Ragnos Cathedral

From Wikipedia of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood, an online Star Wars Club
(Redirected from Alabrek Castle)
AlabrekCitadelExterior.jpg
Alabrek Citadel
Ragnos Cathedral
General information
Constructed:
Destroyed:
Location:

Kar Alabrek, Tarthos

Builder:
Physical specifications
Usage
Era:

Dark Jedi Brotherhood Era

Affiliation:
[ Source ]


Alabrek Citadel, formerly Alabrek Castle and also known as Ragnos Cathedral, was the former home of House Marka Ragnos prior to the Yuuzhan Vong invasion in 31 ABY when the citadel and the surrounding city of Kar Alabrek was abandoned. Some attention was returned to the ruins of Alabrek during the Ekind Uprising in 33 ABY as deep within the citadel lay the Great Sadow Library. Following the liberation of the ruined city, in early 34 ABY a reconstruction effort was commissioned by then Prefect Methyas Pepoi L'eonheart and Governor Tiberius Ma' Nacohh for the city of Kar Alabrek and the Castle itself. The citadel and surrounding castle grounds were successfully completed by mid-34 ABY and re-opened to members of Naga Sadow and the Dlarit Special Operations Group. The former HoloNet transceiver for the Orian System located upon the castle grounds had been successfully relocated to Orian Manor in Markosian City in 31 ABY following the city's abandonment.

History

Alabrek Citadel was once an ancient castle created approximately five millennia before the battle of Yavin by Urias Orian. Following Clan Naga Sadow's arrival in the Orian System after the Exodus in 19 ABY, the citadel found itself restored and refit by the Disciples. Selected to house most of the members of House Marka Ragnos, the structure swiftly found itself including a hangar bay in addition to an extensive training facility. During the K'hamar'an Crisis the castle became the Ragnosian point of interest and base of operations, becoming so integral with the crisis that the K'hamar'a extensively damaged the structure. Following the conflict, Tarthosian Governor of the time, Muz Keibatsu, spent a great deal of his own personal finances and time to ensure the facility was restored to its former glory.

After the Invasion of Orian and the destruction of a large portion of Kar Alabrek, the castle was expanded to better serve the growing Dlarit Security Force under the orders of then Governor Trevarus Caerick with the expansion supervised by the architect Malisane de Ath. Late-29 ABY saw a massive assault by unknown assaillants against the castle and saw much destruction to the newly crafted regions of the Castle allowing the original structure to remain unscathed. During the structure's restoration, House Marka Ragnos relocated to other regions within the Castle to ensure operations continued as usual.

Early-31 ABY saw the Castle reopened officially by then Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Jedgar Paladin and Jade Sadow. Peace for the citadel would only last for a couple of months before the Yuuzhan Vong and Peace Brigade invaded the system and wrought much destruction upon the city of Kar Alabrek and the Castle itself. Following the reclamation of the system, the Ragnosians under orders of Robert Sadow to abandon the city and the castle for the sanctuary of Mucenic and Markosian City under the premise that it would be more cost effective for the Clan. As the House evacuated, Robert along with the Dlarit Special Operations Group assumed control of the region to cleanse the area of all Vong spores, radiation and toxins that had consumed it. Before leaving for Mucenic, Robert oversaw the construction of the Ragnos Memorial on the fringes of castle grounds as a final act of rememberance.

While maintaining peace in the ruins from mercenaries, looters and various other beings; the Special Operations Group began their arduous task of restoring the devastated territory and attempting to reconstruct the Castle itself. Their initial principal was melding the ancient architecture so familiar with Orian structures with modern durasteel, a method that worked well in creating a makeshift "headquarters" for the unit while they worked and continued securing the regions beneath the surface such as the Great Sadow Library. By 33 ABY, DSOG's work was disrupted by the Ekind Uprising which saw many of their makeshift structures destroyed by both Ekind and Sadowans alike in the ensuing combat. The destruction had an upside however, as the arrival of Sadowan forces revealed the fruit of DSOG's labours and sparked a reconstruction effort for Kar Alabrek including the castle itself. In mid-34 ABY, Alabrek Citadel's restoration and expansion had been completed and opened by Governor Tiberius Ma' Nacohh and then Prefect Methyas Pepoi L'eonheart for use by members of the Dlarit Special Operations Group and by extension members of Naga Sadow.

