- "Baji is my name
From the planet Moltok I came."
Moltok was a planet located in the Atrivis sector of the Outer Rim Territories. Orbiting close to its sun, the planet was quite warm, kept habitable only by the shielding action of active volcanoes. Beneath the ash they spewed forth, moist rain-forests covered the planet, home to a countless array of plant species. The planet was home to two sentient species, the Ho'Din and the Makurth. The former were known throughout the galaxy for their botanical skills, while the latter often found employment as bodyguards in the criminal underworld.
The planet was part of galactic society from at least 5000 BBY, with its natives participating in the Great Hyperspace War, Mandalorian Wars and the New Sith Wars. Moltok almost faced ecological disaster in 300 BBY when the Ho'Din began clearing large swathes of land for new industry. That led to a plague that could have spelled the extinction of the Ho'Din, had they not created a herbal remedy.
Moltok was one of the inner planets of the Dartibek system located within the Atrivis sector of the Outer Rim Territories. It had such a swift orbit that on a planet of its proximity to a star, the atmospheric temperatures would typically be intolerable for life; however, Moltok had a number of active volcanoes that spewed ash into its skies. That layer of ash shielded the planet from a portion of the heat, bringing its temperatures within a comfortable range. The ash also caused diffraction at dawn and dusk, creating brilliant shades of crimson in the sky. In the lower latitudes of the planet, the temperature reached up to 113 standard degrees during the day. There were occasional cold spells on Moltok, which caused the reptilian species on the planet to enter hibernation, and Moltok had such a high degree of axial tilt that the polar regions of the planet were significantly cooler than equatorial regions and inhospitable to the Ho'Din.
The oxygen-rich world was covered in rain-forests of huge trees, within which varying amounts of light produced distinct ecological layers. In the upper levels grew leafy greens—a staple diet for the native Ho'Din—and huge aerial vines that the arboreal sentients fashioned into walkways and structural supports. Enormous flowers up to several meters across also grew in that level, ranging in coloration from dark black to pale pink. On lower levels of the forests grew carnivorous plants, which were used by the Ho'Din as sentries to control insects and pests. Further down, the forest floor of Moltok teemed with organisms specializing in the breakdown of decaying matter. That activity replenished the soil, ensuring that the huge trees had adequate nourishment. Specific plants that grew on Moltok included the wuppa—its giant flowers of red and violet were reminiscent of Ho'Din tresses—and the Camba-Fruit.
Two reptilian sentient species evolved on Moltok: the Makurth and the Ho'Din. The space surrounding Moltok became integrated into the greater galaxy at some point between 15,000 and 8000 BBY, with the Ho'Din active in galactic society from as early as 5000 BBY, when Lohjoy served as an engineer for the Sith Empire during the Great Hyperspace War. Later, members of the Ho'Din also served the Galactic Republic, as in 3964 BBY, when Oojoh trained as a Jedi Knight on the Outer Rim world Taris, and Lieutenant Rutu served in the Republic Navy during the Mandalorian Wars. Around 3630 BBY, a long-abandoned city was discovered in Moltok's forests, and the settlement was investigated by explorers shortly before it was buried under ash from nearby volcanoes. Makurth were found offworld by 1000 BBY when at least one participated in the New Sith Wars on the side of the Sith Brotherhood of Darkness, despite Moltok owing its alleigance to the Republic. Thoroughout that period from 5000 to 1000 BBY, Moltok was a stopping point on a hyperlane running from Coruscant, the capital of the galaxy, to distant Dantooine.
In 300 BBY, the arboreal Ho'Din began to shift to a more industrial society. That required widespread clearing of Moltok's forests to make way for factories, cities, mines and farms. As some species of flora became extinct, aggressive organisms on the forest floor were forced to adapt. Certain parasites from the lower levels found a new home within Ho'Din digestive tracts. The parasites took nourisment from the Ho'Din, causing them great suffering, eventually forcing the Ho'Din to withdraw back to the upper levels of the forests. After decades of research, the Ho'Din were able to overcome the parasite through herbal remedies; however, the experience had transformed the reptilian species. The period of their strip-clearing became known as the "Great Rape of the Land," and the Ho'Din worked hard to restore the natural habitats of their planet.
