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The Fang is a castle currently serving as a home of a Jensaarai splinter-faction. Situated on the larger mountain slopes of Trepus, Solyiat, it lies far further inland than most existing townships. The name itself is a colloquial abbreviation of its original Sephi-given designation, the direct translation of which is One Fang of the World Consuming Serpent Which Will Herald The Universe's Oblivion. The shortened Basic translation has become more commonly accepted even among Trepus' residents. With stonework which was laid down in the earlier days of the Galactic Republic, the castle predates the first colonies of the Vatali Empire. Its exact origins or even the names of its builders have been lost to history, with only a small handful of theories offering any answers as to who this might have been. Due to its heavily dilapidated state, groups of Varritul nesting in its ruins, and remote location far inland, the castle was largely ignored by the coastal towns. As of early 38 ABY, efforts have been made to restore the Fang to its former glory. This will likely take years if not decades to fully accomplish.
- 1 History
- 2 Structure
- 2.1 Exterior of the Fang
- 2.2 Interior of the Fang
- 3 Droid Compliment
- 4 Phenomena
Foundation and Renewal
The exact origins of the Fang are unknown. The names of its creators, their allegiances, and even their species remain unrecorded. All that can be certain is that the fortification is thousands of years old, constructed from stonework generations prior to the settlers of Solyiat arriving on the planet. Built into one of the central mountain ranges of Trepus, the castle had suffered in the centuries of disuse, with many internal tunnels and walls having collapsed in the years since its apparent abandonment. While a number of colonists made several efforts to construct a small outpost among the ruins, mysterious accidents and the wealth of predators that were drawn to its lower levels led to its abandonment. Establishing a far more successful township at one of the continent's larger river mouths - the town of Steepmouth - several hundred kilometers from the Fang, the colonists were able to prosper over the following several generations. Due to its unknown origins and unique design, the Fang remained a subject of interest among both the townsfolk and tourists. Other efforts were made to claim the structure for various purposes, but these repeatedly failed for a myriad of unfortunate mistakes and apparent accidents. After packs of Varritul began nesting among the ruins, any effort to turn the location into a tourist spot were quickly ended.
The Fang came into the possession of Steepmouth's mayor, but no efforts were made to claim the castle for several generations. In late 38 ABY this changed with the coming of a pair of Jensaarai Defenders: Ka Tarvitz and Nikora Rhan. In return for slaying a Varritul which had been hunting the mayor, the two were granted the right of ownership to the castle. After some difficulty, they were able to locate the castle and scout out its surrounding lands. After confirming that it was largely intact, and citing the possible areas to begin repairs, the two landed. For the next several days they purged the building of all local wildlife, and defended against attempts by the local fauna to re-enter the building. With the assistance of several droids, the pair began to rebuild and fortify the structure, making the first steps toward turning it into a base of operations. Over the following several months, largely thanks to Rhan's efforts, segments of the castle were restored, allowing the two to begin storing information archives and reactivate a number of its facilities.
From the Ashes
Over the course of many months, the Jensaarai worked to rebuild the castle. Tarvitz carried out his duties with Odan-Urr, returning primarily to deliver supplies and new resources, along with newly uncovered relics. This left the duties of reconstruction, and later training Sirra, their Apprentice, to Rhan. However, with Tarvitz serving as a buffer against Odan-Urr's influences she was able to continue her work with little interruption. Throughout this time, unbeknownst to any of them, rumours had been growing. Their act of slaying a Varritul in defence of Steepmouth's leaders had slowly spread, presenting the Jensaarai as knights-errant. With every retelling it had been increasingly embellished, until they were thought of as figures of near legend. With it had come interest from certain groups, those seeking to learn their ways or to control blossoming Force powers.
Early into summer, the Jensaarai were met with a small crowd in front of the Fang's gate. Consisting of individuals who had somehow found their way there, each were asking to be taken on as Apprentices. After some discussion, it was found that many had come due to the difficulties in traveling to Kiast and distrust of the Jedi born of propaganda. Tarvitz was able to placate the majority of the crowd. Arranging for a transport to travel between the Jedi Praxeum and the Fang to collect those better suited to Jedi training, Tarvitz was able to sway Rhan into accepting the few who showed the correct temperament to become Jensaarai. While both agreed that most would likely not remain, and that even among those who did they would likely only stay until they had control over their abilities, it would be a start toward building the new Order.
It was also during this time that Yuki Suoh, largely thanks to Tarvitz's influence, opted to remain on site as a medical practitioner. Given the hazardous nature of the surrounding area, and the natural dangers of training Force users, her help was very quickly welcomed. Rhan was able to soon establish a small medical area in one wing of the castle, stripping out what remained of the area and sterilizing the environment for use as a medical facility. This was further supported by the presence of K-0RN or "Orion", a KX-series security droid which had been reprogrammed to act as a Rebel spy. With the Rebellion's goal completed and no other tasks to mind, Orion came to serve as a librarian governing the castle's archives.
The War at Home
The relative peace of the castle's early months were soon broken once its teachers were called into battle. Arx had come under assault by The Collective, which had somehow both shrugged off multiple defeats that should have crippled their military and bypassed every defence in their path. Clan Odan-Urr had been called to break the conflict, and Tarvitz, Rhan, and Suoh had all agreed to answer this call to arms. Duties were soon split between Orion and Sirra, with the former continuing to guard and repair the castle with the help of other droids, while the latter was responsible for the training and wellbeing of the students. This led to a number of clashes, thanks to both Sirra's age compared with some students and her inability to fully communicate with Orion, but an understanding eventually settled among them.