Structure

One of the many foyers within Alabrek Citadel

During the Citadel's resurrection, it has seen many different alterations by its various designers. While the more recent adaptation of the citadel has added a few additional structures which weren't part of the original design all other aspects have been restored to the image which Trevarus Caerick first encountered. The Citadel itself is immense and flawlessly balanced in its architecture. Maintaining its alignment across the four cardinal directions of Tarthos, the fortress can be considered a perfect rhombus. The citadel and its surrounding grounds have been given their own retaining walls, creating an inner and outer courtyard. Similarly to prior designs, these mammoth walls are designed to create an impressive atmosphere for the castle although it is dwarfed by the surrounding hillside; once again each of these walls has an entranceway centered upon them granting visitors a grand approach through the winding pathways through the outer courtyard.

The inner courtyard and castle itself have become a home to a hybrid design of ancient stone and modern glass as the main structures have been reinforced with slabs of the great stone used to craft the original building located in the surrounding lands, while new spires have been added crafted from glass and steel found in present constructions. The goal for the hybrid design and reasoning behind its implementation has been quoted as "a blend of the past and future, to truly distingiush Kar Alabrek as the jewel of Tarthos once more."

The Grand Promenade

Encompassing the perimeter of the Citadel's outer wall is the Grand Promenade, a hundred meter wide esplanade derived from the original design of the Castle. While the Promenade is no longer used as its historical purposes intended, it provides a serene and beautiful recreational sector within the Central Hub. A false transparisteel ceiling has been elegantly mounted transparently high upon the Citadel's outer wall which extends over large swaths of the promenade near the entranceways to the Gardens. Outside of these ceilings the promenade features small gardened arrangements encased by the deeply polished carmine granite floors of the esplanade's majestically adorned with vast scarlet rugs completed by gold trim, these rugs span the floors seemlessly underneath the ceilinged regions of the promenade proper. Elegant banners, statues and monuments are abundant within the Promenade; each bearing the standard of Naga Sadow, Dlarit or insignia relating to luminaries of Naga Sadow. Each statue or monument is said to depict exploits of legend from years gone by and have been painstakingly rebuilt where they have been destroyed in the past.

The Gardens

While physical beauty was of the utmost importance to Trevarus, it was something of vast importance to the new architects as well with the intention to match Malisane's skillful execution for the Garden's exquisite details. While the harsh Tarthosian environment supported few varieties of flora, the addition of new planetary shield generators have created a new environment for the city itself and have allowed horticulturists a greater range of flora to select from. In addition to the greater degree of ease in selecting flora for these beautiful arrangements, careful cultivation ensures stunning displays which can be seen nowhere else on the Tarthosian surface. In addition to these great flora and fauna displays, rock sculptures and various tree species can be found dotting the large outer courtyard. Winding paths lazily meander through the gardens stopping at various seating arrangements of cold basalt benches centered around fountains or topirary art between their termination points at the Inner wall leading to the inner courtyard or the outer wall and the Grand Promenade.

The Castle

The main hall of Alabrek Citadel

While the Keep is still a main focus of the castle portion of the Citadel itself, the castle itself has seen major renovations following its modernization and is know by its stark modern towers in addition to the former castle proper. The blending of historic architecture with modern has been accomplished tastefully with any sign of restoration or modification being tactfully absent. Many of the castle's original chambers and purposes have been carefully restored to their original standing up to the decor, although minor changes have been made to most of the colour scheme to reflect a unified Sadowan effort instead of maintaining the trappings of House Marka Ragnos. The castle itself still has many chambers, corridors and standards bearing Ragnosian elements as they are still dedicated to maintaining the Disciples of Ragnos along with Mucenic. Within the new towers a degree of modern amenities and services can be found in addition to chambers dedicated to Disciples of Kressh and memorials to the Disciples of Goluud. Within these towers dedicated offices and quarters can be found for members of the Summit in addition to some of the older quarters and offices located within the historic regions of the castle as well.

The Dark Library

Within the mighty Ragnos Cathedral's keep rests a store house of knowledge that rivals even Coruscant's archives. The Dark Library is home to some of the most sought after references and tomes to ever exist. It has been the goal of many of the galaxy's scholars to win favor with the Dlarit Corporation to be allowed a few hours within the great halls of the library.

The library itself is housed near the inner sanctum of the keep and is rather well protected from intrusion. It is indeed perhaps one of the few things that remained astonishingly undamaged from the recent attack during the K'hamar'an Crisis as it was believed to be one of the major objectives of the K'hamar'an attack of Ragnos Cathedral.

