- "You are quite an intriguing puzzle. I look forward to our next encounter."
- — Arien Garix to Kya Solra
Arien Garix (37 BBY) is a Hapan Dark Jedi from Arabanth. He is arrogant and supremely confident in his abilities in the Force and dueling with a lightsaber. He is also highly intelligent and intuitive, never allowing his darker emotions to control his actions. Instead he sees them as tools towards an end.
Arien is a studious planner and often concocts schemes that have many layers to them, trying to take into account all possible factors. Despite this, he enjoys being surprised even if it completely ruins his plans. Surprise is a novel concept for him as it doesn't happen very often. It isn't uncommon for him to allow an enemy to retreat instead of killing them when he clearly has an advantage for just this reason.
Despite his intelligence, Arien has never struck out on his own, instead offering his talents to at least four masters including Emperor Palpatine, Supreme Prophet Kadann, Demetri Demov, and Sivter. He has served, at one point or another, as an Emperor's Hand, a Prophet of the Dark Side, and a Dark Lord in the Cult of Shadow but has survived the destruction of each of those organizations. He currently serves as advisor and consort to Queen Mother Jenarvia Avori of the Hapes Consortium.
- "Arien Garix; he's polite, he's charming, he's Hapan, and he's ridiculously intelligent."
- — Ashin Varanin
Arien is supremely confident in his own abilities to the point of arrogance, however such inclinations aren’t without merit. More often than not he’s able to live up to any promises he makes and has enough humility to stop short of pointless boasting.
He tightly controls his emotions, usually under the mask of a bemused smile, and isn’t prone to acting out or allowing his darker impulses to get the better of him, which can make it hard for other people to figure out what he’s really thinking at any point. He rarely shows outright anger, but there is a definite serious shift in his expression when it becomes clear to him that he can’t take an opponent or situation lightly.
Although he tends to see most people as being below him – the equivalent of game pieces – it isn’t a universal view; if he finds in someone some virtue or trait that he admires, he’ll usually offer his services to them. Whether he offers his services because he genuinely wishes to serve them, or just because it amuses him or satisfies some sense of curiosity is unknown. It is undeniable, however, that he rarely takes up a leadership role on his own volition and is usually seen voluntarily carrying out someone else’s orders.
Arien likes to believe himself to be cultured and is well-versed in many topics traditionally enjoyed by the galactic wealthy and elite. He often listens to opera and concertos, has a diverse knowledge of wines and other spirits, and routinely works to solve Hapan puzzle boxes in his spare time. He could also be considered a grandmaster at holochess though he has never felt the need to compete professionally to confirm it.
In addition to mastering the basic Force skills, Arien has a diverse array of powers that he can call upon. In general, these powers aren't directly related to combat, as Arien prefers to avoid the "barbarism" of fighting. He focuses instead on abilities that allow him to better his own body and mind, while debilitating others, like Force Blinding and Malacia. He also has a penchant for powers that are difficult to learn, such as Force Illusion and Force Deflection. The only truly aggressive power he uses with any frequency is Force Drain since it is a convenient way to replenish himself should he ever need to do so. Arien is also known to practice the technique known as Quey'tek meditation to hide his Dark Side aura and appear to be benign or otherwise nonthreatening; his skill with the ability is usually adept enough to fool all but the most perceptive Force-users when he employs it.
Arien generally prefers to avoid the lightsaber altogether, but when he is forced to resort to it, he sticks strictly to the Makashi style of lightsaber combat and is a master in using it. He feels that only the most elegant of the forms is fit to be used by him, finding the others to be crude or overcompensating. He learned Shii-Cho in the process of his training, but rarely, if ever employs it.
He is a big advocate for Form Zero and as such only brings out his lightsaber if given no other option, however his reasoning differs from the Jedi. For him, it is because he sees being forced to resort to a lightsaber as a failure on his part to resolve things more elegantly. For this reason, Arien uses Dun Möch frequently in an attempt to dominate his opponents before a fight can even begin or to quickly end it. His use of Sokan is less refined, but still formidable, and he's been known to use the Force to actively change the environment to make his target go where he desires in a fight.
- Singlebladed Curve-Hilted Lightsaber
Arien uses only a single lightsaber, curve-hilted to aid in his Makashi style, for attack and defense. The saber uses a rare Eralam crystal to give it a focused and potent golden beam.
Growing up on Arabanth in the Hapes Cluster, Arien Garix acquired a deep appreciation for thought puzzles. He prided himself on being able to figure out even the most difficult or obtuse riddles. When he deduced that his gift for intuitiveness stemmed from a connection to the Force and tried to learn how to use his gift, Arien was dealt a bitter shock. The Jedi deemed that he was too old to begin training. This simple denial, based solely on the abstract concept of age, was nursed by Arien until it became a resentful grudge that would shape his future actions.