Only a short time into this temporary guardianship, the Fang came under siege by an unknown group. While their identity and allegiances were unknown, they had clearly arrived to target the students above all else. Somehow finding the castle despite the difficulty of such an act, and even bypassing its exterior defences, they were soon found stalking the halls. While Orion put his talents to use picking off those outside on the Fang, Sirra was left to hunt down the ones which had breached its walls. These groups were hindered by the very castle itself, as its shifting environment and various phenomena served to divide their numbers and wear away at their resolve. Picking them off a few at a time, Sirra was able to use their growing fear as a beacon to home in on their positions. Her actions were encouraged by a half-heard whisper in the back of her mind, commanding her to drive out the intruders and make them an example to any who would threaten this place. By dawn the following day, only two of the intruders were left alive. The first, the group's leader, took his own life in a final act of desperation rather than share the fate of his men. The other was a Nexu that they had brought as a hunting beast. Abused and ill-treated, Sirra opted to instead pacify the animal. Guiding it into one of the rooms once left as a stable, kept it isolated and under control until the Jensaarai returned.
The Voice of Experience
The reactions of those returning from the war came with a mixture of horror, astonishment, and pride. The fact that Sirra had been able to kill the majority of their attackers without losing a single student in return was a praiseworthy effort, and Orion's own victories had allowed him to capture the vehicle they had arrived in. Yet even this could not disguise the problem that the Fang had been found at all. With all the trouble it created in simply locating and traveling to the castle, the Defenders had never anticipated that it would be directly assaulted by any substantial force. The fact that Sirra had plucked details from their dying minds showing that each was both a trained killer of Jedi and hired to kill those in the Fang suggested they had more enemies than they had realised. Upon seeing this, Rhan began pressing forward with her plans to fortify and better defend the castle as it was renovated, beginning with a group of sentry droids and further defensive plans. Yet even as this was discussed, the subject of Sirra's actions was argued between the two. She had protected the castle effectively, but her methods had utilised fear and emulated what Rhan feared were Sith aspects. Tarvitz felt it was no worse than what either of them might have done to protect those within, even if the girl had favoured stealth over direct violence. The two argued for some time, but the decision on how to treat this accomplishment ultimately fell on Rhan's shoulders. Unfortunately, efforts to discuss this with Sirra only served to further widen a growing rift between the two.
There had also been the subject of the mysterious power that had encouraged Sirra's bloodshed during the fight, half-felt in her mind. While no one had doubted that the Fang held some mysterious power within its walls, they had believed it was largely benign. This led to each of the Defenders privately attempting to uncover more clues to its nature and what might be its exact cause, hoping that further sources or wilder theories might offer some hints as to its nature. During this effort, Rhan was approached by Essik Lyccane with offers of help. The former New Republic Admiral had known of their venture, but he had been kept in the dark on its fine details. Upon learning of its scale, he was enthusiastic and soon wished to be involved, citing his long history in surviving with few resources and fighting through multiple wars. Rhan accepted, and Essik soon began providing multiple military doctrines that he felt suited the Jensaarai mentality.
After each returned from their ventures, Tarvitz and Rhan gathered the students together and made a joint speech. They made it clear that the bloodshed within the Fang's walls was not uncommon among the Jensaarai, and that their lives were far from safe. While it was a life dedicated to the protection of others, it was far from safe. They once again made the offer to send anyone willing to the Jedi Praxeum or allow others to return to their homes. A number of them accepted this, mostly those who had sought to control their abilities rather than truly following the life of hardships it required. h the castle's location already pinpointed by their unknown enemy, Rhan viewed this as a worthwhile loss. Those that returned home would help to dispel the falsehoods of child-stealing that plagued the Jedi and foster stronger ties with the local towns rather than risking enmity. If they were targeted by their foe, that would only serve to further strengthen their relationship and help to identify who had attacked the Fang. Those that remained were divided into groups, and told that they would succeed or fail as these units. With Tarvitz teaching them of breaking rules, fighting, and surviving, while Rhan trained them in creativity, craftsmanship, and her balance of pacifism and violence, the students took on a new stage in their lessons.
Tiger, Mantis, and Kraken
United in this singular goal, the group worked to pursue their objectives with renewed vigor. The additional help of Essik Lyccane combined with the more defined structures helped to enhance the speed and effectiveness of lessons. Where an individual fell short, each could be quietly addressed, but more often than not students were encouraged to support one another in their efforts. More impressively still was how few clashes occurred during this early period. Even with their long histories, military and the teachings of Force users rarely blend together with any true effectiveness, and there were times where fractures might have emerged. Yet Essik's experiences in working with the Jedi and his time spent analyzing Jensaarai philosophy avoided the issue entirely. Opting to learn from the past whereas so many would disregard or burn it, Essik closely examined past errors and constantly revised his plans. The students were taught in varying ways, mixing the lessons of a million worlds across a thousand wars, covering everything from acts of subterfuge to weapons types and advanced strategies.
Rhan kept a close watch on Essik's efforts, and it was made clear with each alteration that she would have final approval. Both Tarvitz and Essik accepted that her history and disposition made her better suited to such a role than their own qualities, and her judgment was used to keep them on the right path. Even with this obvious authority, she nevertheless concerned herself mostly with continuing the lessons that she had attempted to pass on to her first generation of students. History, the subject of pragmatism, the subjectivity of established fact set down by superiors, and the willingness to seek out the truth; these were all common topics within her lessons. Although often joking that common sense was her main objective above all else, she worked to establish a mindset that was critical of details and yet open to the truth.
