Volik was a temperate planet with rocky terrain that was located within the Unknown Regions' Volik system. The planet's surface was dominated by expansive grasslands and small mountain ranges as well as numerous canyons and waterfalls. Volik's plant life included the bannak and tanna trees and the mumau root, while the reyko was the most frequently encountered example of the planet's fauna.
Four millennia before the Battle of Yavin, the company Vekanda Leisure Colonies began the construction of a resort colony for wealthy clients on Volik, although the business soon folded and the planet was abandoned. Shortly after that, pirates and smugglers established many bases of operations on the Unknown Regions world, both in the abandoned resort and in the canyons, and Volik continued to serve as home to various criminal groups over the following centuries.
Around that time, the freighter Nashuaga crash-landed on Volik with the mask of the Sith Lord Darth Nihilus on-board. Some time after the death of the Sith Lord Darth Plagueis, several parties, including the Sith cult Apex Society and the smuggler group Sando's Boys, attempted to find the mask of Darth Nihilus, and ultimately the mask was discovered in the remains of the Nashuaga.
After the end of the Clone Wars, the Jedi Master Dorin Se'ol organized a community of Force-sensitives on Volik, however Se'ol was eventually located by the Sith Lord Darth Vader, who led an Imperial assault on the planet. During the Yuuzhan Vong War decades later, Volik was home to another group of Force-sensitives who had discovered the teachings of Se'ol.
Volik was a planet that was located within the Volik system, a part of the galaxy's Unknown Regions. A day on Volik was 26 standard hours long, and 410 local days made up the planet's year. Volik had two moons, one of which loomed large in the planet's sky. The planet had standard gravity and a Type I atmosphere, which was comfortable for the sentient Human species and in which strong winds, low clouds and vapor were all observed to form.
Volik's surface was divided into continents and had at least one sea. The planet's terrain was predominantly rocky, with the main continent being covered in boulder-strewn grasslands that were separated by small mountain ranges. There were many rocky canyon systems on Volik, created by the runoff from the mountains and connected to the sea. Cave-ins and other natural phenomena were known to periodically affect the canyons enough to make maps of them inaccurate. The planet also had numerous impressive waterfalls that were the result of rivers emptying into the sea from the tops of tall bluffs. These waterfalls served as entrances to caverns located underneath the bluffs.
Volik had a temperate climate with four seasons, including a moderate rainy season. It was never cold enough on the planet for snow to form, however the deeper canyons and the mountaintops froze over during the colder seasons. Floodings were known to occur in the canyons, and flash floods could turn parts of once-dry plains into quick-flowing rivers in seconds.
The flora on Volik included the large bannak trees that grew in the foothills of the mountain ranges and were used for timber; tanna trees that bore large, purple edible fruit that were a staple in the diet of Volik's inhabitants; and a light blue grass that grew on the plains and could reach a height of one meter. The mumau root could also be found in the mountains at high altitudes, especially in small pockets along the side of Mount Vorena, the planet's highest peak. Jedi Master Dorin Se'ol, a one-time inhabitant of Volik, claimed that tea brewed from the mumau root helped meditation.
Wildlife on the planet included predators that stalked their prey on the plains and in the mountains using speed and ambush tactics, and birds and other aerial creatures that made their nests in trees near the mountains. The most common creature on Volik was the slow and docile yet large and powerful herd animal reyko, which was similar to the bantha. The reyko fed on grass and had a hard and chitinous skin that served to camouflage the animal as a boulder in order to avoid predators. The pirates and smugglers that operated from Volik often used reykos as beasts of burden. The reyko's skin was also impervious to blaster fire, so the criminals occasionally also used the herbivores to ram the vehicles of rival gangs.
Volik was first discovered by a survey team of the Czerka Mining Corporation at some point before the Sith Lord Darth Nihilus died in the year 3951 BBY, although no mineral resources of interest were found on the planet. The rights to colonize the Unknown Regions world were sold to the company Vekanda Leisure Colonies, however, and the planet was settled at the height of the Galactic Republic. The company began the construction of a resort colony for wealthy clients where they could hunt the native fauna and dine on exotic foods.
