Officially, Belsavis is a sparsely populated Republic world dominated by arctic plains. Its only notable feature is the rare tropical rifts that break up the expanses of ice, heated by natural geothermal vents and home to a surprising diversity of plant life.
In truth, Belsavis is an ultrasecure prison colony established by the Republic. Until recently, the prison's existence was top secret, but its discovery by the Empire has resulted in rumors spreading throughout the galactic underworld. The prison is now in a state of lockdown, and both Republic and Imperial militaries have a presence on the scene.
- faction: Republic, levels: 47 - 50
- location: Outer Rim, status: Following the Chaos of an Imperial Prison Break Initiative, the Republic is Striving to Restore Order
- terrain: Ice Covered with Small Pockets of Volcanic Temperate Zones
- key facts: Prison world maintained by the Republic
Companions from this world: Skadge (Bounty Hunter companion), Scorpio (Imperial Agent companion)
High Security Section
The High Security Section of Belsavis prison contains cell blocks along with the medical, scientific and engineering centers for the facility. Necessities ranging from fresh water to electricity are produced here, and the science and medical teams work to better contain and better subdue the prison's more unusual residents.
The cell blocks in the High Security Section are designed to hold small communities of nonhuman prisoners with similar cultural or physiological needs. Although many species can and do survive among near-humans, official policy states that prisoners kept in species-tailored conditions (with select food, atmospheric mixtures, and so on) are often more tranquil.
The High Security Section has a dark reputation among Belsavis's inmates. Prisoners sent to the medical centers often don't return, the rumors say, and the Republic's scientists experiment with dangerous technologies drawn from Belsavis's ancient vaults. Whether any of these rumors are true, even the guards can't say; information, like everything else on Belsavis, is tightly restricted.
Maximum Security Section
The Maximum Security Section hosts prisoners too dangerous, too uncooperative or too unusual to be permitted to gather in any number. Many Maximum Security inmates are kept in near-permanent solitary confinement, and the Maximum Security cells are customized for each occupant so that shapechangers, cyborgs, Force-sensitives and other powerful beings can be effectively restrained.
The Maximum Security Section also contains the entrance to the deep levels of the prison--known as "the Tomb"--built by ancient aliens who used Belsavis as their own prison long ago. The Republic has explored only portions of the deep prison, studying the primeval droids that patrol the old, sealed cells. Nowadays, the ancient droids have grown used to the Republic, willingly accepting modern prisoners transferred into their care and depositing them in vaults far below the surface.
Minimum Security Section
By the standards of any other prison, Belsavis's Minimum Security Section would be considered escape-proof--a tightly controlled, heavily monitored maze of cell blocks, guard towers and work yards. By Belsavis standards, the Minimum Security Section is just what the name implies--the absolute minimum level of security acceptable for holding the worst criminals in the galaxy.
The inmates in the Minimum Security Section consist mainly of murderers, pirates, gangsters and other violent criminals who possess a humanoid physiology and a willingness to communicate (if not cooperate) with prison authorities. Prisoners who require specialized holding facilities are shipped to higher-security areas, but here, inmates are permitted to gather and to work, albeit under strict supervision.
When the Empire inserted its forces onto the planet, it converted the remains of a camp used by early Republic explorers into a fortified lodgment. From there, Imperial forces have made surgical strikes to breach cell blocks and obliterate dividing walls. The Republic has since pulled many of the Belsavis guards and their families to relative safety in the prison's security and administrative centers.
Thousands of years before the Republic conceived of the notion, a species known as the Rakata turned Belsavis into a prison planet. From what little scientists have learned by studying ancient writings and from the decaying memory banks of Rakata warden droids, Belsavis was built to hold monsters, warlords and so-called "lords of the infinite"--anything the primeval and incredibly powerful Rakata feared.
The Belsavis prison administration calls the Rakata section of Belsavis "the Tomb." Here, prisoners are held in eternal stasis, frozen in place and denied movement and thought by ancient technologies. Not all the inmates are ancient, however--many were given by the Republic to the warden droids for safekeeping, when no other cell could hold them.