Tarvitz did as he always did, and showed those who visited him how to fight, survive, and beat the odds.
This was for a time their focus, and each worked in synchronicity to train their students. Yet two of them were pulled away from it within mere months of starting. Concerned with her growing enmity while dealing with Sirra and seeking a possible resource to further strengthen the Fang, Rhan left for the Rimward Graveyard for a month's long mission. Although intending for Tarvitz to share the burden of leadership with Essik, he soon departed in pursuit of an old contact that had stumbled upon items essential for the castle's continuation. Each took several weeks to return, leaving Essik and Orion struggling to manage the building without their assistance.
Although both Jensaarai returned with their objectives ultimately accomplished, Essik called a private meeting to discuss their actions. Although polite and measured as ever, the former Admiral made it very clear that he would not tolerate such actions again in the future. It both left them open to attacks and disrupted their set timetable, denying the students a resource that they could ill afford to lose. Although Essik was content to train them as and when needed, they were already critically short on experienced figures and he couldn't guide them in the ways of the Force. Neither argued against his points, quickly seeing the wisdom within them, save for the point that some would still occasionally need to depart the Fang on operations. There were too many threats, opportunities, or missions that would need to be fulfilled to keep each of them on-site at the same time.
The decision was eventually made to expand upon their existing combat halls and to further bolster the Fang's defenses. Intended to allow students to both more freely train in combat without the presence of a teacher, it at least freed up some time for the Jensaarai. Rhan's visit to the graveyard had given them enough material to restore much of the halls, and raiding a Trade Federation ship had even allowed them to salvage a MagnaGuard to serve as a secondary combat tutor. Tarvitz was ironically the most vocal opponent to this, even though he stood to benefit from it, as doing so would deplete a credit supply that had been set aside for an improved shuttle. He was only swayed when it was both pointed out that it would take years to gain the finances they required for a substantial ship - thus further extending the time in which the Fang remained in ruins - and its role as an evacuation vessel would be limited if they came under attack. Tarvitz expected Essik to support his viewpoint given his experience in retreats and attacks on strongholds, but he instead argued against it. Clan Odan-Urr already served as a more substantial defence and naval support than anything they could muster, and in buying the ship would be forsaking revitalizing a much-needed resource while ignoring an already present ally.
Eventually agreeing to their points, Tarvitz offered up a substantial portion of his personal armoury as training weaponry for students; even going so far as to buy a pair of training remotes as a means to support lessons.
The early months into 39 ABY would prove to be more prominent in shaping the Fang's future than any would realise. While the lessons among students had gone without incident, other matters were slowly coming to the fore. Sirra in particular had taken to frequently exploring the Fan's outer reaches and abandoned areas, hunting for a presence that she alone could sense. Although little was spoken with any of her masters, it was far from just a passing sensation, but an ever-present feeling of foreboding. While in another time this might have been taken with more seriousness, her lack of communication and more pressing concerns drew their attention away from the potential warning this might have offered.
Realising that they would need to form better links with other elements of the Kiast system's society to continue, Essik Lyccane spent some weeks travelling among the Quorahi settlements in search of resources and support. Levering his more positive reputation among them to their benefit and resolving a number of matters during his visits, Essik found his services were in high demand. Yet in the township of Shindlegeist, he encountered an ancient threat that required the Gand to break his own word. An abomination, the last creation of the Order of the Silver Jedi stalked among its streets, killing those about it. Utilising the texts that Tarvitz had recovered to help identify it, followed by Sirra and Rhan's abilities to track it down, they were able to trace its origins and learn of how it had come to the world. Essik's skills proved to be essential at multiple points, and though he and Tarvitz were badly wounded during encounters with the vampire, the group was able to prevail and end its existence. That said, the effort had had a profound impact on Essik's view of how they needed to approach certain threats, and his own actions had badly shaken his friendship with Rhan.
They were given little time to fully deal with the matter or recover from it before Clan Odan-Urr issued a call to arms among its current and former members. A major crisis was arising on Myrkr, as Odan-Urr's actions had uncovered a major relic among the planet's ruins. This hunt had brought them into conflict with Clan Plagueis, with each racing to reach the mysterious Desired One first. Although they lacked the full information surrounding this matter, most soon realised that it was wise to keep any item of significant power out of Sith hands, and soon rejoined the clan for the operation.
Unwilling to leave the Fang undefended again, Rhan soon returned with Sirra in order to best help protect the castle. While the choice was picked at random, she was understandably unhappy that those most wounded by the previous mission were now undergoing a potentially life-threatening assignment. It was only after Tarvitz swore an oath to ensure that he and Essik took further time to recover prior to the impending battle, and that Ratchet would be left to cover fighter duties, that Rhan eventually accepted this decision. Her uneasiness and desire to return to the castle was only further fuelled by the unresolved matter of Tarvitz's hidden vault, and just what other subjects might lurk there.
During the flight to Myrkr, Essik departed abruptly on his own mission to the Core Worlds, hearing of a code word that had great meaning to him. This left Tarvitz as the only participant in the impending crusade. Ignoring his usual attitude of throwing himself into the fight, he was able to bypass most of the impending conflict and directly retrieve the Desired One prior to Plagueis' arrival. This, along with threats issued by the local population of Neti brought the battle between the clans to an abrupt halt with limited loss of life on both sides.
During this time, Rhan was able to use a number of connections associated with her family to speak with a variety of salvage operators to help cover for areas they were lacking. The most prominent among these was a freighter with a large transpiration capacity, both for off-world operations and rapid evacuations; something easily resolved after an old associate was able to deliver a YC-123B Transport Hauler, intact and undamaged. At the same time, she was able to procure a variety of components for various medical droids, succeeding in bringing two back online to bolster the castle's medical wing. This was a prelude to further connections she wished to establish among such groups, but it was used as a sign that they could and would do business with them.