However, Vekanda ran into financial problems soon after the colony was established, and the colony and Volik were abandoned. After that, no other business attempted to purchase the rights to the colony in order to reestablish it. At some point in Volik's history, members of both the Jedi and the Sith mystical traditions had small outposts on the planet, with numerous Jedi living on Volik over time. It was also rumored that the extensive treasure of Count Czazizs could be found somewhere on the Unknown Regions world.
At some point, an illegal swoop race was held in the canyons of Volik. A group of individuals indebted to a crime lord entered the race in order to pay off their debt with the considerable prize money. The crime lord, not wishing to let the group leave their employ, bribed some of the other swoop pilots to cause those individuals to lose the competition. During the race, one of the crime lord's hirelings scared a herd of local reykos onto the racing course, causing a dangerous situation.
Shortly after Vekanda Leisure Colonies abandoned Volik, multiple groups of pirates and smugglers began to operate from the planet, occasionally warring against each other for control over the planet. These conflicts sometimes resulted in the gangs wiping each other out and leaving Volik uninhabited for decades until new groups of criminals arrived on the planet.
Around this time, two pirate groups settled on Volik—the Crimson Stars, led by the Human Vallkos, and the Ebon Strikers, led by Vallkos' brother Mallikhan. The two pirate leaders had a fierce rivalry that was caused by a female from the brother's past. Eventually the conflict between the Crimson Stars and the Ebon Strikers came close to an explosive outbreak of violence.
The mask of Darth NihilusEdit
During the reign of Darth Nihilus, the most prominent smuggler gang on Volik was the Wavelength Gale. After Nihilus' death, the Dynamic-class freighter Nashuaga, with the mask of Darth Nihilus in the captain's secret stash on-board, crash-landed in a hidden cove on Volik where the base of the Wavelength Gale was located around that time.
At some point after the death of the Sith Lord Darth Plagueis in 32 BBY, the Rodian female Sando, a smuggler and pirate who operated in the Unknown Regions near Volik, was leading a small group of criminals known as Sando's Boys in looting abandoned smuggler bases in the caverns of Volik. On one of her looting expeditions, Sando discovered the cargo manifest of an old freighter, which contained information on the long-lost mask of Darth Nihilus. The Rodian decided to find the artifact and sell it to the highest bidder.
Around the same time, a group of individuals arrived on Volik in an attempt of their own to find the mask of Darth Nihilus. The group climbed Mount Vorena and reactivated the landing beacon planted there by the Wavelength Gale millennia earlier. The individuals then used the beacon to pinpoint the location of the abandoned base of the Wavelength Gale. However, while still on the top of Mount Vorena, the group were attacked by Collan Eislo, a noble and the leader of the Sith cult Apex Society, along with his Society allies. Eislo had also tracked the mask of Darth Nihilus to Volik in order to acquire it for his own purposes, and attempted to learn the mask's location from the group.
After dealing with Eislo, his rivals in the search for the mask of Darth Nihilus traveled to the Wavelength Gale's hidden cove, only to encounter upon arrival Sando's Boys who were already looking for the mask in the wreck of the Nashuaga. When the criminals noticed the new arrivals, Sando's Boys attacked them, but were eventually defeated, and the victors of the fight subsequently discovered the mask of Darth Nihilus in the remains of the Nashuaga.
The arrival of Dorin Se'olEdit
Not long after the conflict between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems known as the Clone Wars ended in 19 BBY, the Jedi Master Dorin Se'ol arrived on Volik and began to rebuild the colony. Se'ol married a woman named Vorena, with whom he had a daughter named Jolee, and also organized and taught a community of Force-sensitive beings on Volik, which eventually managed to chase the smugglers off the planet. At some point, Vorena died, which caused Se'ol to have a brief struggle with the dark side of the Force. The Jedi Master climbed to the top of Mount Vorena, the highest mountain on Volik, after his wife's death in order to meditate.
At some point in Volik's history, a group of Jedi apprentices were sent to the planet as part of their training. The trainees were instructed to climb Mount Vorena in seven days' time, packing nothing but their lightsabers. After a difficult climb that included foraging and protecting themselves against the strong winds and local predators, the apprentices met their Jedi Master on the mountain's top, who then bestowed the rank of Jedi Knight to the members of the group.
