaders of generations past.
Not all Mandalorians were too happy with the Mand'alor's decision to ally with the Sith. Kotii Solus' response to the Sith coming to Mandalore was not well-received with neither the vast majority of his clan-mates nor most Mandalorians. With others decrying him a coward and his response to Darth Raze's arrival could have been viewed as antagonizing him. Kotii Solus held another mootconsisting of Mandalorians who did not agree with the Mand'alor. There is talk of a Mandalorian Civil War brewing.
Philosophy and Culture
Mandalorians are, nearly without exception, a culture of fighters. While they still have a great deal of respect for their non-combatant allies and spiritual leaders, such as armorers, Mandalorian culture is geared towards pushing oneself, ones clan, and the entirety of the Mandalorian people to the height of their physical and martial prowess. This overarching philosophy has infected their schools of thought, religions, and various paths that all Mandalorians walk. The sole exception to this rule has proven to be the New Mandalorians, who take great lengths to distance themselves from their warbound brothers.
The Way of the Mandalore is an interpretation of a Mandalorian creed. At the core of the Way of the Mandalore is a rather universalist philosophy: Any, within reason, can become Mandalorian if they commit to the path that the Mandalorians before them have tread. The most orthodox adherents to the Way of the Mandalore never remove their armor and follow strict codes of conduct between themselves and non-Mandalorians. Many who follow The Way believe in the tradition of Foundling Adoptions - wherein Mandalorians can adopt any other willing individual or child into their clan, making them a full-blooded Mandalorian by way of adoption.
Mandalorians are a deeply spiritual and superstitious people at their core. This combined with their ancient enmity against Jedi and Sith has made them distrustful of those who train with the Force. While there will always be exceptions to the rule, and some Mandalorians proudly serve alongside both Sith and Jedi, the prevailing opinion of ‘the Force’ and its practitioners is not particularly positive.
Clans and Subgroups
At the core of Mandalorian society stands the clan. Bigger than a family, different than a nation, Clans are groupings of Mandalorians based on shared lineage, territory, or beliefs. Besides the clans, though, Mandalorians have organized themselves into small tribes such as the Death Watch or the Children of the Watch, which are unified around their shared ideological purpose more than their clan names.
A former vassal of Clan Vizsla, they had aligned themselves with Death Watch loyalists during the Clone Wars and aided in the conquest of Mandalore. It was not until Maul’s claim to the throne that they splintered, joining the Mandalorian resistance under Lady Bo-Katan Kryze. Then led by Countess Ursa Wren, she helped capture and escort Maul to Republic forces shortly before its fall. By the time the Empire rose, she had returned to her stronghold on the planet Krownest to train her only daughter, Sabine Wren. Clan Wren is currently led by Ghent Wren.
Clan Kryze is a Mandalorian clan and the head family of House Kryze. The clan hails from Kalevara in the Mandalore sector and is led by Duke Bol-Yur Kryze. Members of Clan Kryze often wear armors of blue and silvers. The clan's crest was also formerly worn by the Nite Owls, a fiercesome group of all female Mandalorians. The Kryze clan has produced several notable leaders over the previous century, including the peaceful Duchess Satine Kryze and the more traditionalist Bo-Katan Kryze.
One of two noble families to arise out of the First Crusading Era of Mandalorian history, Clan Vizsla was comprised of those clans who swore fealty to Mandalore the First and first settled the planet Mandalore. During the first Mandalorian crusade, House Vizsla claimed Concordia for its seat and Krownest as a fortress world. Perhaps most notably, one of their clan’s progenitors, Tarre Vizla, was a Jedi who produced a pure-black lightsaber known as the Darksaber. The clan later liberated it from the Jedi temple. Pre Vizla led this clan at the time of the Clone Wars, later becoming Mand’Alor with his clan’s fabled Darksaber.
Clan Solus emerged during the Second Crusading Era, right after the ascension of Leviticus and the beginning of the Sith’s hold over Mandalorians. Clan Solus was founded by Aro Solus, a man that once belonged to the great House Vizsla. Clan Solus is comprised of extremely stubborn individuals. They are often referred to as ‘elitist’ by other clans, as despite being small they are exclusive to their own. As a people, they are very slow to trust outsiders, even beyond the natural paranoid nature of Mandalorians as a whole. Clan Solus is currently led by Nox Solus, who became Alor after former Alor Kotii Solus left the clan to begin his revolt against the Mand’Alor.
Despite being a small Clan by many standards, Veren has a long and honorable history among the Mandalorian people. Down through the millennia, they have produced many skilled warriors of great renown. When the Imperial Purge finally arrived, Clan Veren was not spared. Those of its members that remained on world fought vehemently against the power of the Galactic Empire and during those battles, Veren was nearly wiped out. As with most Mandalorians, they were forced into hiding on their world. Taking on a primarily isolationist position in order to survive, they fought against any who imposed on their territory. Mercenaries who traveled off world slowly replenished their numbers with foundlings brought back, and Veren has once again begun to return its attention to the world outside themselves.
Following the murder of the Duchess Satine Kryze, followers of her pacifist ways of government either left Mandalore willingly, or were exiled by their bloodthirsty brothers and sisters. The New Mandalorians are a peaceful people, and have turned their backs on the violent ways of their ancestors. But while they have rejected that one core tenet of the Mandalorian people, they still hold true to many of the ideals that define a Mandlorian. They still value their family and clans above all else, and welcome anyone to join their ranks as long as they wish to learn the Mandalorian way of life.
Unfettered by honor and untethered to the bulk of Mandalorian society, the Death Watch is, today, a collection of terrorist cells and assassins operating across galactic space. They owe their name to the organization once led by Pre Vizla, a close-knit order of merciless warriors who killed civilians, attacked dishonorably against their rivals from the shadows, and harbored strong xenophobic judgements towards all other galactic civilizations. The current Mand’Alor, Fenyang Ordo, was a member of a Death Watch cell. As such, he has an affinity for its members that is reflected in his counsel, and is a spiritual leader of these dissonant cells. Death Watch members are trusted brothers in the Crusade, and often use their skills as terrorists to scout, assassinate, and capture important enemy personnel without the shackles of the strong moral code most Mandalorians hold.
Mandalorians have diverse ways of life going back millenia. Due to their stubbornness and penchant for their own traditions, there are a great number of small ideological movements, tiny clans, or cults that are otherwise too numerous to track on this page. Whether that is neo-traditionalist movements such as the Children of the Watch, clans such as Ordo, or small famili such as the Fetts, there are countless story options for Mandalorian characters that do not make it to this page. Feel free to reach out with any questions!