It was during this same time that Sirra - having returned to exploring the Fang's lower reaches - came upon a room guarded on all sides by silver blocks. Entering through a collapsed wall, she was able to find a number of treasures within. The most prominent of these was a scimitar, seemingly immune to the ravages of time, and crafted in the same manner as Jensaarai armour. Although careful not to touch the weapon, Sirra was able to transport it back to the surface and presented it to Rhan for further study.
Opportunities and Shortcomings
The group was left with little time to recover from the previous crusade before another was abruptly announced. Both the Severian Principate and Tenixir Revenants had come to blows over mysterious artifacts, and the new Grand Master of the Brotherhood had given the group leeway to assist whoever they felt was most aligned to their beliefs. Tarvitz was selected to join the operation, both due to the potential benefits that certain Revenant beliefs might offer them, and also the opportunity that the chaos granted. Dandoran was a pleasure world owned by the Hutt Clans. Much like the Imperials, the Hutts were prone to stealing relics for themselves, ranging from those of cultural value to those that were important to Force sects. As a result, Tarvitz took most of their Pit droids in the YC-123B - now dubbed the Stargazer - in an effort to take advantage of the chaos. The event - later known as the Rite of Supremacy: Escalation - saw the deaths of many on both the Principate and Revenants alike, especially once another power intervened. Tarvitz was able to gather visual information on them, but little else following their arrival, and turning the Principate's new Restoration Troopers to their side. With both the disruption and abrupt end to the fighting, Tarvitz was forced to instead focus upon more mundane prizes, and utilised his small workforce to liberate a pair of power droids, and steal a wealth of furniture from one of the abandoned hotels.
At the Fang, more serious developments were becoming clear. Essik was largely tied up examining his own findings, and information linked to the life that he had since abandoned. While happy to teach the students their next lessons, pressing them further into espionage and counter-espionage training along with Orion, much of what he had read had shaken him. Equally, Rhan had become concerned with Sirra's recent discovery, as the nature of the weapon was a mess of contradictions. Between lessons and using traded information to work toward their smuggler contacts, she examined the item in detail, finding that it lacked any definitive link to any ancient or current sect that she knew. Even peering into it with the Force brought no new insight, as it was an abyss of nothingness, consuming energies rather than radiating them as one might expect. However, Rhan's studies were brought to a halt when Essik brought forth a concern surrounding Sirra, as her performance had stagnated. Although Rhan had noticed this and had pushed to advise Sirra in several efforts, she had believed at first that the other students were simply catching up. Examinations by the medical droids revealed that the cause was far more deep-rooted than her initial estimates, as long-term malnutrition was taking its toll on Sirra's body.
Matters were discussed to resolve the problem, with Tarvitz joining once he returned with his spoils, but there was no easy answer to the matter. He voiced hunting down the Kaminoan scientist that had modified his own body, but the costs for such a fix would be higher than they could afford, even without the Fang's existing costs. It was at this point that Celevon made his presence known, voicing an alternative to refashion her body through the Force. Both Jensaarai opposed this, as it had been a line that their Order was oathbound never to cross, but Tarvitz gradually relented when it became clear no other option was feasible in the timeframe they needed. Essik remained silent, lacking the understanding for what it might cost, but brought up his concerns relating to the monster he had only recently slain in Shindlegeist, while Rhan silently wondered if the relics Tarvitz had hidden from her were warping his opinion. Yet with Celevon swaying Essik into trusting him and Siraa backing the choice, Rhan was outvoted.
Taking Sirra to an area of the Fang that was suitable to their needs, Celevon conducted the ritual by summoning upon powerful forces in order to control and rework Sirra's form. As Sirra lost consciousness in the final moments of the ritual, she broadcast single image with a feeling of immense danger. A towering figure in rachidian armour plating inlaid with machinery of no known design. The image was unknown to all of them, and what little they saw of its background meant it clearly had not taken place in Sirra's past. While the others displayed concern toward just where it had originated or what it meant, Rhan could not help but believe that Celevon's ritual had been linked to it somehow.
Built into the very mountain that it is set against, the Fang benefits from a unique structure bereft in most fortifications of its apparent age. Entire areas of the castle were carved from the mountain, and tunnels formed leading further into the solid stone, all seemingly without the benefit of more advanced machinery or complex labour. The few efforts made to examine the structures found them to be an eclectic mix of crude and unknown means of construction. Large areas were built from standard brick and mortar designs, notably surrounding what was once the main gate, while others were formed by reshaping the very rock itself. The few intact tunnels leading into the mountain were described as being impossibly smooth, with no sign of tool-work or even more advanced plasma drills being used in their creation.
Exterior of the Fang
The mountain upon which the Fang has been built into is of a notably unusual structure. Tall, relatively thin and with a narrow peak, it lacks the more gradual incline expected of a mountain. Because of this, the surrounding grounds are relatively flat, only rising in a slight incline until it reaches a near-vertical cliff-face up the mountainside. Barren, featureless, and bereft of soil, the grounds themselves are a rising plane of rock. Rising in shallow spikes and broken by cracks, they offer little protection but make any effort to traverse the area on foot a treacherous endeavor. Both its hazardous nature and appearance have led to it being nicknamed the Sea of Blades. Even attempting to cross it via repulsorlift vehicles is a challenge thanks to the high numbers of Sarsirians which have developed among the rocks. Rising in wave-like formations and forming jagged crests seemingly without any singular direction or pattern, their presence makes traversing the surrounding grounds hazardous at best. As each easily hides the narrow drops which litter the grounds seemingly at random unwary travelers can easily stumble into these, often to their death.
