The ancestors of the Sodan were part of an elite Jaffa command force under the Goa'uld Ishkur. For years they pillaged and plundered under his name, driving fear into the hearts of all those that would oppose his rule, but the further they ascended among the ranks, the more they were able to discern the truth, that Ishkur was not a god at all but merely an impostor. Ishkur branded these warriors as traitors and ordered their deaths. The Sodan tried to fight to show their brothers the faith, but the odds were too great, and they were forced to flee. They set out to find Kheb, hoping that their souls would find peace, but instead their search led them to another distant planet, a world once inhabited by Ancients, shrouded in the mists of time. There the Sodan settled in isolation for thousands of years, believing that their true gods were those that came before them, the Ancients who once inhabited their homeworld.
As an elite group of Jaffa warriors, the Sodan relied on symbiotes which they obtained by raiding Goa'uld strongholds for shipments of symbiotes that had yet to be implanted in any Jaffa. Such missions were considered to be rites of passage for the youngest warriors. The Sodan did not, however, wear the tattoo of any Goa'uld. According to legend, no warrior of the Sodan had been indentured to a Goa'uld for over 5000 years, and they believed that the Jaffa who made their choice to remain loyal to the Goa'uld were no longer of any concern to them. Although the Sodan traded with neighboring worlds, they remained isolated from the worlds they had left behind, and young Jaffa children knew of them only through stories of Sodan bravery and skill that had become legend among all Jaffa.
The Sodan society was racially mixed, and warriors, women, children, and families lived together peacefully in quaint villages with a simple Asian-like influence. Their leather clothing and several of their weapons, including the staff weapon, reflected their heritage as Jaffa, but they had also learned from the writings left behind by the Ancients how to construct and use devices of Ancient technology. The Sodan cloak, a device worn on an armband, used phase-shift technology to create a shield of invisibility. The Eye of the Gods, an obelisk of Ancient design, was a sophisticated transporter which made it possible for them to build their village a great distance from the stargate.
When SG-1 first visited the Sodan world of P9G-844, they were ambushed by Sodan warriors shielded by the cloak of invisibility. Those who transgress the sacred grounds of the Sodan forfeit their lives, and in the ensuing firefight Mitchell was wounded and captured, and Volnek, a Sodan warrior, was wounded and brought back to the SGC. Believing Volnek was dead at the hands of Mitchell, Volnek's brother Jolan declared the right of kel shak lo, ritual battle to the death, however, during his training for the battle, Mitchell earned Jolan's respect, and when both Mitchell and Volnek were released to return to their own people, an uneasy alliance was forged between Earth and the Sodan.
A Prior of the Ori had visited P9G-844, and Haikon, the leader of the Sodan, had begun to accept his teachings. Generations of Sodan had fought and died in exile, praying for the day when they could seek the path without recrimination, but when they prayed to their gods, they never once received a sign that they had been heard. Haikon knew that the Ori were not the Ancients he sought, but he had begun to believe that they were also gods who could lead the Sodan to the path of enlightenment, and he refused to heed Mitchell's warnings. However, when the Prior ordered the Sodan to destroy neighboring civilizations as potential threats, the Sodan had found only simple farmers and a world decimated by plague. They recognized the truth about the Ori and turned against them, and when SG-1 returned, Haikon and his people agreed to help SG-1 capture the Prior in order to obtain a blood sample that would lead to a cure for the Prior plague.
Barely two months later, a Prior returned and warned that the Sodan had committed unforgivable treason against the Ori. Volnek was struck down by a madness that drove him to slaughter every one of the Sodan. Although barely alive, only Haikon survived the carnage, and when at last Volnek was killed by SG-1, Haikon became the last of his people.
Cross Reference: Ancients, Eye of the Gods, Haikon, Jaffa, Jolan, Jomo Se Telek, Kel Shak Lo, Kheb, Krantu, Ori, P9G-844, Prior, Sodan Cloak, Volnek
Episode Reference: Babylon, The Fourth Horseman, Arthur's Mantle