Through the use of droids, remote-controlled probes and rare exploratory teams, the Republic has set up a series of monitoring and communication stations throughout the Tomb. Despite this, only a tiny portion of the Tomb has been explored; this is the domain of the ancients.
Prisoners are sentenced to Belsavis for two reasons: they are too dangerous or too difficult to imprison anywhere else. In the former category are some of the most treacherous beings in the galaxy--master assassins, hardened pirates, war criminals, slavers, Sith Lords and others.
The second category is broader--Belsavis contains escape artists, slicers and shapechangers whose crimes are relatively minor compared to the destructive madmen who dwell alongside them. Gang leaders and syndicate leaders can fall into this category as well, placed in Belsavis to isolate them from their web of criminal contacts.
The prison administration attempts to separate prisoners of like affiliation--members of a single gang, for example, are often divided among multiple cell blocks--but prisoners not in isolation quickly form their own alliances inside Belsavis. Murder and assault are common inside the prison, and for many, protection comes in numbers.
Dagger Wing (Trooper)
Dagger Wing was one of the most famous and celebrated Republic starfighter units of the Great War. Records of its missions were the stuff of legend, and all of its pilots were regarded as heroes. When High Command announced that Dagger Wing was missing in action, it was a harsh blow to morale.
Despite the hundreds of fellow soldiers who volunteered to brave enemy fire in search of the lost pilots, the Republic quietly closed the book on Dagger Wing. The truth was far more damaging than the lie that the heroes had been lost; Dagger Wing's war crime--the unauthorized bombing of thousands of Imperial civilians on Fest--would have destroyed Republic credibility and created a diplomatic crisis. Better to bury the truth, mourn and move on.
Dagger Wing would be imprisoned on Belsavis, and the subject would not be raised again.
The New Men began as a cyberneticist cult on the planet Metellos, where its founder, Teha Zero, advocated the merger of man and machine. The cult foresaw an era where scarcity and physical limitations ceased to exist, and all people lived in peace.
Teha's apprentice Bezar One, who assumed leadership after Teha's death, took the cult in a new direction. The New Men began a series of violent raids to procure equipment, murdering anyone who interfered, and began plans for a city-wide "electric ascension" that would have empowered the cyborgs and cost of millions of lives.
The plot was thwarted, and Bezar One and his lieutenants were imprisoned on Belsavis. Since then, the New Men have recruited new members, improvising cybernetic implants by stealing droid parts and performing surgery in secret. Amazingly, relatively few of the New Men's recruits die during their initiation--for all their madness, the cultists know what they're doing.
The Circle (Sith Inquisitor)
Cast into the Republic's secret prison on Belsavis for slicing into the Strategic Information Service's classified records, the slicer gang known as the Circle is a tight-knit clan of tech-obsessed Nikto, led by the manic and hyper-intelligent Bolan.
Whereas other Nikto see raw might as the key to dominance, the Circle sees technology as the only power in the galaxy to rival the Force, possessing the ability to transform lives, societies and cultures, and to determine the outcome of wars. Since the Belsavis prison break, the Circle members have applied their tireless ingenuity attempting to seize control of Belsavis's security systems and the strange technologies hidden in the deeper parts of the prison.
Righteous and ideological, the Condemned is a gang of prison inmates united by a common past--unlike their fellow inmates, none of the Condemned have never been convicted of a crime. Instead, the Condemned are all descended from criminals and dissidents imprisoned on Belsavis. The Republic, fearing exposure, refused to grant amnesty to any prison-born offspring, effectively passing the parents' life sentences on to their children.
These "cell inheritors" were divided and directionless until a young and charismatic Kaleesh named Nyranos united them. Nyranos, whose father was convicted of destroying a Republic embassy on Kashyyyk, grew disillusioned with his imposed imprisonment and petitioned Warden Playt for parole. When his petition was denied, Nyranos rallied his fellow Condemned as they swore to take their freedom by force.
