Carnor Jax. Last of the Sovereign Protectors, betrayer of the Royal Guard, Mastermind of Emperor Palpatine's final death and recognized Emperor in his final days, yet greatest traitor to the Imperial Cause. Seldom in galactic history has a man lived such polar opposites.
Carnor Jax was born to a Sun Guard that served Darth Sidious. His father was by all accounts loyal and skilled, but with Palpatine no one was above reproach. After failing in a mission, his father was executed by Sidious as an example to the other Sun Guards. Jax was unaware of how his father died or who murdered him. However at a young age, Jax was shown what happened to someone without power or connections, making him determined to gain more power for himself so as to become unassailable he also became exceptionally meticulous believing that the smallest detail could affect an outcome. Jax did not believe in justice or loyalty, he felt they were abstractions that the weak deluded themselves with and the powerful used as platitudes. He felt no shame for any action, so long as it furthered his own goals. In this way, he was a true sociopath. Jax saw the way the galaxy was feeding off the weak under Palpatine and thus devoted his every waking moment to becoming stronger in both power and influence with Palpatine as a goal, but Lord Vader's intimidating visage as an inspiration. As such it is only natural he joined the Imperial Army as a Stormtrooper- personally tied to the Emperor's command structure and visually associated with Lord Vader- and distinguished himself time after time in battle rising through the Stormtrooper ranks to command troopers himself. Aware that loyalty from the military was what gave the Emperor his power base Jax made a habit of cultivating loyalty with Imperial Officers he served with, impressing them and often maintaining connections with them from afar.
Eventually Jax qualified for training selection with the Royal Guard, seeing this as the ultimate chance to obtain connections in the centers of power. Unlike most of the trainees Jax was not there out of a sens eof loyalty and devotion to the Emperor, he saw it only as the best way to increase his own personal power. To this end he felt no camaraderie with his fellow guardsmen. Jax excelled in his training, only surpassed in skill by Bur Dannid and somewhat rivaled by Kir Kanos. It was at this time that the Emperor and Vader visited the academy to test the academies trainees. Vader personally selected their most skilled trainee and promptly toyed with him in the Squall then executed him. The other Guardsmen took the lesson to imply they must improve, Jax however saw it in an entirely different way. He saw it as how their lives meant nothing to the Emperor or Vader, that these two were not only an eventual threat to his own ambitions, but his very life. Jax doubled his efforts and reached his final test for the Guard, facing his team mate in mortal combat, unlike the other pair, Jax did not hesitate to kill his brother in arms and felt no remorse on the death, his fellows were just steps to his own ascension.
After this jax served with the Royal Guard of Palpatine and used his position to mingle with the Royal Court and the High Command. It was also during this time that Jax met Lumiya and Sarcev Quest. Both of whom found his latent force potential and began to train him in secret, though Jax played them off against each other learning from both, from Lumiya he learned the inner workings and history of the Sith, from Quest he learned politics of the inner circles of the Royal Court and some of the basics of the Force. Then came Endor while Jax was on rotation, he saw the opportunities of the Emperor and Vader's death and Lumiya attempting to reestablish the Order of Sith Lords under her vision and Quest's allies hunger for power. Jax accepted Lumiya's offer of apprenticeship while promising Quest to assist him in acquiring power for the Council and himself. In both of these arenas Jax had surpassed his mentors influence, he played the part of the trainee and figurehead while manipulating both for his own gain knowing Lumiya was in no position to replace him and Quest needed Jax's popularity with the military and court to keep him heading it behind the scenes. The next few years saw Lumiya, Jax and Quest working behind the scenes to secure their power while undermining their rivals or potential ones, like hunting down and killing the Prophets of the Dark Side, spurring the Council of Grand Moffs efforts while simultaneously sabotaging them. He also secured the patronage of General Redd Wessel's stormtroopers for his personal use. However they didn't count on how severely the Empire would fragment badly limiting their influence outside the centralized Empire. They largely sat out Thrawn's bid for power as Quest had been summoned to Byss to give fealty to the Reborn Emperor, Quest did so but now firmly allied with Jax, Lumiya and his Council, he was already dedicated to supplanting the Emperor. the three came up with a scheme whereby they would remove Palpatine and use the Ruling Council's influence to seize power over the Shadow Hand Fleet, the Galaxy Gun and the Eclipse to keep the Warlords cowed under Jax as a figurehead Emperor. Jax however already had plans within these plans, his eyes were set on the Throne