As one approaches the entrance one is met by large fifty foot wroshyr wood doors inlaid with intricate relief carvings depicting great warriors and battles of Naga Sadow. The doors have no electronic manipulation and are impossible to move without the aid of a large machine or in the most common practice by manipulating it telekinetically through the Force. The doors are open every morning by the Dark Librarian and left ajar until its closing at planetary midnight. The doors themselves are also sealed by a Force incantation placed on them when the library was first built over 5,000 years ago. The incantation is subverted by a certain mentally projected thought through the Force that only the Dark Librarian, Maleficarum, President and Vice-President are privy to.

The Dark Library at Ragnos Cathedral

Often referred to as the Dark Library it is anything but. When passing through the large doorway one is met with the spectacularly lit interior from the reinforced transparisteel ceiling one hundred meters above. As one steps inside a white marble path leads you forward towards a raised dais on which rests a large walled work area in which the Dark Librarian can monitor, direct, and supervise the main floor.

On either side of the path just past the door way are two fountains. Each is constructed of smooth, volcanic obsidian in the shape of a tetrahedron with the top squared off where bubbling water rises and falls smoothly down each side. Around each fountain is a plethora of flora from hundreds of worlds each with its own unique shape, color, and scent which results in an artistic assault to the senses. The overall mix, balance, and arrangement of the plants in the library are considered one of the most beautiful sights in the galaxy.

As one approaches the raised desk of the Dark Librarian, the Marka Ragnos sigil can still be seen etched in blue gemstone on the face of the stone structure. Upon closer inspection of the sigil one can see black swirls and wisps moving inside the gems. The marble path forks at the base of the desk and angles off left and right at a 45 degree angle. The two separate paths angle back leading into the main collection. On either side of each path stands a ten meter tall statue depicting a visage of Marka Ragnos in his glory. On the left path Marka Ragnos stands looking up towards the ceiling as if staring out through the transparisteel towards the sky and into the future. He is armored and rests his hands clasped before him on the pommel of a Sith sword. The statue on the right path depicts Marka Ragnos again armored but without a helmet clenching his fist in defiance and strength, looking down on those observing him.

Passing the Dark Librarian's work station one notices that there is no apparent entrance from this floor. If one would stay and watch however one would see that the Dark Librarian will often disappear into an unseen stairwell into the ground to an area unknown to most. Continuing on, one comes to the main collection area. The floor is lined with shelves of volumes both in hard copy and electronic datapad format. The room itself is in a hexagonal shape. Eight floors of concentric hexagons extend from the center study area with each higher floor smaller in area than the last. The eighth floor being closest to the ceiling and also the most narrow and extends out the least from the wall. Each floor has several staircases which are strategically placed aesthetically so as to not overwhelm the overall construction and is separated vertically by 11 meters.

The study area is a rather large space in the center of the ground floor. It is populated by several large, ornate wroshyr wood tables. Subtle lights are placed strategically about the tables to offer maximum lighting without throwing off the ambience. At the center of the study area is a large, raised, obsidian dome upon which is stretched the Marka Ragnos sigil. When the light from overhead hits the dome it also reflects and adds another source of none blaring light to the area.

Looking up overhead one sees a large needle like tower on the outside of the library proper. This tower serves two purposes. It houses the living quarters of the current Dark Librarian and also casts a shadow along the interior of the study area. Upon closer examination around the hexagonal study area one can see several number markings. As the sun moves through the sky overhead it creates a cast shadow on the floor which points to the various number markings on the floor and thus creates an accurate sundial telling the time of day.

On the far end of the main floor is a dimly lit corridor which leads down to set of stone doors. The doors are rather simple and are inlaid with a relief of the Marka Ragnos symbol. Entering this corridor, whispers can be heard and grow stronger upon approaching the doors. The doors contain no handles or clear way of entry. The secret lies in the person seeking to enter. First, one must be properly attuned to the Force in order to clearly understand the whispers. Once this is achieved the voices ask a question and the seeker must answer correctly in order to enter. Answer incorrectly and one is met with horrible pain, is often plagued with nightmares, and in short is never the same again. There are even some who have not survived the questioning.

