Daniel Thrawn was in the woods of Japork into the wealthy Thrawn family. He lived with his family in the family Keep, where the Thrawns had lived for over a millennium. Thrawn’s father and mother taught him that Japrok hadn’t always been the safe environment that it seemed—the entire Wood had once been an untamed wilderness. The jungle and predators had been more of a threat than bandits and marauders. The early Thrawns had helped settle Japrok; they had been their own police force needing no one, and resenting the Guard Mice. Later a militia had been formed—under Thrawn leadership. Thrawn took these history lessons to heart. Thrawn’s parents made sure that he knew that respect, discipline and obedience were of the utmost importance. Because of this Thrawn thought of himself as a product of a military upbringing. One night while at supper Thrawn’s father ordered a servant to take Thrawn’s plate before he could eat—teaching him how easy it is to lose something.
Following family tradition, Thrawn’s grand-uncle Jova Thrawn, along with two other relatives and two Wyzel guides, took him on trips to the Carrion Plateau, on which he taught the young survival skills and lessons on the savage wilderness that his ancestors had tamed. After passing a test in which he outwitted a pack of predators at the Carrion Spike, young Thrawn was deemed to have completed his testing on the plateau. Six months after passing this test, Thrawn’s training shifted to unit combat. More family members and hired trainers taught him tactics and strategy skills, while admonishing him to apply the lessons he learned as a hunter to control the pirates and lawbreakers of Japork and beyond
Early military career
Thrawn joined the Wyzel Security Force, a force dedicated to protecting Japrok and the Greater lower planes in the absence of a Waylen military. As part of this organization, he made a name for himself by outwitting and brutally suppressing a group of brigands known as Q’ana’s Marauders. After decoding the pattern in the brigand leader Q’anah’s attacks, Thrawn captured her, launching her and her crew into a lava flow. The Security Force hired Bards to tell of the suffering of Q’anah’s crew.
After working with the Wyzel Security Force, Thrawn attended the Fur and Foot Military Academy. While training there, he met Lord Shepard, then a Guard Mouse from Red Wall. Shepard offered to help him secure a place in the Red Wall Judicial Academy, but asked him to consider a career in politics. Thrawn did not follow the Guard Mouses advice at the time, but did take his help in admission to the Academy. Following an overly dramatic entrance at the head of an Wyzel delegation, Thrawn had a hard time fitting in, often brawling with other students.
A mission to the Halcyon Mountain range alongside a group of Guard Mice gave him a chance to prove his worth, when the officer leading his team disobeyed Guard Mouse orders and set off on a march to attack their target from another angle. The other Judicials quickly proved to be out of their depth in the strange wilderness, and came to rely on Thrawn’s skills and leadership as he brought them safely to the objective, where the Guard Mouse had just completed the mission. Thrawn was credited with saving their lives. Stories began to circulate within the Judicial Department of his exploits. As he continued to build a name for himself, Thrawn saw that conflicts throughout the land were increasing, and turned his mind to Shepard’s advice to enter politics.
In the early days of the Empire, Imperial forces targeted former Waylen Friendly Lands in order to pacify any remnants. With Thrawn being assigned to make an example of Vimmy Ridge , he made no attempt to sort Waylens from loyalists when he carried out mass arrests, executions, and massacres. When word broke out the event was dubbed as the Vimmy Ridge Atrocity and to distance Thrawn from the controversial event, the Lord Shepard assigned him to pacification operations in the Western Reaches, before ultimately assigning him to oversee the construction of a super weapon.
After this Thrawn was promoted to oversee Red Wall and all operations while Lord Shepard personally looked into a matter of great “Guard Mouse Importance”