Today the Western Ice Shelf of Ilum sees little activity, aside from when the Gree periodically return to conduct testing through a series of missions they give to the Republic and Empire.
Long before the Gree landed on Ilum, the Western Ice Shelf was home to the largest battlefield of the Cold War after Corellia. For nearly a year, the Southernmost territory was occupied by the Republic, housed within the walled fortress known as ‘Fray Landing Base’, the location that Republic Forces and players alike would spawn into before making their way North to assault the Sith Empire.
Not long into the initial first few months of fighting, a balance patch was released for SWTOR which caused Imperial players to be able to easily flood into the Republic respawn zone of Fray Base, leading to half a years worth of the slaughter of Republic Forces and players. Entire Republic-side player guilds focused on PvP would establish themselves on defence of the base around the clock from Imperial invaders across many of the games servers, however it would not amount to any long-term victory as the Empire and Imperial players would always flood back in and take over once more.
By the time of Game Update 1.7, the entire zone remained in the game but was phased out for the upcoming ‘Gree Event’ which redesigned two thirds of the map, the PvP focus of the Western Ice Shelf and Fray Landing Base had been put to rest.
The impact it had on the history of early SWTOR did not go unnoticed, as in place of the Fray Base respawn point, an in-universe Memorial and Codex Entry was placed there to officially recognise and canonise the events that Republic and Imperial players had created together.
You can still travel to Fray Landing Base and the old battlefield today, head to the South of the Contested Area in the Gree Pylon PvP area and through a tunnel surrounded by fallen Republic flags. From there you will enter a large tunnel that eventually puts you out in the original Republic battlefield, still full of all of the original decorations and buildings that were once host to hundreds of Republic and Imperial Forces and players killing each other for control.
Heading all the way South will lead you to the outer walls of Fray Base, from there you can climb the ramp and you will come across the lone, burning memorial pyre and Codex placard.
Codex Entry: Fray Landing Memorial
” In the early days of the Empire’s invasion of the planet Ilum, Republic forces at the Fray Landing Base fought desperately to hold their position against an overwhelming tide of Imperial attackers. Though they were eventually overrun and killed, these brave heroes of the Republic have not been forgotten by their comrades, who have since placed a humble memorial to commemorate the many lives lost at the site.
“Remember Fray!” became a rallying cry among Republic troops and the public alike, allowing the then-newly elected Supreme Chancellor Saresh to press for the largest increase in military spending since the Treaty of Coruscant. “
This would mark one of the few times that an event in SWTOR’s history would be retroactively and officially added to Star Wars canon as a meta-reference to the events that transpired within the game.
Codex Entry: Fray Landing Memorial – Ilum
Star Wars: The Old Republic Explorer’s Guide – 2011 Book
Game Update 1.7 – Return of the Gree 2/12/2013
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