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- "Our mission, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new inferior life and inferior civilizations, and insult them... in alphabetical order."
- ―Chiss Starfleet mission statement
The Chiss Ascendancy, i.e., the Aristocra Preeminence or the Nuruodo Supremacy, was the highfalutin government of the Chiss, which existed somewhere out there in the Unknown Regions. Their seat of government was Csilla, the frigid Chiss homeworld... full of frigid Chiss women. They kept to themselves mostly (The Chiss Isolation) and spent a lot of time practicing their smug faces in the mirror, so that whenever an alien explorer happened to land, they could sneer at them properly.
The Chiss Ascendancy had mysterious ways of keeping tabs on the rest of the galaxy... Spies? A crystal ball? A copy of the Jedi Holocron Database? Eh, who knows. The point is, even though they were isolationist and situated in the galaxy's left armpit, rest assured they know all about every government, alien race, and piece of technology in canon. (The Newcomer Precognition.) Go ahead. Tell them, "I'm a representative from the Galactic Republic," and the response will inevitably be, "Yes, yes, we know all about your infantile Republic."
- Visitor: "I'm from Corellia."
- Chiss: "Yes, yes, we know all about your insignificant planet."
- Visitor: "Um... I was born in the city of Bardat..."
- Chiss: "Yes, yes, we know all about your pathetic city."
- Visitor: "Ha! Gotcha! There is no city of Bardat on Corellia, you arrogant blue prick!"
- Chiss: "Pitiful inferior alien creature... in fact, there is a city of Bardat, and you were born there. We secretly replaced your parents with spies after you were born, just so you would walk into our rhetorical trap just now. So take that."
They were also aristocratic and vain. There were dozens of noble houses struggling for dominance in the ruling oligarchy. (The Patrician Jurisdiction.) The House Nuruodo, i.e., Thrawn's house, had a great deal of power in the military; House Csapla ran the labor department, agriculture, and colonial affairs; and the House Kenneduo specialized in getting drunk and banging waitresses.
Hardly any Chiss ever ventured out from the Chiss Ascendancy... at least, not until the time of the New Republic. But some authors refuse to acknowledge that and put minor Chiss characters all over the place. (The Species Anachronism.) Whatever. The Chiss Ascendancy sneers at you authors and your simpering Chiss-worship. Eventually, the Great All-Knowing Thrawn set out from Csilla to take the galaxy by storm... by splitting atoms with the power of his mind. Not the Force, just sheer intellect.
Later, the Chiss Ascendancy played minor parts in the Yuuzhan Vong War and the rise of Darth Krayt's new Sith Empire... by minor parts, they basically sat back, stayed neutral, and sent occasional condescending messages to galactic leaders.