"He said, we are both damned."
"Well, it's a small enough price to pay for immortality."
- – Londo Mollari and Antono Refa
Personality[edit | edit source]
Lord Antono Refa was extremely ambitious and ruthless in his efforts to increase his personal power and influence, and was willing to instigate mass murder, assassination and outright betrayal to achieve his goals. Preferring to operate behind the scenes and manipulate others to serve his needs, he rarely moved directly or risked his own neck unless he was sure of success. Like many noble Centauri of the old school of thinking, Refa considered his race to be superior while other races, especially the Narn, were to him little more than animals and had no qualms against committing war crimes, mass destruction or outright genocide against them if it suited his aims.
Refa's ultimate ambition was nothing less than claiming the Imperial Throne for himself. Initially Refa saw Londo Mollari as an ally and worked together with him in their mutual desire to restore the Centauri Republic to its former power, prestige, and glory. However, as their alliance became increasingly uneasy, they became bitter rivals.
History[edit | edit source]
The Imperial Coup[edit | edit source]
In 2259, Refa arrives at Babylon 5 shortly after the only son of Emperor Turhan dies, leaving a gap in the line of succession for the Centauri throne. On his first visit, Refa makes it clear to Centauri Ambassador Londo Mollari that he speaks for a group of Centauri politicians who are interested in making a move for the throne after the death of Turhan. Given Londo's newfound prestige in the Royal Court, which he gained following military successes brought about by his clandestine dealings with Mr. Morden, Refa comes to Londo to ask for his support in the group's plans. Londo gives his consent, a decision that would set him on a course with the destiny he always foresaw.
Later, this group stages a coup while the ailing Turhan pays a visit to Babylon 5. The purpose of this visit, as Turhan sees it, is to ask for forgiveness and peace from the Narn ambassador, G'Kar, for the great abuses the Centauri had done to the Narn. Unfortunately, Turhan collapses before he can make this offer in person to G'Kar, though his message is relayed to the Narn through Dr. Franklin. With Turhan now dying and his message of peace not delivered in public view of the Centauri and Narn, Refa's men take this opportunity to strike on his orders, carrying out the assassination of Turhan's loyal prime minister on Centauri Prime, while Refa and Londo, on Babylon 5, are present at the death of the Emperor. When Refa privately learns from Londo that the Emperor had damned them both with his last words instead of giving them his blessing as Londo publicly had reported, he callously dismisses it.
The Narn-Centauri Conflict[edit | edit source]
Refa and his associates install the mad Cartagia as Emperor, and begin a protracted war against the Narn. Utilizing Londo's agreement with the Shadows and Centauri forces, Refa personally oversees the war. At the same time, he proceeds to get the rest of his political enemies out of the way by arranging for them to be formally arrested, tried and executed on trumped up charges of treason; then having their families disgraced and their property confiscated under Centauri law. When an old friend of Londo's, Urza Jaddo, a respected war hero with the Centauri and a Vocator, starts asking too many questions about the "suicide" of Prime Minister Malachi and who actually started the war with the Narn, Refa plans to pass a formal charge of treason against him and his House to silence him. Getting wind of this, Urza goes to Babylon 5 to appeal for help from Londo, only to learn of his alliance with the man responsible for the impending false charges. Desperate to protect his family and House, Urza challenges Londo to a duel, and deliberately allows Londo to kill him. By his death, according to the rules of their dueling society Couro Prido, Londo as victor will protect Ursa's family and House, assimilating them with his own. Later, when Londo bitterly confronts Refa about Urza's death and of the part he played in it, Refa again waves it off. Londo doesn't mention however, that Jaddo had confided to him before his death that he suspected Prime Minister Malachi's "suicide" was actually an assassination arranged by Refa.
Receiving intelligence of a pending Narn attack on a Centauri supply post, and the fact that it has committed to using virtually their entire fleet, Refa decides to launch an assault on the Narn homeworld. He cannot do so without Londo's help, however, and though Londo reluctantly agrees, he asserts that this is the last time he will bring his associates into the situation. Soon after, the Shadows are unleashed on the Narn fleet, obliterating it. At the same time, the Centauri fleet make use of planetary bombardment weapons called mass drivers, despite Londo pointing out that they had been banned through a written agreement among the League of Non-Aligned Worlds, which Refa calmly dismisses as "ink on a page". They proceed to attack and subjugate Narn, under the observation of Refa, Londo, and their Centauri allies.
The Shadow War[edit | edit source]
After this victory, Refa and his associates proceed to enforce their rule upon the Narn. In their ruthless determination to ensure the Narn will never be a threat to the Centauri Republic again, they set up concentration camps for Narn dissenters, as well as genetic cleansing programs, adding countless numbers to the millions of deaths of civilian Narn already killed in the war. Meanwhile, Londo informs Morden that he will no longer be in need of assistance from his associates, which prompts Morden to begin contact with Lord Refa. When Morden informs Londo of this, Londo becomes quite concerned, all the more so when he learns that Refa is exploiting his newfound alliance in threatening wars with other worlds. In an effort to prevent Lord Refa from continuing his relationship with the Shadows and possibly leading their world into oblivion, Londo "poisons" Refa's drink during a meeting on Babylon 5. Telling him that it is a two-stage poison that will not kill him until the second part is introduced, Londo assures Refa that this second part will not be introduced now if contact with Morden is ended, but it still may happen in the future should Refa betray him. An angry Refa realizes that Londo has him over the proverbial barrel, and breaks off all contact with Morden.
Again, Morden comes to Londo, this time quite angry that Londo would interfere in his associates' activities in this way. However, Londo wants nothing more to do with Morden, so when Londo again gives him the brush off, Morden arranges for Londo to care again, by setting up the murder of Londo's true love, Adira Tyree. However, Morden takes this further, by having her murdered her with a poison of Centauri origin, convincing Londo to place the blame on Lord Refa, who is still upset about being "poisoned." This, again, places Londo in association with Morden even as he resolves to do something about Lord Refa, who has been inciting a feud between their respective houses, and weakening the defenses of Centauri Prime with constant warfare.
In an elaborate plot staged to maximize Londo's political gain, Refa is lured to the Narn homeworld in expectations of capturing G'Kar, who is on Narn ostensibly looking for his old assistant, Na'Toth. However, the actual plan is to capture Refa, who was responsible for the decision to use mass drivers on Narn, and turn him over to G'Kar and members of the Narn Resistance who have been allowed by Londo to kill this Centauri without retaliation. Two of the reasons Londo had for having Refa killed were personal: the death of Adira (which Refa was actually innocent of), as well as those of Urza Jaddo and Prime Minister Malachi (which Refa had been responsible for). In the end, Lord Refa is surrounded by G'Kar's Narn associates and beaten to death for his involvement in the bombing of the Narn homeworld and the installation of the death camps and genetic cleansing programs. As extra incentive, Mollari also arranges for the liberation of two thousand Narn in exchange for Refa's death. On Babylon 5, Londo presents evidence of Refa's "betrayal" against the Republic and personal plots to a visiting Centauri minister, gaining prestige in the royal court and ruining Refa's name.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Ironically in view of Refa's failed plays for power to control the Centauri Emperorship, his daughter will become the wife of Emperor Vir Cotto
- Refa's accent (and by extension Londo Mollari's, and Urza Jaddo's) is characteristic of Centauri Prime's northern province and is generally indicative of the "old school" of court nobility.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Babylon 5
- The Coming of Shadows
- Ceremonies of Light and Dark
- Interludes and Examinations (flashback)
- And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place