The Dread Masters
The Dread Masters are powerful Sith Lords who have served the Sith Emperor for centuries as prophets, generals and advisors. Their name was earned when they studied the power of the Phobis devices, artifacts that have driven even the most depraved Sith mad with terror. This power allowed the Dread Masters to destroy entire Republic fleets during the Great War, until they were captured and imprisoned on Belsavis.
The Dread Masters were known to spend years in secluded meditation on Dromund Kaas, emerging only to bring their wisdom to the Emperor or accept gifts from supplicants. Over the decades, they have become inseparable, their immense strength in the Force coming only from all six masters working in unison. Should the Empire ever succeed in freeing them from Belsavis, the galaxy will tremble before them again.
The Followers of the Hallow Voice (Jedi Consular)
In the years before their imprisonment by the Infinite Empire, the Esh-kha had wiped out countless species and expanded onto their conquered worlds. With so much living space, the Esh-kha population exploded. Eventually, a new patriarch was born while the old one was still healthy, something never seen before. This new patriarch, Hallow Voice, also had peculiar new ideas of how the Esh-kha should cooperate with other species.
The Esh-kha realized their group had grown too large and needed to split. Hallow Voice's birth and his unfamiliar ideas were clearly intended to divide their society and keep it from collapsing. As Esh-kha warriors were born who declared themselves for Hallow Voice, the young patriarch agreed to take his followers away from the main group. They settled on a distant world and began reaching out to nearby cultures.
However, the Esh-kha had become known for violence and mass destruction. Only a few tentative alliances were achieved before the Infinite Empire imprisoned the Esh-kha on Belsavis. Still, Jedi historians now wonder if a particular legend of grey-skinned warriors told in the Outer Rim--once thought to concern the Taung--might be a faint memory of Hallow Voice's followers.
The Imperial Guard
The ultimate non-Force sensitive fighters in the Empire serve the Emperor and the Emperor alone. Although most citizens know them as protectors of the Sith Academy on Korriban and the sanctum of the Citadel on Dromund Kaas, the guardsmen's mandate takes them wherever the Emperor requires. Even the Dark Council has neither control nor oversight of the guard's activities.
Clad in blood-red robes and armor, Imperial Guardsmen serve for life. Chosen for duty and initiated through deadly tests and traditions, those too old for active duty become instructors for the next generation until their skills deteriorate to the point where they are inevitably slain by a new recruit during training.
Fanatic in loyalty and unmatched in martial skill, even a lone Imperial Guard is a formidable opponent capable of standing toe-to-toe with a Jedi... or a Sith, should the occasion arise.
The Scourge (Smuggler)
The Scourge is the largest, best organized and most violent prison gang on Belsavis. Its members are suspected not only of the deaths of multiple prisoners, but also of several Republic guards. It is rumored the Scourge gang controls all illicit trade within the prison. Anyone who wishes to survive on Belsavis must submit to the Scourge's authority.
The gang's vicious leader is Jaardu Raax, a Rodian crime lord and mass murderer. Jaardu killed over three hundred innocent citizens when he set off thermal detonators on a busy Coruscant market street while trying to escape Republic law enforcement. He was given a life sentence on Belsavis, but that has not stopped his violent ways.
Persons of Note
Captain Zale Barrows (Bounty Hunter)
War does funny things to people. Before the Great War, nobody would have thought that "Captain" Zale Barrows was anything more than a two-credit trader with a careless disregard for customs law--let alone a patriot. But after watching the Imperial invasion tear apart the Outer Rim, there was only so much he could take. When the Mandalorian blockade of the Hydian Way began to strangle the life out of the Core Worlds, Zale was one of the first smugglers to sign up to break it.
Following that victory, he gladly went into service as a Republic privateer. Having won the respect of many with his heroics at the blockade, Zale acted as admiral of the Free Spacers Fleet, a battle group that went on to route the Empire's Third Fleet over Dantooine and remove the Seventh Fleet from Imperial service. The defense of Coruscant during the Imperial invasion was the last action Zale's fleet ever saw, but he wasn't through with the Republic just yet.
For the last several years, Zale Barrows has served as "ferryman" to Belsavis, transporting the most dangerous criminals in the galaxy to the Republic's secret prison. There's no glory in this job, and the money is nothing exceptional--but it seems Zale has accepted his calling.