The Shroud RemovedEdit
One of his greatest achievements, and one that Arien never tires of sharing with people, is that he figured out one of history’s greatest mysteries on his own: Palpatine’s true purpose before the formation of the Empire. A year into the Clone Wars, Arien deduced that the seemingly kindly chancellor was only putting on an act. He decided not to bring his findings to the Jedi or the Senate because of the grudge he had against the Jedi, which by this time had grown to include the corrupt Galactic Republic in its entirety.
Instead, he presented it directly to Palpatine. It was perhaps not the wisest decision in Arien’s life, but Arien’s arrogance was such that he had to confront Palpatine face-to-face. Impressed with Arien’s intelligence and ingenuity, Palpatine decided to spare the Hapan instead of killing him for uncovering the dangerous secret. He revealed himself as Darth Sidious and promised to train Arien in the ways of the Force, with the condition that he keep the secret and return at the end of the Clone Wars.
Arien agreed and returned to Arabanth. He was greatly amused when Palpatine finally formed the Empire and denounced the Jedi. Unlike a lot of other Hapans, he publicly applauded the Empire and its new regime. Arien waited a standard year to see how stable Palpatine’s Empire truly was before returning to the now Emperor Palpatine to make good on their agreement.
Servant of the EmpireEdit
Arien was given some initial instruction by Palpatine as had been promised, but the Emperor was much more concerned with training his true pupil: Darth Vader. For a time Arien was relegated to carrying out Palpatine’s whims as an Emperor’s Hand, using his basic training in the Force to hear the Emperor’s call.
When it became clear that Arien’s potential was being wasted as an agent, Palpatine had him sent to Dromund Kaas to study with the Prophets of the Dark Side. It was there that he would primarily reside until just before the Battle of Endor, refining and strengthening his power as he learned a great deal of Dark Side knowledge from the other prophets.
He was considered something of a dilettante among the other prophets despite the fact that he showed considerable skill, power, and ability. This was due to the fact that he tended to focus on learning difficult powers as a way to prove his superiority rather than as a means to advance his knowledge of the Dark Side. Many of the prophets didn’t believe that he undertook their work with the gravitas required, and for the most part, they were right.
However, there was one subject that Arien took very seriously and that was anything having to do with the Hapes Cluster. Although completely loyal to Palpatine, Arien was a Hapan patriot at heart and did all he could with the power available to him to keep an eye on events in the cluster and even try to subtly influence their outcome to make a stronger, better, Hapes. He considered the future of Hapes and its people to be one big thought puzzle and relished any chance he could find to work on solving the problems he saw in the current system.
Beyond improving himself and improving Hapes, Arien didn’t seem to have any particular ambition, as such he likely would have stayed with the prophets indefinitely. Unfortunately for him there was a falling out between Supreme Prophet Kadann and Emperor Palpatine after Kadann predicted that Palpatine would fail at Endor. The resulting rift was so large that every prophet was forced to choose their loyalties to either Kadann or Palpatine.
Feeling indebted to the man that first instructed him in the ways of the Force, Arien sided with Palpatine and left Dromund Kaas for Coruscant. It wouldn’t be until after he arrived that he would learn of Palpatine’s death and the victory of the Rebel Alliance. Not willing to serve the Empire without Palpatine at its head, Arien quickly returned to Dromund Kaas only to find that the planet had been abandoned in his absence. The prophets under Kadaan having deserted it to go to a secret location…
Now effectively on his own, Arien had no choice but to start anew.
Life After EndorEdit
When Arien left the Empire, he took a significant portion of the vast wealth he had accrued while a prophet and divested it in multiple galactic banks to keep it secure. With enough money to live comfortably for the rest of his life, Arien used those credits to travel the galaxy and expand his considerable knowledge. He also continued to study the Dark Side on his own, fine-tuning the skills he had been taught while a Prophet of the Dark Side.
Arien did whatever he wanted, using the Force to accomplish what money could not alone. It would be during this journey that Arien would encounter a man named Demetri Demov, a former Corporate Sector Authority agent who had designs to resurrect Emperor Palpatine with the use of a special Sith artifact.
Delighted at the idea of bringing back his first master, Arien pledged his services to Demov and was put in charge of doing the other’s dirty work. With Arien’s help, the artifact was recovered and Demov was in the process of decoding the inscriptions before trouble happened. Through various events, four separate groups became involved in the search for Demov’s artifact: Rufus Elani of XII, Kya Solra of Oremin, Ariana Deveux and Arik Nevarr from the Utopia Bell, and Jedi Master Devon Vos.
