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Baltar, a self-proclaimed count and trader, was a member of the ruling Council of Twelve towards the end of the thousand yahren war between the twelve human colonies and the Cylons. Despite his reputation as a ruthless and manipulative man, particularly in the way he ran the mines on the planet Ovion through which he acquired his wealth, he surprised everyone when the Cylons invited him to represent the humans in a sudden negotiation for peace. Little did anyone suspect that Baltar had made a treacherous deal with the Cylon Imperious Leader to mislead the colonies into believing that the Cylons truly desired peace in order to launch an all-out sneak attack upon their twelve worlds. In return for his services, the Cylons had promised to spare his people and to set him up as their ruler. But instead the Cylons double-crossed Baltar by destroying his world as well as the other eleven, and then sentencing him to be beheaded. But later the Imperious Leader changes his mind when they fail to capture the remainder of the twelve worlds when they escape in a fleet of rag-tag ships under the protection of the Battlestar Galactica commanded by Adama. The Cylon Leader offers Baltar his life as well as the command of his own base ship if he agreed to pursue and destroy the Galactica and its fleet. Baltar agrees, and the Leader assigns the IL Cylon Lucifer as his aide.