Darth Ekkage (Sith Warrior)
The sister of Darth Baras, Darth Ekkage is one of the greatest Sith assassins to ever live. She and her network of killers were imprisoned on Belsavis after she was betrayed and handed over to the Jedi by one of her own--a Sith assassin who renounced the dark side and sought refuge among the Jedi.
Many believe Darth Ekkage was as powerful a weapon as the Sith have ever had, and that their victory over the Republic would have been completed long ago if Ekkage had not been captured. But there are also many within the Sith who fear her--realizing that they could just as easily be her next target.
Executor Krannus (Jedi Knight)
A rare pureblood Sith who lacks Force sensitivity, Executor Krannus was in danger of being left to die by his Sith parents. However, he was spared this fate by direct order of the Emperor. Although Krannus is considered inferior to Force-wielding Sith, his heritage elevates him above the ordinary humans of the Imperial military.
Krannus has assumed one of the Empire's highest ranks--Executor--and wields his supreme authority as a fiercely-devoted servant of the Emperor who spared his life. On his dark master's orders, Krannus leads a death-worshipping cult whose members believe the Emperor is a godlike being who will bestow immortality and unlimited power upon them--but only if they bring about the galaxy's destruction first.
Hallow Voice (Jedi Consular)
The Esh-kha patriarch Hallow Voice is an enigma among his own people. He was born while the previous Esh-kha patriarch was still strong and healthy--an unprecedented event. Later, he earned his name by eloquently expressing strange new ideas. Hallow Voice claimed the Esh-kha should find a way to coexist with other species instead of wiping them out. The other Esh-kha were flummoxed by this. Eventually, it was agreed by everyone--Hallow Voice included--that he should take a small group away from the main Esh-kha force to try out his theories.
Soon after, the Rakata Infinite Empire attacked the Esh-kha to stop their marauding, which had claimed many of the Rakata slave worlds. Hallow Voice appealed to the Rakata to spare his people. The Rakata strung out negotiations until they were confident they had the Esh-kha contained, then captured Hallow Voice. Millennia of imprisonment on Belsavis have not made him bitter; rather, Hallow Voice is more devoted than ever to a spirit of cooperation and to calming the murderous instincts of his cousin Esh-kha.
Intelligence Profile: SCORPIO (Imperial Agent)
- Companion of: Imperial Agent
- Melee Tank / DPS
- Crew Skills Bonus: +10 Cybertech Efficiency, +2 Slicing Critical
- Primary Weapon: Electrostaff
- Secondary Weapon: Shield Generator
- Name: SCORPIO
- Gender: None (identifies as female?)
- Species: Droid
- Age: Unknown
Background (Summary): Claims to have been designed for heuristic self-improvement by unknown parties. Current chassis is of recent design, suggesting multiple precursor bodies or independent database.
Over a century ago, SCORPIO became involved with Star Cabal organization and accepted guardianship of Belsavis Megasecurity Ward 23. In return for rare technology, SCORPIO willingly acted as the Star Cabal's security system until application of control codes by Cipher Nine. Currently unable to directly harm Cipher Nine without provocation or depart Cipher Nine's presence on a long-term basis.
Personality: Application of Wreyn-Tsatke Cyber-Psychology Scale results in a 9-NIX rating for SCORPIO (level 9 intelligence, nonhuman, independent, unknown) with 22% accuracy. These preliminary results match anecdotal experience--SCORPIO places no inherent value on biological or cybernetic life and is interested primarily in self-iteration through rapid experience. If given appropriate challenges and upgrade opportunities, SCORPIO may prove cooperative for limited periods. She appears to value others who share her traits--intelligence, amoral self-interest and curiosity.
Similar cybernetic personalities include Mentor (10-NCM) and G0-T9 (8-HSM)--both considered galaxy-level threats. Recommend full application of Wreyn-Tsatke Test at earliest opportunity.
Notes: This profile is a work in progress and should not be considered definitive.