Lowermost WallsKarnite layered over unknown substances. The exact means used to form the wall has remained a mystery for centuries, as it was seemingly carved from the very mountain itself despite karnite being foreign to Solyiat and rarely forming so close to the surface. Nevertheless, it has proven to be an effective substance in resisting the ravages of age and even advanced weaponry. The tip of these battlements rises upward by six-foot to defend those standing on its walls, before curving outward into broad spikes in place of the more typical glacis. These additions seemingly exist to prevent siege ladders or platforms easily resting against its walls. Even without this benefit, the formations have proven to be adaptable to use as modern weapon pintles and mounts. A few partings between these seemingly exist as arrow-slits or a means for defenders to attack those at the base of its walls, with some areas broadening out into larger turreted platforms ringed with machicolations.
The sole gatehouse for the castle sits at the centermost point of the wall, flanked by a pair of broad defensive towers. Corroding metal and the residue of wood indicates that ballistae or large siege weapons once stood at the peak of each tower, while the gate itself has since rotted away into nothingness. The design indicates that the main doors were intended to be placed on the very exterior of the walls and reinforced by several means, preventing attacking troops from taking shelter within the archway behind them. A second gate supported by a portcullis waits behind the primary doors, five meters from the outer gate. The ground in front of both gates is set at a thirty-degree slope, ensuring that those entering are having to walk uphill. The stonework in front of them is made of an unknown substance that can easily be heated when energized, allowing for it to reach blistering temperatures when exposed to the right energy.
Situated a short distance behind the lowermost walls, the Barbican Towers were likely intended as an immediate second line of defense. Angular monolithic structures covered in hardened black stone slabs, each is linked to the innermost castle by a series of thin walkway bridges. These have now lower entrance which, combined with vision slits and firing positions angled towards areas below them, has led most to believe that they were a counter against the wall being overrun. With their uppermost levels being open to the elements and linked by a single staircase, some have come to believe that additional siege weapons were situated on the towers. Due to their broader structure and the presence of more fortified positions on the walls, this has been heavily disputed by other theorists. Instead, some believe that these were intended to be the landing positions for light aircraft or even trained flying beasts.
Situated between the lowermost walls and the keep, the basilica is a broad courtyard of paved stone slabs. Broken only by patches of soil where isolated trees once stood and angular menhirs of obsidian, the grounds are large enough to accommodate a Sentinel-class landing craft with room to spare for escorting fighters. The exact patterns of the stones are difficult to track, but the general shapes indicate a series of intricately detailed hieroglyphs shaped by varied shades and colours. As the courtyard is near-constantly covered with a light layer of snow, these are more often than not obscured from sight. This has led to a rumour that the exact details and shapes of these hieroglyphs change each morning.
The exact shape and spaces of the basilica have been noted to serve a defensive purpose. Behind the wider lowermost walls, it offers little in the way of shelter or cover from incoming projectiles. This allows the area to serve as a series of kill boxes which, combined with the natural chokepoint of the single main gate, would allow for a far smaller defensive force to more easily repel larger attacking groups. What remains perplexing to those who have investigated the area is that, unlike the walls beyond them, the battlements of the main castle lack the positions or remnants of larger siege weapons. This has led to those who have examined the Fang theorizing that there is an unseen element to the castle's defences which previous investigations have as of yet not been discovered.
The basilica is in a noted state of disrepair thanks to being situated between two towering defensive structures. While the increasing number of droids and efforts by the castle's current residents have made significant progress toward clearing the previous damage, much of their efforts are either temporary measures or have been selected for speed over aesthetics. This is most obvious in the number of craters that punctured through the courtyard slabs. After clearing away the debris and smoothing over the areas, the Jensaarai elected to fill each with ferrocrete rather than fully restore the previous design, creating odd distortions and breaks in the pavings. This has been further reinforced by additional layerings in places, both to further enhance the area's durability and enhance its weight capacity. The only truly new addition is a shelter constructed to house and shelter the large Nexu owned by Sirra. Heated and designed to emulate their typical nests, it allows for the animal to freely hunt beyond the Fang's walls and guard against intruding predators at night.
Even with their limited progress, a great deal remains to be repaired and rebuilt. One of the towers situated over the walls has collapsed entirely, blocking off the north-eastern corner of the basilica and burying it entirely. Sensor readings indicate that a tunnel leading deeper into the mountain lies behind it, but it would take substantial work to shift the multiple tons of stonework.
The walls of the keep were clearly constructed with the intent of offering multiple levels of resistance against attackers, even should they enter the keep. Each tier of the wall is structured in a position where they can easily lay fire down onto the lower levels, supporting efforts to repel invaders on the walls. Firing slits permit substantial gun depression from weapon emplacements or marksmen, permitting defending troops to fire on soldiers even directly below their position. Even without this, the walls themselves are clearly intended to offer as many fall-back points and areas to ambush their enemies as possible. Multiple alcoves line various points of the stonework, each large enough to hide several people at once, while elevated areas can be cut-off. These can then serve as defensive barricades should a section of the wall be overrun, or to hold enemies in choke-points for defenders on the upper levels. A number of walkways move at abrupt angles and curves, not unlike the teeth of a key, while others moving deeper into the fortress are only large enough to permit groups to move in a single-file. Both of these further contribute to the ability for smaller numbers of soldiers to hold the walls against vast numbers of attacking troops.