If allowed to enter one is met with steps leading and then curving down into the true heart and value of the library. The secret inner sanctum is also shaped hexagonally and descends 25 meters below the main floor. The interior is lit with a rather surprisingly bright, cool blue glow and as one looks up can find the source of this light. The dome structure from the study area actually filters in light from above and one can see through onto the floor above though none can see down below. The symbol of Marka Ragnos is also cast upon the floor as a shadow from the dome above.

Both the floors and walls are of a finely smoothed sand stone and while the atmosphere is darker than the main floor above, the reddish stone offers a bright, warm feel and adds to the powerful aura of the place. The sense one gets is nearly overpowering as the majesty within can be felt in the ancient works that surrounds you.

In this sacred space there are rows and rows of ancient texts, bound books, scrolls, and holocrons from hundreds if not thousands of worlds. On the far side there is a corridor which leads to a circular ritual room. This room is devoid of any furniture save for three stone tables in the which again form the symbol of Marka Ragnos and a flaming chandelier hanging from the ceiling. Along the walls hang banners and tapestries of power. On the left and the right two corridors lead to similar circular rooms. In the left room one finds a work room where newly christened knights study for and build their first lightsabers. In the right room a conference area is found in which a large circular stone table is set along with various place settings and chairs. It is here that the council and the scions will often meet.

Back in the central ritual room one can also see another staircase leading upwards. Half way up these stairs another tunnel opens to the left and leads to a turbolift which provides access to the sundial tower and the personal living space of the Dark Librarian. If you continue upwards along the original staircase you will come to a set of small doors which when opened lead out onto the raised work area of the Dark Librarian on the main floor.

From here the Dark Librarian can easily view all occupants of the Library. He or she is also assisted by various small monitor droids linked to his various consoles at the work station. Here he can also pull up any reference needed and provide maximum assistance to those needing help with their studies and research.

Alabrek Auxilary

A recent addition to the Citadel proper and its sub-levels, this region is a portion of the Kar Alabrek Auxiliary which has been heavily secured and locked down to maintain a large auxiliary for the Citadel itself. Maintaining a secured zone the size of the Citadel's substructure in addition to the Citadel's grounds, outer walls and a large portion of the surrounding streets, it is one of the largest controlled regions of the City's Auxiliary besides the Hydroponic labs, shield generators and geothermal power sectors. The Special Operations Group and Naga Sadow utilize this Auxiliary for various purposes ranging from secured labs to war-rooms. This region has also been designated as a "Panic Room" of sorts for members of Naga Sadow should the system begin to fall to enemy forces.

Great Sadow Library

Home of some attention during the Ekind Uprising, the Great Sadow Library is a mammoth archive housing anything and everything that is related to Naga Sadow as a unit of the Liberated Brotherhood. Sharing many of the same tombs and information as the Dark Library above, the Great Sadow Library nearly triples the sheer capacity and stored information of the so-called "public" library. Ranging from powerful artefacts to moving documents to carefully sequestered Holocrons, the Library is heavily secured, extremely difficult to locate and is surprisingly deep beneath the Tarthosian surface; only Elders of Naga Sadow know how to locate it or are even capable of entering. Those present within its hallowed halls during the events of the Uprising are considered privileged as there is a chance it may be their only time within it.

Trivia

  • Malisane de Ath is the primary author of the original Ragnos Cathedral article which has built this present day article.
  • The Dark Library description was written by Zaxen Dauketrenal as part of his Major Task from his Clan Summit for his Jedi Hunter promotion.
  • Following the Ekind Uprising, a drive to expand all of the fictional elements of Naga Sadow resulted in the restoration of Kar Alabrek. Ragnos Cathedral was also updated alongside its home city and expanded from the Alabrek Castle to Alabrek Citadel to fit along with the larger territory it has been afforded.
Clan Naga Sadow
Units Clan Naga Sadow • Houses Marka Ragnos & Shar Dakhan • Battleteams Night Hawks & Disciples of Dakhan
Leadership Consul Bentre Kairn'tel Stahoes • Proconsul Ashia Keibatsu • Rollmaster Tasha'Vel Versea
Marka Ragnos • Quaestor Muz Ashen • Aedile Xolarin • Battleteam Leader Hilgrif
Shar Dakhan • Quaestor Takagari KogaRyu • Aedile Xuner Holst • Battleteam Leader tdb
Possessions DominionOrian AssemblyOrder of the Black GuardWarhost of Naga Sadow
Misc OverviewDisciples of SadowSons & Daughters of SadowInner CircleMaster-Student Program
Conquest is our destiny, we shall not fail.