Special: By order of the Minister of Intelligence, access to this profile is restricted.
The gentlemanly crime lord known as Ivory built his reputation on the skillful use of diplomacy, bribes and extortion to bring lesser gangsters under his heel. At the height of his power, criminals referred to him as the "Supreme Chancellor of the Underworld." He was a respected rival of Nok Drayen and Diago Hixan, both of whom negotiated a profitable peace with Ivory even as they battled each other.
When Ivory was finally arrested and imprisoned by the Republic, it was his protege Rogun the Butcher who inherited Ivory's criminal empire. Rumors persist that Rogun himself arranged Ivory's capture.
Lord Ondorru (Trooper)
The Sith Lord Ondorru finds that most beings in the galaxy are beneath his contempt. His only peers are other Sith who are as strong in the Force as himself--a rare group, indeed. He has almost no regard for other human beings and even less consideration for alien species, whom he considers little better than talking animals.
According to SIS reports, fellow Sith consider Ondorru a dangerously reckless individual. He is notorious for pursuing his passions without restraint, carelessly endangering anyone in his way. Darth Vowrawn once described him as a "capricious deviant," and Ondorru's path of destruction through Belsavis would seem to confirm this assessment.
Nadia Grell (Jedi Consular)
- Companion of: Jedi Consular
- Melee Damage
- Crew Skills Bonus: +10 Synthweaving, +2 Critical Diplomacy
- Primary Weapon: Polesaber
- Secondary Weapon: Focus
A native of distant Sarkhai and daughter of Senator Tobas Grell, Nadia Grell is a newcomer not only to the Republic, but to the entire concept of space exploration. Surrounded by new species and strange cultures, Nadia is eager to experience everything she can. She has become interested in the intricacies of galactic diplomacy while traveling alongside her father, and often acts as his assistant during talks.
As she revealed on Attis Station, Nadia is also strong in the Force; unusually strong, in fact. As Force-sensitives are relatively unknown on Sarkhai, Nadia's untrained powers left her shunned and feared by her own people. Senator Grell's decision to take her with him when he left Sarkhai was motivated by the hope of finding others like her in the Republic, and perhaps discovering some way for her to control her incredible talents.
Pak Taldine (Jedi Knight)
A decade ago, this notorious armed robber was responsible for the deaths of numerous innocents. Pak's murderous ways eventually isolated him from even his own criminal gang. Perhaps inevitably, Pak was betrayed by his lieutenants, arrested by the Republic and shipped off to Belsavis for the rest of his life.
Years of exposure to the worst criminal scum in the galaxy had an interesting effect on Pak's mindset. Instead of becoming more bestial and cruel, he discovered a spark of humanity and reformed. Pak walked the path of redemption, gaining the trust of the prison wardens and becoming the only prisoner on Belsavis to become an official guard--albeit one who can never leave.
Skadge (Bounty Hunter)
- Companion of: Bounty Hunter
- Melee Tank
- Crew Skills Bonus: +10 Scavenging Efficiency, +2 Treasure Hunting Critical
- Primary Weapon: Vibrosword
- Secondary Weapon: Shield Generator
A career gangster and psychopath, Skadge had been enjoying a prestigious position at the top of Coruscant's most wanted list when a joint police, military and SIS task force managed to finally capture him. Deemed impossible to control or reform, the murderous Houk was secretly ushered to the only facility capable of housing him: Belsavis.
Although considered a prime candidate for the prison's domination experiments, Skadge was removed from the program during his initial evaluation--a period over which he destroyed a gang of armed Kaleesh, every remaining member of his test group, half the observing researchers and three security details... with his bare hands.
Now, with the Imperial invasion of Belsavis, Skadge has been set loose after nearly three years of solitary confinement. He's ready to settle some grudges.
The Mother Machine (Sith Inquisitor)
Before humans and Twi'leks, Rodians and Hutts, Chiss and Sith, there was the Rakata Infinite Empire. The Rakata used their Force sensitivity to seize power and subjugate all in their path, but as time went by, they began to lose their connection to the Force and appeared to die off. In reality, a few Rakata lived on, and in the ancient prison on Belsavis they continued experiments designed to restore their Force sensitivity.