Efforts to further explore the castle's interior from the outer walls have been stymied by cave-ins, but some areas indicate the presence of hidden tunnels. These are suspected to have been part of a greater defensive measure should the upper walls be overrun first, but efforts to open them have proven fruitless. What has been a remarkably confusing subject to many researchers is how many of these defenses can easily be applied against those already within the castle. What is more, despite its more feudal design and appearance, many of its defenses work exceptionally well against airborne foes. Its position against the mountain and the angle of the walls ensures that airborne assaults are difficult to enact successfully. Furthermore, the mountain itself bars larger drop ships from getting close enough to deploy troops on the upper levels.
The westernmoust tower was found to be relatively intact early on into exploration of the castle, but was deemed unsuitable for most uses. While sturdily constructed and largely bereft of previous furnishings, its more remote location within the Fang and smaller room structure meant that it was ill suited to any initial expansions. While cleared out and secured, it was only put into use following a minor volcano eruption on the outermost islands of Pokora, where it was used to house clan members affected by the incident. Set up as a living space, most of it has been used for private rooms, while the upper two levels have been reserved for other facilities. An observatory has been established on the uppermost point, where it can examine the surrounding skies and stars. While this dominates much of the area, a smaller section has been set aside as a garden for a variety of cold-weather flora that thrives in high altitude environments.
Interior of the Fang
Situated behind the main doorway, the gateway room serves as an interior line of defense. With only a narrow corridor leading from the gate into the broader semi-circular room, it serves as a natural bottleneck for defending soldiers. With twin staircases leading away from the center and a standing balcony overlooking the entrance, it can easily be fortified by multiple ranks of troops. The stone banisters of the stairs themselves feature a number of loopholes and the remains of decaying metal, indicating that they were likely built with the intent of being further reinforced by physical shielding. With a few narrow doorways leading off into the castle from said balcony, any intruder attempting to enter or leave the castle is forced to brave multiple chokepoints in an effort to pass through the area. Even without this, hanging lighting fixtures, and reflective decorations mean that those entering the room are typically blinded momentarily. Curiously, these are also positioned in a way that would directly interfere with those attempting to leap up from the ground floor onto the balcony area itself.
Besides its obvious defensive purpose, the room was clearly constructed with grandeur in mind. As the first glimpse of the Fang's interior, it serves as a blunt and direct display of the castle's aesthetics. A broad, partially decayed, icon is situated between the two staircases, while a number of leering stone figures acorn the various upper walls. The stonework is a combination of pale grey, steel blue, and fading yellow, creating stark contrast in tones throughout the interior. These are merely those that survived the ages, with an indication that the likes of animal pelts and weapons once hung from the walls.
Once a grand dining hall, the Great Hall has become a hub area for further pushes into the Fang's lost reaches. Adorned with leering gargoyles in its upper reaches and decorative galleries where banners once stood and images of Trepus' mythology have been carved into the walls, it is one area where the Fang's fading grandeur has endured. Large enough to easily accommodate well over a hundred individuals, its walls soar up high into the dark, until they are lost in the gloom far above. Multiple stone pillars keep the hall's roof aloft, with each shaped into the gigantic form of a coiled serpent. The flagstones which make up the floor are decorated with the heraldry of countless individuals, all of who have been lost to time.
Perhaps the most distinctive addition to the room is the meters high statue which occupies the hall's far end. The statue's features have been long lost, eroded by some known force which has not affected the rest of the Fang. The overall stance and the sword hilt which occupies one hand indicates that it was of a warrior.
Originally one of a multitude of dining halls, the room was quickly repurposed as an archive. Intended to store the ancient tomes, scrolls, and holocrons that the Jensaarai recovered, it is situated deep within the fortress. Accessed only through two primary doors, it can easily be sealed off at a moment's notice. The towering walls which once might have borne tapestries and paintings are now home to multiple levels of shelves, while several data terminals occupy a broad stone desk situated at its center. Although originally intended as a stop-gap measure until a more suitable room was found, the Jensaarai eventually agreed that its fortifiable position and broad layout made it a better choice than almost any other area of the Fang. After a swift renovation, the room's walls were fitted with banks of computers and shelves for documents.first of these details historical eras and cultural documents that are seen as important to the Jensaarai. These cover philosophical examinations of the original Jedi Order, the Jensaarai, the Sith Empire, the Brotherhood, and Luke Skywalker's reformed Jedi. The books covering these organizations are varied, detailed, and come from the minds of many authors.
There are many which are as critical of the groups as they are praiseworthy, citing various shortcomings or oversights which led to their downfall despite their strengths. Such works were gathered so that those seeking the knowledge the Jensaarai guard are not blinded by propaganda or rose-tinted depictions. To permit such a limited viewpoint to take hold of students or scholars would be to repeat the very mistakes that Tarvitz and Rhan both sought to rectify. Most of these are datadiscs recovered from New Republic libraries prior to the propaganda-driven purges of information. These cover a multitude of eras leading from the Great Galactic War through to the most devastating of the unsung wars, with many minor conflicts between them. A few ancient scrolls are kept among them, held in stasis fields to preserve the fragile works.
Many more are various items and archives that Rhan was able to rescue from the Jensaarai during their own purges of knowledge. These are typically more practical in nature, covering mechanical engineering studies and forgemaking techniques. Some delve into the art of Sith Alchemy, others also hold an examination of minor splinter-groups and Krath cults from across the centuries, but most are intended for teaching students. It is for this reason that the archives retain a number of documents based upon lightsaber combat techniques.