During the time when Dorin Se'ol lived on Volik, a trader starship made a brief stop at Volik, and Se'ol's young daughter Jolee boarded the vessel without his knowledge. Se'ol consequently tasked a group of his students to retrieve his daughter, and the students eventually managed to find the merchant vessel.
While living on Volik, Dorin Se'ol managed to escape the attention of the Sith Lord Darth Vader for some time; however, Vader finally discovered the Jedi Master on Volik and led an Imperial assault on the planet. During the attack, Se'ol distracted the Sith Lord long enough for a small group of his students to escape Volik before the Jedi Master perished.
When the extra-galactic Yuuzhan Vong species invaded the galaxy between the years 25 and 29 ABY, a small group of Force-sensitive pacifists discovered a holocron that contained the teachings of Se'ol. These pacifists then learned of Volik's existence and settled on the planet, where they remained until the end of that conflict. During the time of the Second Imperial Civil War a century later, smugglers avoided Volik, considering the planet to be bad luck.
Although the Vekanda Leisure Colonies intended to turn Volik into a resort for wealthy visitors, the planet was abandoned and eventually settled by pirates and smugglers. The two most prominent pirate groups on Volik at some point were the Crimson Stars and the Ebon Strikers, led by the Human brothers Vallkos and Mallikhan, respectively. Sometimes the Ebon Strikers raided Crimson Star ships returning from resupply and trading runs in the Outer Rim, causing short skirmishes in the space above Volik. The Unknown Regions world was also home to two groups of Force-sensitive individuals, one during the reign of the Galactic Empire and the other during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion.
Ninety-five percent of the sentient population of Volik were Humans, while other species made up the rest, although the planet was sometimes left completely uninhabited, sometimes for decades. Such instances occurred after the most brutal conflicts between the pirates and smugglers, then again between the time of the Galactic Empire's assault on the planet and the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, and once again during the Second Imperial Civil War. Anarchy reigned on Volik; however, the original resort known as the Colony was considered to be the planet's capital. Volik had no major exports to offer; foodstuffs and luxury goods had to be imported on the planet.
The original resort offered repulsorlift-equipped wind skiffs built from bannak tree wood for the visitors to use to sail across the expansive grasslands of Volik. Over the years since Vekanda Leisure Colonies abandoned the planet, smuggling gangs claimed these vehicles and stripped them for parts or damaged them in raids. Some of the gangs, however, redesigned the wind skiffs as wind-driven wheeled vehicles.
There were many rocky canyons on Volik that were interesting to swoop racers as natural and challenging race routes. When pirates started to operate from the planet, they found the canyons ideally suited for storing their starfighters, pillaged goods, weapons and contraband; however, occasionally rainy weather caused flash floods that washed the criminals' loot out to the sea. The mountains on the planet also featured numerous waterfalls, which the local smugglers used to evade pursuit, with good piloting skills required to fly underneath them. Akriva Falls were waterfalls named after Akriva, a notorious Mon Calamari pirate who would fly underneath the falls' arcs to avoid pursuers.
The highest mountain on Volik was Mount Vorena, named after the deceased wife of Jedi Master Dorin Se'ol. A river originating in the melting ice caps atop Mount Vorena cascaded down the mountain's rocky face and ended in the Jolee Falls, an impressive waterfall named after Se'ol and Vorena's only daughter. Landing a vehicle on the peak of Mount Verona was almost impossible because of strong winds, and climbing Mount Vorena was difficult and made dangerous by rockslides and predators; however the view from the top was considered spectacular.
The smuggler band Wavelength Gale installed a small transmitter beacon atop Mount Vorena, which remained there for millennia. After Se'ol ascended to the top of Mount Vorena, the mountain became a destination for Jedi, who climbed it in order to contact the Force spirits of their teachers and comrades. By the time of the Second Imperial Civil War, Mount Vorena was avoided by pilots regardless of their belief in superstition, and several Force-sensitive individuals sensed a strange presence surrounding the mountain, one of possible explanations being that a Jedi that had once lived on Volik had returned there in spirit form.
The leader of the Wavelength Gale smuggler band chose for the group's base a large, half-submerged cove on Volik. The cove was located in a large, open strip of a cavern that had walls on opposing sides and looked like it was formed by an avalanche, and could only be reached by traveling on foot through narrow, winding caverns that started near the base of Mount Vorena. The pirates found the cove easy to defend, since it could not be accessed from air and the tunnels that served as its entrance were dark and dangerous. At some point, the Nashuaga, a Dynamic-class freighter, crash-landed in the cove and came to rest half-buried in mud and rock and half-sunken in the waters of the cove.