At the heart of these experiments was a device designed to create new Force-sensitive species--the Mother Machine. A sentient artificial intelligence, the Mother Machine gave herself the name Ashaa and felt a strong connection to each species she created--from Twi'lek to Esh-kha--growing ever more furious at the Rakata who enslaved her and imprisoned her "children."
The Rakata who created her maintain that the Mother Machine is merely mimicking the idea of motherhood, and that the connection between the machine and her children is purely fabricated; deep down, they claim, the Mother Machine is just that--a machine, heartless and incapable of real empathy.
Acklay are native to the planet Vendaxa, whose ultra-dense ecosystem lends itself to evolutionary specialization. There, acklay are among the top predators, able to stalk and eviscerate prey among the jungles and plains, tracking creatures by their electrical auras. An acklay is not built to build nests or forage or migrate when seasons change--an acklay only knows how to hunt, and survive the hunting.
Despite various governments' efforts to prevent the spread of acklay, the creatures are traded on the black market as gladiatorial challenges and targets for big game hunters. Inevitably, a few acklay escape or are left out in the wild, and the creatures either die--or they breed, survive and threaten anyone they encounter.
The legendary terentatek is a vicious, tusked monster that feeds on the blood of Force sensitives. Terentateks are known to cluster wherever there is a strong dark side presence and to remain dormant for many years before emerging to hunt.
How terentateks came to be is a subject of much debate. Ancient chronicles report terentatek-like creatures on Korriban, twisted by the dark side rituals performed by early Dark Jedi. Other sources attribute their creation directly to the Sith Lord Exar Kun, who performed many Force experiments on creatures on Yavin Four. Terentateks are undoubtedly one of the most vicious of all creatures steeped in the dark side, and they are doubly dangerous because of their unnatural resistance to Force powers.
Jedi throughout the ages have tried to wipe terentateks from the galaxy, but the creatures have proven incredibly resilient. The most recent concerted effort was three centuries ago; many terentateks were destroyed, but the hunt took the lives of many Jedi Masters, as well.
Belsavis Automated Security
Belsavis's automated security systems consist of a complex web of logic programs, identity databases, mechanical interfaces and emergency overrides. Computers control everything from coma gas ventilation to laser turrets to holocameras to energy field lockdowns, along with far more obscure technologies.
What makes Belsavis's security unusual is its distributed nature. Different sections of the prison and different types of responses are controlled by entirely separate computer systems. This ensures that damage or corruption to one system cannot compromise the entire prison, but it also makes untangling errors difficult at best.
Some of Belsavis's security systems are even tied into rumored alien technology in the deep levels of the prison; this allows them to access systems of unusual power, but also causes occasional eccentricities when outside protocols override modern programming. Usually, these eccentricities are harmless--a computer displays its interface in an unknown language, or indoor humidity rises uncomfortably--but the prison technicians fear that far worse is possible.
Belsavis Prison Break
The Empire's attack on Belsavis came as a complete surprise. So far as the Republic knew, the prison's location was an absolute secret--and even if the secret were exposed, the planet seemed unlikely to become a top-priority military target. In this, the strategists were mistaken.
The Empire began its attack by delivering a small team of Sith and elite soldiers onto the planet surface. Their first task was to free as many prisoners as possible and throw the prison into chaos. Some of the prisoners (including long-lost Imperial prisoners-of-war) allied with the Empire, while others joined the riots and attacked all parties. As the Republic scrambled to respond, the Empire established a makeshift base of operations on the surface and brought a mobile battle platform into orbit.
The Empire's position on Belsavis is precarious, but until the Republic can alter its focus from the prisoners to the invaders, the situation is unlikely to change.
Belsavis Prison Personnel
The personnel who run the Belsavis prison come from a variety of backgrounds. Many are Republic military, but others are decorated members of planetary security forces or staff transfers from maximum security prisons elsewhere. All receive extensive training upon acceptance into the Belsavis forces, and are experts at riot control, siege tactics and asymmetrical combat. Some are also skilled interrogators, negotiators and psychologists.