That restoration was supported by their dominant religion, [Dinante Fli'R]. It described the Ho'Din evolving from mobile plants and later being transformed into animals as retribution for their sins against nature. Nature was considered a passive force known as [Dinegia]. The religion further taught that if the Ho'Din acted as good stewards of their environment they would fulfill [Flik'a kirki], or the "Virtuous Circle of Nature", and be reborn as plants. The priest of [Dinante Fli'R] became the main civic rulers of Moltok, and erased records of the advances in technology produced by Ho'Din in their strip-clearing years. They also ensured that what little technology was on the planet was strictly controlled. Crumbling ruins of the old factories and cities were the only reminder of that time. That repression led some Ho'Din to develop a fascination for technology. Some decades later, during the Clone Wars of 22 to 19 BBY, Moltok fell within territory controlled by the Confederacy of Independent Systems, which sought to secede from the Galactic Republic.
The focus on botanical sciences bore fruit for the inhabitants of Moltok, as they were able to export their herbal medicines to the galaxy. Ho'Din products included Distilled Water of Moltokian Camba-Fruit, Ho'Din-style veggie omelets and Ho'Din herbal teas. These strong exports, coupled with the minimal imports to the world, made it one of the richest planets in the galactic market. That wealth was frequently used to sponsor botanical projects on worlds struck by disasters, and to terraform other planets into "gardens" to enable other beings to commune with nature. Moltok remained in control of successive factions of the Galactic Empire, including as part of Oversector Outer, Thrawn's confederation, the Pentastar Alignment, and Pellaeon's Empire. Under the Empire, some Ho'Din transported rare plants back to Moltok for botanists to study in greenhouses. The New Republic finally gained control of the space around Moltok in 17 ABY, Botanical studies continued under the New Republic, including a study simulating the life cycle of the winged-stars of Caluula. In 25 ABY, Moltok had a population of between one and ten million. However, the planet was soon a target for invasion by the Yuuzhan Vong, an extra-galactic species, during their initial invasion of the Outer Rim Territories. Moltok was captured by the Yuuzhan Vong and remained occupied for the duration of the war. While liberated after the war, by 40 ABY, Moltok had come under the control of a resurgent Fel Empire.
- "Ho'Din are not limited to their eyes and ears, princess. We never forget our friends."
The Ho'Din were bipedal reptilians of green and yellow coloration, averaging between 2.5 and 3 meters in height. They had a lipless mouth, two bulging dark eyes, and their heads were topped with red and violet tresses that functioned as thermographic sensors. Ho'Din had four-fingered hands with suction pads that aided the arboreal sentients in climbing. The average Ho'Din lifespan was 120 years, reaching sexual maturity at age 30.
The [Dinante Fli'R] church was central to Ho'Din life. Its consent was required for Ho'Din marriage, and the priestesses played a key intermediary role in the reproductive process, transferring the "seed of life" from the male to the female in imitation of insect-facilitated pollination. Younglings produced outside that ceremony were drugged and sacrificed to the organisms of the forest floor. Dead of all ages were likewise deposited on the forest floor to nourish further life.
Many Ho'Din became botanists renowned throughout the galaxy, such as Master Gardener Spero and the Jedi Master Plett, who settled on Belsavis. However, a number became radical environmentalists, using their skills in acts of eco-terrorism. These included Ort Hoogra-D'En, Maki Salak, and Yansan.
The Makurth were bipedal saurians, covered in green scales and with four prominent curved horns on their heads. They were nocturnal creatures, prone to snorting and flaring their nostrils in order to intimidate opponents. The carnivores also had a terrifying scream that they uttered before entering combat. Makurth found frequent employment with the criminal syndicate Black Sun as bodyguards. A notable Makurth was Fohargh, who trained as a Sith apprentice at the Brotherhood of Darkness Academy on Korriban. He was killed in a duel with the future Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Bane.
Behind the scenesEdit
Troy Denning created Moltok, and its sentient Ho'Din inhabitants, for Galaxy Guide 4: Alien Races, a sourcebook published by West End Games 1989. The planet received mentions in several other West End Games publications before appearing as a planet in Star Wars: Rebellion, a LucasArts strategy game released in 1998. Later that same year, Decipher, Inc. added the Makurth as a second sentient species to the planet with the release of its Special Edition Limited set of the Star Wars Customizable Card Game. Several publications have subsequently mentioned the planet, with Jason Fry and Daniel Wallace's The Essential Atlas, published in 2009, providing details of the planet's history.
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- Episode I Adventures 5: The Ghostling Children (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Rebellion (First appearance)
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- Queen of the Empire (Mentioned only)
- Children of the Jedi (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force (Mentioned only)
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- The Essential Atlas
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
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