in fact as well as name, also he craved the Darkside knowledge Palpatine stored in his vaults on Byss, with these he would no longer require Lumiya's teachings and could discard her. Jax suggested he be placed onto the Sovereign Protectors ranks in order to gain access to the Emperor's physician with a plan to poison the Emperor's clones while Quest secured the funds. With Quest's help Jax got placed onto the guard and convinced various Imperials whose personal power was limited due to the Emperor's return. In an ironic yet masterful plan, Jax orchestrated the betrayal and fall of Palpatine in very much the same way Palpatine himself had come to power. Using the corruption and greed of those who made up the political and military arms of the Emperor's new 'Dark Empire' Jax preyed on their fears, encouraged their hatreds, jealousies and fed their ambitions. He copied Palpatine's use of Emperor's Hands by taking an Imperial major named Blim as his personal agent loyal only to him as an assassin, bodyguard and enforcer. Setting up meetings through Quest, Jax sounded out potential allies while tricking those who would oppose the idea into coming to locations Blim could silence them. It took nearly a year of careful planning, collaborating and work, but Jax used Quest to get Sa Dee and Nefta to kill Palpatine's clone supply knowing they would be killed, as misdirection for the Emperor's Physician being bribed and poisoning the last batches-effectively dooming the Emperor to an accelerated decay that would ensure Palpatine put himself in the maximum risk to escape his fate. Jax then used the remaining funds to remove his name from the ranks of the Sovereign Protectors and joined Quest in the Mid Rim with the Council in preparation to seize power once Palpatine and his Dark Side Elite died. Jax now felt secure enough in his own power that he betrayed Lumiya, refusing to play the servant anymore, relying instead on Quest for the Force teachings since he held power over Quest until he could gain access to the Darkside Compendium of Palpatine when he took the Throne. Lumiya-with little recourse- responded by disappearing into the shadows for nearly 30 years.
The plan succeeded beyond their wildest dreams-Palpatine died, the Imperial High Command of the new Grand Admirals on Byss perished with all but 18 of the Royal Guard. However, there were significant costs as well. Byss had been destroyed with nearly all the Shadow hand fleet, the Galaxy Gun and the Eclipse II, virtually annihilating the ability of the central Empire to control the Warlords, who again went rogue and refused to acknowledge Jax as Emperor, the Emperor's physician did not perish but confessed to the New Republic his role and who bribed him in the conspiracy, and one of the Royal Guard heard this and spread the message to his fellows on Yinchorr. Further, the Compendium and all palpatines Sith secrets were now forever beyond Jax's grasp, further limiting his own personal power. Since their actions would have been high treason and undermined Jax and the Council's already tenuous rule over the parts of the centralized Empire that acknowledged them, Jax had Wessel send in his stormtroopers en masse via the secret passages Jax knew in the academy to kill them. While at tremendous cost of the near annihilation of the attacking Stormtroopers all but one of the Royal Guard were slain and Wessel felt this man could be labelled a traitor and discounted. Jax went with th efirst part of the plan, citing Kanos not declaring for the 'new' Emperor as treason, but refusing to ignore Kanos and personally deciding to hunt him down with his two Star Destroyers-Steadfast and the Emperor's Revenge. Jax attempted to cultivate a Vader like appearance wearing his Sovereign Protector armor and cloak while commanding from a Star Destroyer. He won great respect from the Imperial Army for this and subsequently surrounded himself with Army advisors to further garner support, however the Warlords still turned a deaf ear to his commands.
Jax now threw himself into capturing Kanos as he felt that the smallest detail could destroy him, much as it had destroyed his father and allowed him to destroy Palpatine. Jax became obsessed with Kanos and pursued him relentlessly, this action made him popular with the Ruling Council too as it kept him from meddling in their affairs, he ruled, but really as more of a figurehead than a functioning part of the government body. Jax was a man of action who held his personal skill unmatched and felt with his minimal force training to be close to Vader in power-though a Padawan might have been more accurate. Jax gradually began to slip at this point, he was a masterful planner and patient, but his ability as a military commander overall was hampered by his obsession with chasing Kanos. As a result he did not command front line battles and left that to his Generals, most of whom were sycophants with little ability and the Crimson Empire failed to expand or solidify it's holdings as a result. Jax's attention to the details, his obsession with holding his power was beginning to blind him to the fact that he held very little real power and it was fast slipping away-the cracks were already forming. Jax was willing to sacrifice anyone around him to secure his own power and it would come back to haunt him.
