- "What are invaders called on Barab I? Prey!"
- — Barabel Joke
Barab I is a dark, damp world that orbits very close to its red dwarf sun. Thick clouds engulf the planet, blocking most of the light from Barab. Despite this, the high atmosphere is thin, allowing heat and radiation to penetrate to the surface. These atmospheric conditions make the planet an irradiated greenhouse with extremely active water cycles.
Life on Barab I is dictated by day-night cycles. Daytime outdoor survival is nearly impossible without protective gear; nearly all animal activity is nocturnal. The daytime temperature on the planet's surface varies between 45 and 55 degrees centigrade throughout the year. Almost all surface water evaporates quickly when the sun rises, leaving the planet encased in steamy fog.
Hard radiation from the sun conspires with the heat to drive all animal life underground, leaving the surface sparsely vegetated and practically barren. Even Barabel cannot survive a full day's exposure without protection, although they fare better than visitors do over short periods. The radiation level during daylight is always at least mild, but during the middle 10 hours, it increases to strong and becomes even more powerful in direct sunlight or above 4,000 km in altitude.
During the night, water condenses, drenching the planet's surface in heavy rains. Temperatures drop to a relatively cool 30 degrees centigrade, and animals creep out of their underground hiding places. Nearly everything hunts during the night, making this time just as dangerous as day, for completely different reasons.
Barab I would likely rank with Kashyyyk in dangerous fauna if it were better known. The food chain is complex, but always vividly violent. Even herbivores and small prey animals are capable of killing larger creatures.
A few plants survive in this environment, extremely adapted to exist in the dim light and harsh radiation. Plants are sessile -- short, broad affairs that bloom across the ground. Their increased surface area allows them a greater chance for water to condense or remain trapped in their leaves. Some wrap themselves in cocoons with metallic sheens to reflect radiation during the day.
The Barab system is small, consisting of only three planets orbiting a red dwarf star that is also known as Barab.
- Barab I is the only habitable planet. Homeworld of the Barabels.
- Barab II is nothing more than a frozen ball of rock and ice.
- Barab III, a large gas giant, is the outermost planet. It is orbited by thirty-four moons. None of these moons have been significantly explored.
Barab I’s surface is undeveloped, aside from the city/spaceport of Alater-ka, and uniformly rocky and barren. However, every planet has a few notable landmarks and Barab I is no exception.
Neutral Jedi ZoneEdit
Neutral Jedi Zone is the Basic translation for the Barabel term used to describe a high-ceilinged cave located beneath the surface of Barab I. According to legend, it is the location where the Jedi had famously settled the dispute between the two warring clans on Barab I and eternally earned the gratitude of the Barabel people.
The Neutral Jedi Zone is a large underground arena, naturally formed through the forces of nature and then developed further by the Barabels into a true arena carved right out of the planet. The entire structure is hundreds of meters wide, with a high ceiling that gives the place a truly majestic look.
It is in this place that the Barabels resolve far-reaching disputes that can't be decided at the local level. Individual Barabels are appointed as diplomats to argue each side of a dispute, and visiting Jedi Knights or other dignitaries are sometimes asked to mediate the debates. The Neutral Jedi Zone offers offworlders luxury accommodations in exchange for their help in mediating the disputes.
This memorial is erected in honor of the Barabel visionary Shaka-ka, who organized her people and helped drive off Planetary Safaris, which had been the main source of sport hunters killing the Barabels. She would later commission Alater-ka with the help of Imperial captain Osted Alater. Appropriately, the memorial is built within the city itself.
- Mount Ste'vshuulsz - one of Barab I's larger mountains, it is a jagged mound of shale and rock.
- Listian Hills - a range of low mountains.
- Mount Scich'tl - a worn-down peak.
Easily possessing one of the most deadly ecologies in the galaxy, Barab I's wildlife is not to be underestimated even by experienced hunters. Every form of life, even most herbivores, are more than capable of killing another creature for sustenance. Every creature is aggressive and won’t hesitate to attack if it sees a meal or feels threatened. Aside from plants, all life on Barab I is reptilian
- Rangi - These small yet dangerous creatures are often hunted by the Barabels for food. Despite their size, they are completely fearless and won't think twice about attacking creatures larger than they are. More than one inexperienced hunter has fallen before a rangi.
- Hka'ka - Small reptiles that are the favorite prey of the Shenbit Bonecrusher.
- Vsst - Even smaller reptiles that are the favorite prey of the hka'kas.
- Skotcarp - Lizards that live on the slopes of Mount Ste'vshuulsz.
Although it is mainly known for its dangerous wildlife and the Barabel people themselves, Barab I does have a few unique resources to offer the galaxy.
These large, black-skinned fruits are considered by many species, including Humans, to be very tasty. A small but solid market for them has grown offworld.
This unusual, crystalline ore is found only on Barab I. In its raw form, Barab Ore is found on the surface of Barab I, which leads to its near-constant exposure to radiation. When refined into ingots, Barab Ore can actually store radiation and increase its energy potential, which makes it dangerous to handle without proper training and protection.
Jedi Knights sometimes use Barab Ore crystals in the construction of their lightsabers. The blade produced by a Barab Ore crystal burns exceptionally bright and hot. However, many Jedi consider this blade too dangerous to use, as it could lose energy cohesion at any time by burning out the other lightsaber components.
A common misconception about the Barabel people is that they're primitives. Indeed, while their planet remains largely undeveloped it is by choice and not because they lack the understanding to cope with the modern world. The Barabels have created numerous inventions and are quick to learn modern technology and how it can be of use to them.
This potent alcoholic drink was developed by the Barabels and is usually their drink of choice. Like the Barabel Fruit, the Bloodsour has found a small market offworld, however usually only other carnivorous races have a taste for it.
