The Ancient Spice Empire is a region in the galactic "northwest" several dozen parsecs from New Kashi. Comprised of about a dozen planets, the region appears to have once had an extensive civilization producing a high culture.
Currently the region appears to be in the grip of an empire in decline. Technologically backward, the ancient spice empire has developed only the most rudimentary means of space travel, relying on first Republic, then Imperial ships for intergalactic trade.
Extremely xenophobic, the humanoid inhabitants appear to resist any attempt to introduce outside ideas or culture into their empire, believing themselves to be superior and destined to lead the rest of the galaxy. A proto-Hutt species seems to have lived on several planets in the region, until hunted to near extinction.
A rudimentary culture of force users seems to have been in development for some time, especially within several all female cults. No systematic knowledge of the Force has been developed, however, within this civilization.
Most of the planetary populations in this region appear to be suffering from chronic addiction to rakian spice, which appears to have caused a systemic collapse of the previous high culture as evidenced by the many impressive ruins.
Trade expeditions to this region are interested primarily in commerce in spice, although several native crafts are also sought after. In particular, handmade, authentic zemutara style musical instruments are much sought after by connoisseurs among the upper class of the Empire.
In the past several decades, many aggresive Ekazi merchants from the edge of the region have acquired hyperspace capable ships and begun to trade and smuggle rakian spice further into the galactic center and inner rim.