However Cronal supplied Jax with Blackhole Stormtroopers which Jax personally trained as his version of the Imperial Guard and won their full loyalty to himself over Cronal, betraying the Dark Jedi after taking resources from him. In this we see Jax trying to replicate Palpatine and Vader before him through imitation again, but his results were far less successful, the Blackhole Stormtroopers even with his training were no equal of the Royal Guard, Wessel was no Piett/Veers, Blim was no Mara Jade and he was no Vader/Palpatine and the council made up of back stabbers, courtiers and sycophants were no fit rulers. As such Jax had torn down the central pillars of the Empire and replaced them with rotting bracers. He proved how little he actually cared for his troops and allies in the final days of the Kanos pursuit, he sacrificed countless Stormtroopers, resources and ships to find one man, stripping the front of much needed material. He split his forces above Phaeda to pursue Kanos costing him the Steadfast and planet when the New Republic sent in reinforcements, then rather than warn Wessel of the vision he had of the bomb droid Wessel was pulling into the Emperor's Revenge Jax merely abandoned him to his fate, losing an ally, an ISD and all lives aboard just to pursue Kanos-the only threat he now saw to his power. The 'Tiny Detail' had now become his sole obsession. Jax landed and sent his Blackhole troopers into the ruins of Yinchorr not to succeed but merely buy time for Blim to get into a sniper position while he engaged Kanos. All this achieved was the deaths of Jax's personal guard with no effect as Kanos had no intention of fleeing. Jax encountered kanos and dueled him, hoping to humble Kanos with how powerful he had become, to prove his power was his own and even to win kanos to his side. Jax believed that ultimately everyone had a price, that personal ambition was greater than any loyalty, after all it was how he had become Emperor, so Kanos bewildered him when he not only refused but declared ultimate loyalty to the dead Emperor. In spite of his force training Jax had not been on the front lines in years unlike Kanos who had fought for his life every day for the past year and it showed, Kanos gained the upper hand, wounding Jax twice in the duel, bringing the Usurper Emperor to his knees and Mirith Sinn along with Sadeet killed Blim and destroying Jax's shuttle off the world. Jax didn't even hesitate, he used kanos focusing on their deaths as his opening to regain the upper hand, once again demonstrating how little he cared for anyone outside himself. Mistaking the feelings he sensed from Sinn to be mirrored in Kanos, Jax felt that the trios goals were one and the same and that he could use the two newcomers as leverage against Kanos. Mirith Sinn and Sadeet quickly found out that even injured and alone Jax was dangerous as he disarmed Sinn and used the Force to take Sadeet's blaster rifle. He dropped his guard to do so in aiming at Sinn and Sadeet thinking Kanos would focus on saving them rather than attacking him since he believed Sinn would make Kanos try and take him alive. It was Jax's last in a long line of mistakes. The man obsessed with little details and his own personal power through the manipulation of others, had failed to accurately read the detail that just because Sinn cared for Kanos-Kanos cared for her over his cause(at least at this point in time) Instead of shielding Sinn, Kanos disarmed Jax and impaled him through the chest with his vibroblade.
His life's blood pouring out of him, stunned that this could happen to him, Jax fell to his knees, his final words a weak plea for understanding, "But...your friends...wanted me...alive..." The cold answer he received was the last thing he ever heard, "They are not my friends. Carnor Jax, for your part in the assassination of Emperor Palpatine and the murder of your fellow Royal Guardsmen, I condemn you to death!" The man who had believed in nothing but his own abilities, used and manipulated all those around him for his own goals and who had scuffed at the ideas of loyalty and justice, was now dying alone, unaided and unmourned on a deserted planet, his executioner administering justice for Jax's many betrayals...out of loyalty to the man who had dictated Jax's life's actions. Jax bled out before the final blow was landed and he was left on the squall to rot alone and forgotten, in the very place his ambitions had been born. Within the year the council he had founded would tear itself apart with infighting, all would die or end their lives in New Republic custody, Quest would be ousted by the Council and live his life in pverty and fear on Nar Shaddaa until hunted down by a fanatical devotee to Emperor Palpatine, much in the same way Jax had died-alone and forgotten in the dust. All Jax had built collapsed and died either with him or shortly after their ambitions, like his reduced to dust and nothingness.