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Until the 24th century, the Mordanites had a tribal society with rival families ruled by peretors. In 2319, one of the peretors was assassinated by his enemy Sain. His son and successor, Karnas, seized the 63 passengers of a starliner and demanded weapons from Starfleet for their lives. After the first two Federation mediators were killed, Admiral Mark Jameson privately conferred with Karnas and secured the hostages' release.
Unknown at the time, Jameson provided Karnas with the weapons he desired. Based on his interpretation of the Prime Directive, Jameson also provided an equal amount of weapons to Karnas's rivals, believing that only a minor war would result. Instead, the ensuing civil war lasted forty years and devastated the planet. Karnas unified the Mordanites in the war, and following its end in 2359 became governor of the planet. Nevertheless, he continued to blame Jameson for the suffering his people had endured.
In 2364, the Mordanites had recovered sufficiently to fulfill their basic needs. Karnas decided to lure Jameson back to Mordan IV by taking Federation Ambassador Hawkins and his staff hostage, so that he could take his revenge. Karnas relented after seeing how age and guilt had ushered Jameson to an agonizing death. (TNG: "Too Short a Season")