Erszbat was a wealthy holding of the Batarian Hegemony, rich in farmland, minerals and manufacturing infrastructure. Today, it is one of the three most prominent worlds in the Batarian Confederacy, along with Camala and Khar'shan.
Indoctrinated batarian officials offered rewards for every living body brought to the labor camps, slave or not. With the state apparatus at their disposal, Reaper units coordinated house-to-house hunts for resistance members, and paid those who turned them in. Government propaganda dismissed the smell of the processing ships as a natural by-product of Reaper energy consumption. Columns of dust from annihilated cities told the story of those who disobeyed.
Focused as they were on population centres, the hinterlands and slave posts were left to rot. As the galaxy rallied and fought back against the alien menace, the Reaper harvesting programs intensified, leaving the cities of Erszbat nothing but empty shells. Even the complicit government officials were, in the end, harvested as reinforcements for the Reapers, and so as the menace passed it was the farmers and miners, almost all former slaves, who were left to inherit Erszbat.
Survivors made their way into the empty cities and took for themselves what hadn’t been theirs before. These weren’t the educated, nor the wealthy, nor even the particularly informed, merely the oppressed citizens of a harsh regime that was nowhere to be found. Their early efforts at organization resembled work gangs more than any kind of government, and when these gangs did begin to unite it was almost always violent.
The indoctrinated government had long preached the existence of a rebel element, made up of both anti-Hegemony activists and StateSec agents that turned traitor soon before the Reapers’ arrival, using them as bogeymen to keep the populace watchful, fearful and obedient. Although none remained to know it, the government leaders had been absolutely correct. Such a group did exist, using the knowledge of StateSec secrets and the experience of those who opposed the Hegemony for years to remain hidden. They kept underground (often literally, in forgotten bunkers and bomb shelters), gathering their strength. Taking the name that the indoctrinated government gave them, the Cabal had taken over a number of abandoned manufacturing complexes and hidden military depots, clearing them of looters or remnants of Reaper forces. Although few in number (some say less than a thousand strong), the group counted amongst its members many experienced soldiers and guerrilla fighters, veterans of many battles (often against each other), as well as many skilled workers covertly rescued from the harvesting process. The Cabal’s unrivalled access to high technology gave it an important position on the resurgent Erszbat, even if they chose to stay away from the squabbles and politics of gangs and city-states.
By the time Erszbat made contact with the survivors on other worlds in the Kite’s Nest, it had the beginnings of something resembling a democratic government. Negotiations were handled by a council of leaders representing cities and groups across the planet, though the Cabal’s existence long remained a public secret. The gangs had become political parties of a sort - parties which would never forget their origin in the mines and fields of the fallen Hegemony. Industry slowly ground back into motion, aided by the fact that the former government’s cooperation had led to most major facilities being spared destruction, unlike that visited on planets like Khar'shan. However, with the lack of skilled workers to run these facilities, and the Cabal’s small numbers and unwillingness to part with technology, the industrial recovery on Erszbat remained limited in scope. Even so, it was enough to ensure them a prominent place in the political dynamic of the Kite’s Nest. Even if the planet’s production wasn’t to the level it had been before the war, the mostly-intact infrastructure granted the remaining population significant advantages over most of their neighbours. The former slaves now in control of Erszbat were quick to leverage that potential into concessions from more conservative worlds, and while the caste system remained dominant on many former colonies, those wishing to trade with this relative powerhouse largely extended the traditional rights of the nobility to those of lower rank. Others, faced with the potential for uprisings and disaster, ceded such rights to their slaves well before making contact with Erszbat. On many planets, while symbolic divisions remained largely unchanged, the castes were now legally and politically equal, or near enough.
The Erzsbat Council, while making progress in many respects, was unable to prevent a small-scale armed conflict between militias of neighbouring counties, Karval and Lok-cal. Local crime gangs in Karval were soon taking advantage of the chaos to "roll out the big guns" for the sake of ‘protecting the people’. Reports were soon in circulation about several civilian businesses outfitting ground cars with improvised armour and heavy machine guns (allegedly imported straight from Omega). There was talk in Karval of calling in offworld mercenary companies to provide mechanized and air support, as well as “a professional, hard-hitting force to augment and supplement our local militia” - this according to an anonymous Karval County official. Soon militia leaders were mostly ignoring orders from their respective County officials to stand down until further notice; the whole affair was intended to be a display of force on Karval’s part and stop short of an actual inter-county war, but the militia on both sides had been going out of their way to take potshots at each other.
Confederate Arms Manufacture: A Erszbat-based successor to Batarian State Arms.