When it became clear that ordinary measures would not be able to handle these people, Arien took matters into his own hands. However, he would soon be defeated at the hands of Kya, thanks to a ysalamiri nutrient frame and a set of power armor that she utilized against him. Arien retreated, but did not forget the face of the captivating woman who had bested him, promising that they would meet again one day.
While Arien was occupied with Kya, the others managed to defeat Demov and destroy the artifact, putting an end to any plans to resurrect Palpatine.
The Shadow BeckonsEdit
With Demov having disappeared after the battle, Arien took to wandering the galaxy once again. He didn’t roam for very long before he was contacted by the Defel Darksider known as Sivter. The Dark Side Master had tracked him down expressly for the purpose of adding Arien’s skills to his organization, the Cult of Shadow.
Arien was initially reluctant to become a part of another Darksider’s group so soon after the fall of Demov, but changed his mind upon seeing Sivter’s true power for himself. Not since his days with Palpatine and the Prophets of the Dark Side had he felt such power from another. The Hapan agreed, with a provision that he would be granted free reign over operations in the Hapes Cluster, and quickly climbed the ranks to become one of the cult’s Dark Lords.
However he languished as he reached the rank of Dark Lord, once again more content to further his own interests than those of the people he was working for. It became so bad that Sivter eventually implanted mental commands into Arien that forced him to eliminate two of the cult's Inner Circle Dark Lords that had been guilty of the same thing. He was spared from execution afterwards by deducing that Sivter had been responsible and promising to redeem himself to his new master.
Then, in order to prove his worth to Sivter, Arien convinced the Defel to let him use his sources to lead the cult to secret Sith worlds that were filled with untapped knowledge and resources. Sivter agreed and Arien was eventually teamed up with the Dark Lord Crix to ensure that Arien kept his promise.
Arien led Crix and a group of disciples, including Jethro Varik, to a planet known as Maedes. There they successfully razed the remnants of an Imperial stronghold that had been built to protect an ancient library. The library was rumored to contain numerous untold Dark Side secrets, but once they were able to secure it they discovered most of the data had been moved to another location years ago. However, there was enough left behind for Arien to piece together where the information had been moved. As it turned out, it would be a hunt that the Hapan was destined not to continue.
Once they lifted off from Maedes, Arien received word that one of his long-term plans in the Hapes Cluster was nearing the point where he would need to oversee the final stages. He gave Crix access to the information he would need to track down where the contents of the library would have been moved to and parted company with the other Dark Lord at the closest inhabited planet.
From there he caught the next transport to Hapes…
Return to HapesEdit
- "The council will have to acknowledge that once again I and I alone, know what is best for Hapes. For today is a new chapter on our glorious history."
- — Queen Mother Ta'a Chume shortly before her assassination.
During his time in the Cult of Shadow, Arien had been able to deduce to some degree what Sivter planned for the galaxy. Unwilling to see his beloved Hapes Cluster eradicated by the Charon when Sivter was finally able to bring them over from otherspace, he knew that the only way to save it was by putting it under the control of the Cult of Shadow before it could be massacred.
Since the current Queen Mother, Ta'a Chume, would never agree to take orders from any outsider, let alone the Cult of Shadow, Arien began conspiring in secret with her most likely successor, Azonia Zyier, to bring down the entire royal family and make her the new Queen Mother. Azonia not only had the resources and connections that Arien needed, but she was also greedy and weakminded enough to be easily manipulated by him. It was an ideal situation, and Arien knew he should have been pleased with it, but a part of him couldn't help but regret the idea of putting such a weak Queen Mother on the throne.
Arien's plan started smoothly at first, Azonia used her contacts to upload a virus of Arien's own design onto the Star Home, overloading the reactors to destroy the ship and kill all aboard, including Ta'a Chume, the entire royal family, and the roughly 15,000 passengers aboard it at the time. Although reluctant to destroy a national treasure like Star Home, Arien had calculated that the massive shock of losing it along with the Queen Mother would cause the Royal Houses to act quickly to crown a new Queen Mother. Since Azonia was the only strong contender, the coronation would be quick and Hapes would unknowingly be under the control of the Cult of Shadow in a matter of days.
It was then, however, that something happened that Arien did not expect and would prove to have long lasting consequences for not just him, but for all of Hapes. The head of another influential house, Larana Avori, had unexpectedly died days before, prompting her daughter, Jenarvia, to return from a self-imposed exile and assume control of House Avori. During Azonia's bid before the royal houses to be the new Queen Mother, the factions opposing her put up Jenarvia as a rival candidate. Suddenly there was another strong contender for the throne and, even though it disrupted his plans, Arien felt he owed it to himself as a loyal son of Hapes to meet Jenarvia in person and judge for himself what kind of Queen Mother she would potentially be.