Items seen as too dangerous or valuable for access even to students are held in a hidden vault. These are stored in a vault that has been molecularly bonded to one corner of the room. To remove or alter it in any way would require cutting through several meters of rock on each side, along with the vault's own considerable defences. Gene-locked, code-locked, and guarded by a series of shifting questions based on Jensaarai philosophy, it is intended to be almost impregnable. Hidden away within a section of a connecting room and shielded from sensors, the vault is almost impossible to find save for those that know of its existence. It is just as secure from efforts to breach it within as it is outside, and with good reason. A number of items are simply of cultural or even personal value, such as a seven-string hallikset and an Alderaanian moss painting, or relics from prior Great Jedi Wars. Alchemically treated weapons such as sapphire blades are kept to one side while the subjects of ongoing research, such as Collective cybernetic implants, are held in shielded sub-vaults.
Yet the vast majority of the vault's contents consist of ancient scrolls, texts, and books tens of thousands of years old. These works consist of documents thought lost to the ages or commonly dismissed as mere legends, penned by figures such as Arca Jeth, Naga Sadow, and Nikkos Tyris. Most cover philosophy relating to the Sith and Jedi Order, while a few other document techniques exclusive to one order or the other. Tomes detailing all knowledge of the Old Ones and their associated spirits, life extension techniques, and surviving copies of the Dark Side Compendium, are but a few of the other documents held there. Perhaps the greatest prize of the archives are a trio of recovered holocrons leading back to the era just prior to the Great Galactic War, retaining the memories of Jolee Bindo and Darth Vectivus respectively. The third was badly damaged, and ongoing efforts to repair its systems have yet to meet with any degree of real success. While the holocron is clearly Jedi in origin, the identity of its creator is as of yet unknown. In the wake of the Myrkr Crusade this was later joined by a holocron that supposedly held the teachings of Darth Marr, but this has been disputed given that it was seemingly recorded at a date following his death. These are all warded as much by sorcery as technology, dimming their presence in the Force and working to hide them via a number of techniques that mask their presence to the wider universe.
The most frequently accessed section of the archives is the area on training documents kept for students. Rather than covering subjects directly relating to the Force, culture, or history, the documents found here detail more directly practical subjects of knowledge. Close-quarters combat tactics, means of infiltration and sabotage, resisting interrogation, escaping captivity, guerrilla warfare, wilderness survival, and resource acquisition, are but a few of those found there. Others detail secondary means such as negotiation, avoiding direct combat, and squad-based tactics. These work to teach students as much about survival among the universe as direct combat, covering areas that are usually utilised by soldiers rather than Force users.
Each of these documents are further preserved through a number of digital backups, stored on remote terminals on hidden planets, and highly secure Holonet files. Should the archive be destroyed, then its knowledge can at least be recovered and used again by those seeking to continue the efforts of the Jensaarai.
Situated several levels up toward the heart of the Fang lies the barracks. A line of small individual rooms and broad shared halls, these served as quarters to a portion of the castle's populace. Evidently spartan in design and with little space of individual comfort, these were built more for function above all else. The only indication of prior individuality lies in a handful of the items left behind and details carved into the walls, formed from a dialect which has yet to be traced to any widely known language. These are present in the smaller rooms, indicating that they were likely owned by the castle's hierarchy, while the halls were left to the rank and file soldiers. Each room was cleared out in a series of broad sweeps, removing the vermin which had come to nest within them. After removing and then destroying what could not be preserved for historical examination, these rooms were then claimed by the castle's new occupants.
While initially only three rooms were set aside for its owners, this was quickly expanded upon with the massed arrival of students. Most were made ready in haste, and retain a somewhat spartan layout because of this. With a simple bed, cabinet, wardrobe, and desk, these are furnished with enough to store basic clothing and items during their stay. Most also feature a safe for personal effects as an additional security measure, but these are small and reserved for only a limited number of personal valuables. Students are also permitted to decorate their rooms as they desire, so long as the stonework is not damaged. This is done to encourage a more creative side and general outlet among the more militant aspects of their training, allowing them to practice the skills and thoughts needed for crafting armor among other duties.
Many areas among the castle, especially those close to the primary halls and barracks, have basic hygiene facilities. These are typically small hidden rooms and secondary areas kept out of sight, and fitted to an aging plumbing system worked into the architecture of the building. This proved to be remarkably simple to upgrade with modern variations, and remarkably little maintenance was required to bring it back into working order. A number of pipes have proven difficult to track, leading off into areas that are as of yet unknown. However, several were traced into a large bathhouse area carved into the stonework of the lower levels. Decorated with green marble and silver stonework, and featuring the iconography of the region's serpentine mythology, it had remained undisturbed for centuries. With a little prompting from the local students and Tarvitz, Rhan was able to bring this back into full working order and assign a number of PIT droids to clean it on a daily basis.
Besides bathroom facilities, a number of fabric cleaning and recycling facilities have been installed in previously abandoned rooms on the castle's lower levels. Taken from a Trade Federation vessel that Rhan pillaged for resources, these are being gradually tweaked and reworked as they are gradually adjusted to being a permanent installation.
The Medical Wing
Situated in one upper tier of the castle, the medical wing has been constructed within what was once a chapel to Trepus' mythological figures. The statues and engravings remain intact, but everything else save for the stonework has been stripped away to allow for medical equipment. A number of beds reside against one wall, while a trio of bacta tanks stands opposite them. A further room, a smaller scale area in an adjoining chamber, serves as a surgical room and is kept sterilized between operations. A pair of secondary desks and a data terminal are situated in one corner along with a small supply of medical supplies and equipment, largely intended for minor injuries or health inspections. Further supplies are kept in the lower storerooms and a storage box bolted to the chamber floor and kept locked against possible intrusions.