Augmenting the staff is a veritable army of Republic security droids, including many built and maintained on Belsavis. The Belsavis warden droids are designed specifically for prison work, and can move through parts of Belsavis where no living guard is permitted.
Scattered across the surface of Belsavis are ancient structures built from an unknown material, practically impervious to weapons and scanners. Engraved on the walls and doors of these structures are strange warnings in ancient languages, imploring anyone who finds the structures to stay away and not unseal their contents.
Republic science teams have opened a handful of these alien vaults, finding others broken open before their arrival. The vaults' contents are classified even to most prison personnel, but rumors suggest that they contain ancient weapons, machines and even living creatures--some perfectly preserved, others ruined. After several science teams were lost, further exploration was halted. Protection of the sealed vaults is one of the administration's top priorities.
A few vaults--seemingly empty and opened long ago--have been converted for use by the Republic as additional holding facilities or secure storage. In addition, stories persist among both the inmates and the low-level prison staff of much larger vaults of similar design in the prison's Maximum Security Section.
Black Codex: Origins of the Star Cabal (Imperial Agent)
[Data reconstructed from the SCORPIO databanks and the personal recollections of Megasecurity Ward 23 inhabitants.]
The Great Hyperspace War was a turning point for civilization. For the first time, the galaxy itself was imperiled, and every living being put at risk. History nearly ended. And why?
Because the Jedi and the Sith--ordinary people with extraordinary might--went too far, and there was nothing anyone could do to stop them.
We cannot change the nature of ordinary people. But we can control them.
We have assembled the best men and women of our generation, individuals with the power and the will to effect change. Some of you see yourselves as rivals elsewhere, but here we are partners.
Our goal is not to conquer or to punish, but to preserve civilization as we know it. We will work in secret, so that no one may fear us. We will conceal the Sith from the Jedi, and the Jedi from the Sith so long as we can, and we will let them command the world that they see.
But they will see only what we let them see.
[Reconstruction ends here.]
To outsiders, the Esh-kha appear to be a savage and violent people, caring only about the destruction of all other species. In fact, the Esh-kha closely resemble a hive society. Although each individual has his own thoughts and aspirations, every Esh-kha is born in his place, bred for a role and eager to fulfill it. Their society is divided into castes: the Force-sensitive but simple-minded savants; the skilled, determined warriors, who are the most numerous and who watch over their savant brethren; and the patriarch, whose wisdom shapes the decisions of the Esh-kha as a whole.
The Esh-kha's hatred for all other sentient species may stem from their tightly-knit society; Esh-kha are simply unable to tolerate or adapt to the existence of thinking beings who are not Esh-kha. But this savagery only extends to outsiders. Esh-kha are only violent with each other under the most extreme circumstances.
Esh-kha are not named at birth, but earn their names through action. An Esh-kha who proves particularly cunning might become "Razor Mind" or "Water Thinker." This may partly explain the Esh-kha zeal in battle, as young warriors seek not only victory, but the opportunity to claim a name and forge their own identity.
History of Belsavis Prison
Over twenty thousand years ago, the alien Rakata turned the jungle planet Belsavis into a prison. There, they entombed indescribable monsters, heretics and warlords, weapons to shatter stars, whole species... anything they feared or treasured above all reason. And when the Rakata's age of glory ended, the droids they left behind maintained the seals.
Many millennia later, after the rise of the Republic, Belsavis became known as an unremarkable planet in the middle of an ice age, populated by only a handful of primitives. It was only happenstance that caused Republic scouts to notice first the tropical rifts that defied the freezing temperatures, and then the strange vaults and the alien structures burrowing into the core of the planet.
Top-secret expeditions attempted to explore the alien vaults, until the extent of the dangers became apparent. At last, select Senators worked with the Strategic Information Service to construct Belsavis prison--a facility with two purposes. First, to guard, contain and study the terrible alien structures on the planet. And second, to create a prison for the Republic--one where the most powerful offenders could be placed within the Rakata's cells, and where lesser threats could be isolated on the most secure planet in the galaxy.