Eventually the Wavelength Gale abandoned their base, which was left with hundreds of crates scattered throughout it. Millennia later, the criminal group Sando's Boys attempted to find the mask of Darth Nihilus on the wreck of the Nashuaga. To this end, the criminals dug a tunnel through rock that allowed access to the ship, and set up a perimeter of glow lamps to illuminate the area.
After purchasing the rights to colonize Volik, Vekanda Leisure Colonies began construction of a luxurious resort colony, known just as the Colony, that was located in the shadow of Mount Vorena. The resort had a central concourse and buildings made out of bannak tree wood, including the main building that had small dorms on the lower floors and large penthouses near the roof. A large crystal sculpture, intended to welcome the visitors to the resort, was installed as a centerpiece of a massive fountain. Other colony buildings were located in different parts of the planet, including a few cabins near Mount Vorena that were meant for visitors interested in climbing.
When Vekanda abandoned the planet, all the construction on the resort was left unfinished, with the planned spaceport yet to be completed and several of its landing bays still just sandpits surrounded by construction materials. The central concourse was left stripped of everything valuable.
When pirates and smugglers moved in the abandoned resort, they repurposed the buildings, yet left them standing, and they offered their new inhabitants a level of comfort not provided by typical pirate bases such as asteroid fields.
The main building was used by the criminals at various points as a warehouse and a prison, among other uses, although it was most often occupied by the smuggler gang that was the most successful on Volik at the time. However, since many gangs broke up as a result of infighting after moving in the building, some smuggler groups refused to take up residence there even when given the opportunity. The penthouses of the main building were usually reserved for the leaders of the smuggler gangs, but sometimes were just set up to look that way in order to mislead their enemies.
The smugglers left most of the other colony buildings vacant, since Volik's canyons were easier to defend and therefore better for setting up camp. Se'ol used a few of the cabins near Mount Vorena for his own use and that of his students, and it was later rumored that such Jedi artifacts as lightsabers and holocrons were hidden in the vicinity of these buildings.
The location of the crystal sculpture served the pirates and smugglers as a neutral site for negotiations, and when the sculpture was stolen from time to time, the criminals temporarily ceased any hostilities in order to retrieve the sculpture and punish those who had stolen it.
Behind the scenesEdit
Volik was introduced in The Unknown Regions, a sourcebook for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game that was developed by Wizards of the Coast. The Unknown Regions was written by Sterling Hershey, Rodney Thompson, and Daniel Wallace, and was published in 2010. Within that book, Volik was mentioned in several adventure seeds for use with the Star Wars Roleplaying Game as well as the mini-adventure "The Mask of Darth Nihilus". This article assumes all of those scenarios play out as described. The Star Wars: The Essential Atlas Online Companion placed the Volik system, and therefore the planet, in grid square H-7.
- The Unknown Regions (First mentioned)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 1.50 1.51 1.52 1.53 1.54 1.55 1.56 1.57 1.58 1.59 1.60 1.61 1.62 The Unknown Regions
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Volik system — Based on corresponding data for
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 "The Mask of Darth Nihilus"—The Unknown Regions
- ↑ "The Mask of Darth Nihilus"—The Unknown Regions states that pirates and smugglers were already operating on Volik during the time of Darth Nihilus, which indicates that the planet was discovered by the Czerka Mining Corporation, then colonized by Vekanda Leisure Colonies and eventually abandoned to the criminals at some point before the death of Nihilus.
- ↑ The death of Darth Nihilus is depicted in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, the events of which are dated to the year 3951 BBY by The New Essential Chronology.
- ↑ Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords depicts Darth Nihilus wearing his mask for some time up until his death, while "The Mask of Darth Nihilus"—The Unknown Regions depicts the discovery of the artifact in the remains of the Nashuaga on Volik millennia later. Combining these two facts leads to the conclusion that the Nashuaga crash-landed on Volik with the mask of Darth Nihilus on-board at some point after the Sith Lord's death.
- ↑ Darth Plagueis
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 The Essential Atlas