- "This place seems more like a prison than a hidden fortress."
"Only for the weak. If you’re strong, Arcanix will free you."
- — Elena Connor and Blud
For every inhabitable planet in the galaxy, there are thousands of planets that are deemed uninhabitable. The galaxy is littered with dead systems, filled with dead planets, orbiting dying stars. For the most part, these systems and their planets are written off by the galaxy at large, cataloged only by unpronounceable designations instead of any kind of proper name. They are the dead waste that are given only passing thought by the galaxy at large. Until relatively recently, Arcanix belonged in this category.
The planet now serves as the homeworld for the Cult of Shadow. Thanks to the machinations of the cult's leader, Sivter, Arcanix is rapidly growing in power as a focal point for the Dark Side of the Force. The concentration of Darksiders makes up the bulk of this growing power, but it is by no means the only factor. The cult also utilizes a practice of “feeding” failed cult members to the planet by tossing their bodies into the rivers of lava that run across the planet. The bio-created creatures known as corrupters also contribute to a strong Dark Side presence.
The location of the world is a closely guarded secret by the cult. All new initiates are brought to the planet under cult supervision and no one is allowed to leave until the cult’s Shadow Keepers lock the knowledge away. Any cult member who tries to share the location with a non-cult member in any way is killed by the conditioning that the Shadow Keepers impart. Those few who know the location and are not subjected to the conditioning are among the most trusted and highest-ranking individuals in the Cult of Shadow.
The DV-3 system is an ancient system where life never really managed to take hold until Sivter’s arrival. The entire system is shrouded in thick galactic gasses and is filled with wandering asteroids and small planetoids, making navigation through the system difficult at best. It has one sun and four true planets.
- DV36820 - A dead chunk of rock orbiting close to the sun.
- DV36821 - The only gas giant in the system, DV36821 is otherwise unremarkable.
- DV36822 (Arcanix) - The only "habitable" planet in the system and headquarters for the Cult of Shadow.
- DV36823 (Sentry) - A small frozen planet on the very outskirts of the system, the Cult of Shadow has recently set up a lookout post on it as an early warning system.
Atmosphere and TerrainEdit
The Old Republic cartographers had good reason to call Arcanix uninhabitable. Thick sulfurous clouds blot out the sky and the planet is dotted with several active volcanoes, making much of the land barren and unstable. However, Arcanix is almost unique in that its mix of ubiquitous cloud cover and the heat of its constant volcanic activity have made the planet's temperature comfortable, if slightly warmer than the standard.
Because of the thick cloud cover, Arcanix is a very dark planet. The light from its dying sun can't pierce the atmosphere. Much of the natural light on the surface comes from the volcanoes.
The atmosphere is poisonous but breathable. However, it's painful to inhale and will put most species into a coma within an hour and kill them after another. In combination with this deadly atmosphere, Sith Poison is also in abundance thanks to the creatures known as corrupters which float through the sky and constantly release it.
For true Darksiders who set foot on the planet, the sensation has been described as revitalizing. It’s also been learned by the Jedi who have been brought as prisoners to Arcanix that Lightsiders find the planet stifling and feel like they’re suffocating.
- "This place is a crucible designed only to guarantee the survival of the very strongest. Every day the planet is fed a countless number of the dead into its molten streams of those who have failed to survive."
- — Nelar Rel’ot
- Shadow Temple - The only visible manmade structure on Arcanix, the Shadow Temple was first constructed brick by brick by the initial members of the cult in the style of the ancient Sith. It is a massive building that contains living quarters, classrooms, arenas, archives, laboratories, landing bays, and all of the other various facilities required therein.
Ever expanded upon by cult labor, and more recently, through Labor Lords, the Shadow Temple grows continuously in size to accommodate the cult’s rapidly growing following. It has become a labyrinthine structure of increasing complexity thanks to these constant additions and navigating it has almost become another test in itself for cult members. Those who get lost in the Shadow Temple are rarely seen again.
- Ashen Expanse - This large stretch of flat land near to the Shadow Temple is often used for large gatherings by the Cult of Shadow. A natural jagged cluster of rock that overlooks the expanse has been carved into a podium for use by speakers. It is completely exposed to the elements, but is ringed with lights so cult members won't have any difficulty seeing what is going on. A particle shield that covers the area has also been added to keep out volcanic dust in order to increase visibility. The shield is only activated during gatherings.
- Sivter's Private Study – This was the first structure ever built on Arcanix. Sivter’s study is an extensive underground facility placed in one of the most geologically stable areas of Arcanix. It is fully set up to house his various experiments and has a hidden hangar to house his ship. It also serves as a depository for the lifetime of knowledge Sivter has acquired. It is buried deep underground to hide it from sensors and to protect it from bombardment. The entrance is hidden and filled with various traps to keep out unwanted intruders. Aside from Sivter, only a handful of his most trusted people know of its existence and location.
- Schrai Hive – The Schrai Hive is home only to the race known as the Schrai. The insectoid creatures constructed it after Sivter gained the race’s loyalty and transplanted them to Arcanix. The hive is the only structure on the planet that can rival the Shadow Temple for size and, if the hive’s underground tunnels are added to the comparison, is actually far larger and more extensive. The only non-Schrai allowed inside are the Dark Master and a select few Dark Lords. All other intruders are killed on sight.
Most of Arcanix's native life are single-celled organisms. By far the most advanced native species are small amphibians called lava swimmers. As their name suggests, they can swim in molten lava without any problems.
Other creatures that inhabit Arcanix are Dark Side aberrations created by Sivter that he lets loose to roam the planet. Some are failed experiments, others are experiments in progress, and still others are perfected species that help to guard the planet. It's a common practice for the Cult of Shadow to send members out into the wilds to slay one of these creatures as tests to see how powerful they are.
Some of the more notable species that Sivter has created:
The DV-3 system was discovered back during the early days of the Old Republic. The system was one of many stops for the early stellar cartographers trying to map out the galaxy. After an intial search showed no redeeming features about the system or any of it's planets, the location was briefly noted before the team moved on.
Afterwards, the DV-3 system, like many other similar systems, were lost to antiquity. With so many more important systems, and millions of far more viable planets waiting to be colonized, DV-3 was forgotten by the galaxy at large.
Arcanix's true history begins with a Defel Darksider named Sivter. Sivter scoured the galactic databases, with an eye on these dead systems, to find a perfect location where he could hide from the galaxy as he devised his many plans and schemes.
Finally settling on the DV-3 system, and planet DV36822 in particular, Sivter manipulated a shady contractor to secretly build a few underground structures on the planet for him before killing them all once they were finished. He then dubbed the planet Arcanix and started using it as his base of operations.Later, once Sivter felt the need to get more help to carryout his plans, he formed the Cult of Shadow on Arcanix. With the cult members at his disposal Sivter used them to build a temple styled after the ancient Sith designs. From that day, the cult began operating out of Arcanix with impunity. Later, with the help of the cult-devised Labor Lords, the rate of the cult’s growth, and the structures associated with it, expanded considerably.