A meat dish of questionable origin favored by Barabels that is often enjoyed raw and bleeding. The dish is so distinctive that Old Republic medical staff often referred to it when describing their daily work during the height of the Clone Wars.
This large blaster was created by the Barabels because they found traditional modern sidearms lacking in power. The B-100 can easily burn through most types of armor, although it requires a lot of power and has fewer shots than standard blasters. The B-100 is too big for most races, but is perfectly suited for the Barabels.
One of the most innovative Barabel inventions, microbe armor is impressive even by modern standards. It is formed from inflated pouches that contain a saline solution which supports the growth of microscopic organisms. These organisms are created to consume and thrive on radiation, and essentially "eat" the energy which is contained in a blaster bolt. This makes the microbe armor a kind of living, ablative shield. Whenever the armor is hit with a blast, it stimulates the micro-organisms to reproduce, which actually makes the armor more effective over time.
Barabel began writing down their history only about 400 years before the Battle of Yavin (400 BBY). As far as historians can tell, life before that time was not remarkably different from life after. Clans and communities lived much as they do now, warring in underground caves and hunting on the surface in the night.
However, one incident has resonated through the history of the species. The story is that sometime in the distant past, a Jedi -- sometimes a band of Jedi, and sometimes a single Jedi with companions -- visited Barab I. Two large clans were on the verge of war over hunting ground rights, in a time known to the Barabel as the Barabel Wars. Fortunately, the Jedi, led by an Ithorian known as Noga-ta, mediated a peace between the clans, preventing a war that would have encompassed the known world at the time.
This mediation had a dramatic effect on the Barabel. First, because of the Jedi's wisdom and decisiveness, the Barabel never again fought over hunting territory. In accordance with the Jedi's decree, clans must always share hunting grounds, and a clan's largest kill of the night must be given to the head of another clan. Second, and more importantly in the larger galaxy, Barabel forever after revered Jedi and accepted whatever judgment a Jedi passed.
This reverence was irrelevant in the short term, since the Jedi left after the mediation and never reported Barab I's existence to the Council. Barab I remained unknown to the galaxy until it was rediscovered during Palpatine's reign.
The stories the Barabel told about the Jedi spoke of ships "from beyond the clouds." When ships arrived again during the Rebellion era, the Barabel believed the Jedi had returned and greeted them openly, listening to whatever they had to say.
Sadly, the first arrivals were not Jedi, but wildcat planetary scouts from a corporation known as Planetary Safaris. The Barabel met the new visitors with open arms. They were repaid with exploitation. News of the plethora of dangerous, killable wildlife (including the Barabel themselves) spread, making Barab I an open secret among the elite hunters of the galaxy.
The marketable ferocity of the Barabel was not lost on the various business people and criminals who visited, either. Many Barabel were "exported" as bounty hunters, mercenaries, and shockboxers. Some were sent off in indentured servitude, though most either escaped or killed their "masters" when pushed too hard and became independent operators. Finally, Barab I's proximity to Hutt Space made it the perfect place for Hutts to "disappear" certain people.
The Empire controlled the planet and provided some protection to the Barabel during the Rebellion, but the protection was inconsistent, and the Barabel usually had to fend for themselves. They learned to distrust outsiders, even as they filtered into the galaxy and lived among them.
Barab I's history in the Exodus universe after the Battle of Endor is not all that different from canon. After the New Republic took control of the Albanin Sector, the Barabels were granted the chance to become a member.
Wary of the return of big game hunters with the departure of the Empire, the Barabels agreed to join the New Republic for the protection they brought. The clans selected a prestigious Barabel named Rashrak to represent them in the senate. By all accounts, Rashrak did an excellent job of representing his people, but it became clear that in the larger scheme of things, Barab I wasn't considered a very important member of the senate.
Just as the Empire's protection was inconsistent, so to was the Republic's. Barab I became a place for politicians and military officials to banish their rivals but otherwise was largely ignored. It didn’t help that the many Barabels felt threatened by outside pressure for them to conform to the ways of the galaxy at large. Despite all this, the clans kept Barab I a member for what little protection the New Republic offered, always mindful of the threat outsiders could pose.
The Trial of SkarrekEditThe arrival of Skarrek in 14 ABY would trigger a series of events on Barab I that would have long-reaching consequences. Skarrek, a Barabel assassin who was high up on the New Republic’s most wanted list was also seen by many Barabel as an icon to be emulated for his many successful “hunts.” When the New Republic demanded he be handed over to be tried for his crimes, the clans were initially at an impasse. Indeed, the entire populace of Barab I was polarized on the issue as supporters of the New Republic clashed with those who argued that the New Republic’s laws had no place in Barabel society.
To decide the issue, the clans put Skarrek on trial so he could settle the matter himself. Skarrek’s trial essentially consisted of him dueling a New Republic champion; the victor would then be allowed to decide Skarrek’s fate. After a bloody fight with the Republic champion, another assassin known as Hartara the Carver, Skarrek emerged victorious and won the support of the clans to keep him from being prosecuted while on the planet.
However, it didn’t end there. Adjutant Julas Tec, the highest authority for the New Republic on the planet, refused to acknowledge the verdict and instead put Barab I under martial law until Skarrek either surrendered himself or was handed over to New Republic authorities. Tec’s blatant disrespect for Barab I’s customs swayed many former supporters to side against him and the New Republic.
Skarrek himself eventually settled the matter by appearing to surrender. With some assistance from sympathetic forces within the New Republic, Skarrek was able to get close enough to Tec to kill him. Afterwards, the remaining New Republic forces that had been loyal to Tec surrendered, ending the lockdown of the planet. A vote was later held by the clan leaders on the issue of Barab I’s sovereignty, the verdict was unanimous, and Barab I declared its independence soon after.