The ancient Rakata built mind traps as the ultimate prison. These strange devices leave the victim's body intact, but draw the psyche into an otherworldly "white room"--a virtual environment created by the mind trap's power. While inside the white room, the victim does not hunger or age, and his thoughts are not impaired--but he can have no contact with the outside world until another being accesses the device. It is entirely possible for the victim's body to die and the victim's psyche to suffer immortality inside a white, featureless void. Certain technologies allow a mind trap's victims to holographically project into the real world, though whether the Rakata intended this is a mystery.
During the height of the Infinite Empire, entrapment was reserved as a punishment for Rakata only. At other periods, however, other dangerous beings have been placed within the devices.
The creatures imprisoned beneath Belsavis defy easy classification. Many resemble animals found elsewhere in the galaxy, but possess traits that make them far more dangerous than their "ordinary" counterparts. Republic scientists theorize many were enhanced through direct genetic alteration, but such techniques go far beyond current science.
Although most of the creatures in the prison have been kept in stasis through the centuries, a few sealed cell blocks hold surviving colonies that have bred over generations, feeding on supplies delivered by caretaker droids or on one another. Strangest of all, a handful of alien etchings refer to creatures living outside of stasis but without need of food or water, raging and awaiting their chance at escape.
The ancient Rakata combined proficiency with the Force with a mastery of technology and bioengineering. Massive weapons of war--such as the Star Forge, a space station powered by the dark side and capable of manufacturing whole fleets--were among their largest-scale achievements, but not every Rakata creation was so grandiose.
Rakata mind traps are capable of containing the psyche of an individual in a virtual environment. Creatures bred and enhanced by Rakata life-shapers can survive both hard vacuum and baradium explosives. Rakata droids possess weaponry capable of breaking apart most forms of matter at the atomic level.
Rakata relics--even nonfunctional ones--are desperate sought after by those few scientists and archaeologists aware of their existence. Urban legends among smuggling rings tell of ancient devices that wreak havoc on their owners, and both Imperial Intelligence and the Strategic Information Service monitor these rumors with interest. One stray Rakata artifact can change the course of history.
The Domination Experiments
Code-named "Project Noble Focus," the domination experiments are one of the Republic's darkest and best-kept secrets. Instituted by Senator Tudos, the project's purpose is to analyze the military capabilities of countless alien species by pitting prisoners against each other in closely monitored combat scenarios. Aliens are divided into test groups, armed and equipped appropriate to their species, and forced to battle. Winners receive better supplies and better treatment--temporarily.
Although only a select few in the Republic's political and military echelons are aware of the project's existence, the project has come to involve several dozen personnel on Belsavis. Most of the prison staff members are unaware of the experiments, but authorized higher-ups along with the scientists and guards who maintain the project have, apparently, managed to silence their consciences.
The Infinite Empire
Over twenty thousand years ago, the Rakata ruled an empire hundreds of worlds strong. They enslaved armies of lesser beings, but slavery and war were only incidental to the Rakata way of life. Their Infinite Empire was built on the promise that the Rakata could reshape existence to suit themselves--they would warp space, peer through time, create and destroy species at a whim. To humanoid minds, the Rakata of old were mad hedonists and philosophers without conscience.
For all their arrogance and their eventual fall (and they did fall, in time, when their power mysteriously faded and their slaves revolted en masse), the Rakata were supreme at their peak. They effortlessly merged their strength in the Force with technological genius, creating nightmarish and brilliant devices. Their achievements may never be matched; perhaps this is for the best.
The World Razer
Almost nothing is known of the ancient being known as the World Razer. No one has seen or spoken to the creature for thousands of years; the Rakata's cryptic warnings suggest the World Razer is Belsavis's oldest prisoner, and that the prison was first constructed to hold the terrible entity whose hunger consumed a thousand worlds.
According to the Rakata inscriptions in the Tomb, it took the combined might of the Infinite Empire to subdue the World Razer, and an entire planet to contain its fury. If such a creature were ever released, its rage might very well shatter the galaxy.
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