Although small scale, the wing itself is substantial enough to support the relatively limited population of the Fang, and has served to counter the typical risks of training Force users. Without it, the injuries from exposure to the elements or training regimens would slow down any progress in each Apprentice's progress toward mastering their powers.
Situated directly below the westernmost tower, the meditation chamber was built as a place of solace. Constructed from stone laced with silver patterns, the structure and positioning of the room is intended to help best ensure focus and an easy connection with the Force. A series of small chambers large enough to permit two or three people to enter at a time, these are reserved for periods of contemplation, isolation, and initial lessons to test a student's ability to connect with the wider world of the Force. Several have been modified to better emulate the similar chambers utilised by the Jensaarai and better fit with their teachings, making them better suited for lessons and tests in farseeing among other subjects.
Since being reclaimed and restored, the area's designated roles have barely changed. Intended to serve as training grounds for the occupants' martial proficiency, the scale and nature of these rooms vary heavily depending upon their intended role. A number serve as broad battle environments across a broad area, with an emphasis upon testing groups at a time against either one another or superior numbers of foes. Others are firing ranges, which have since been repurposed for blasters and slugthrowers, while further sections have been established as gymnasiums. Yet the most common among them are small areas that focus upon elevated stone slabs, with the intention of serving as dueling chambers against single occupants, but with room for a broader audience.
The most common feature among each is a series of networked measurements, lines, and perimeters fitted into every environment. Carved into the floor, they feature simpler patterns interwoven atop of more complex designs and measurements,
Various rooms are devoted to fulfilling certain roles, varying heavily in terms of size and nature depending upon their chosen task. The most common among these feature a series of elevated stone slabs, raised up and formed to create dueling areas. Although simple in design, they have proven to be an effective means of establishing guidelines and limitations when training others in the use of melee weapons, from general maneuvers to more complex forms. This has proven apt for almost any training session, and allows a student to more readily establish the ability to judge measurements, distances, ranges, and their personal limitations. These have also proven to be the only true indicator of the actual nature of the Fang's prior owners, suggesting that they were humanoids and roughly of standard height for the galaxy. Anything more has been left to a simple theory.
After a number of initial pushes were made to renovate key areas, and limiting the damage caused by melting snow, funding was actively devoted to fully restoring the halls in late 38 ABY. Although the general role of each environment remained unchanged, it was updated with new weaponry, facilities, and alterations made to account for current tactics and weaponry. Much of the original equipment was largely donated to various museums or put into preservation chambers for long-term storage, while their replacements were largely donated from the personal armories of the castle's founders. Although each student is expected to gradually construct and acquire their personal gear, the armory itself at least serves as a starting point, to experiment with various arms in both utilization and defending against a wider variety of weaponry.
The most recent addition has come from a droid recharge station and several new droids. A trio of training remotes are stationed to enhance group lessons on lightsaber combat against blaster equipped enemies, while a reprogrammed MagnaGuard salvaged from a Trade Federation vessel serves as a ready tutor in melee engagements. Both of these additions have furthered the capacity to train massed groups at once, and in offering students the freedom to further pursue their own education.
The area is an anachronistic mix of feudal and modern technologies, with older and metalworking areas standing close to modern work-benches. Each is used for a separate role, from the act of forging armour and equipment to repairing blasters. This is due to an intentional choice on Rhan's part, as the ancient stonework has proven to be particularly useful in forming alchemical plating or Force enhanced blades. As both are essential to the training of new initiates, the area has become a hub for what will likely be a new network of forges along the lower levels. What remains a mystery even to Rhan is how the rooms avoid a build-up of smoke and remain breathable despite a lack of clear ventilation. This could be the result of some secret with the stonework, but as of yet there have been no definitive answers.
The forge's more advanced facilities have also become used for modifying electronics and assisting with their installation. While Rhan's continual habit of tinkering with older designs is an undeniable influence on this factor, it has also been useful to help fit lighting, heating, and security sensors into newly uncovered rooms. When not working on such additions, these are also utilised to modify cruder equipment with more modern upgrades. A cleaner and more secure area has been cordoned off and atmospherically shielded for more delicate electronics work, permitting Rhan to more frequently switch between any variety of ongoing tasks.
It is also within this area that the primary recharge bay for the castle's contingent of droids resides. Taken from the remnants of a Trade Federation carrier, it has been repurposed to tap into the geothermal energy and sustain the droid continents. A number of modifications by Rhan have allowed it to service a multitude of more modern droids and lesser known builds, and its main recharge racks can sustain up to fifty human scale designs at once, with additional space for smaller probe or drone designs.
The storerooms are kept in one area which has yet to be fully renovated and restored by the ongoing efforts of the Jensaarai. One of several dining chambers, the area was situated close to an outer wall, and had met with some damage due to impact from several storms. Even following repairs to its wall and cleaning the interior, the droids met with difficulty in restoring the plumbing and heating to the local rooms. Kept in near sub-zero conditions, the Jensaarai opted to store a variety of foodstuffs and medical supplies in the area. Most of these were more common field rations or items bartered from the local towns, while a few others were purchased through contacts among the Vatali. The only exception among these are several large crates of Corellian whiskey, gifted to the castle by Yuki Suoh.
The generator room is the lowest level within the Fang which has been established. Initial excavation attempts focused upon a series of pathways and stairwells leading into the lower reaches of the castle, particularly one notable cavern formed some beyond its foundations. A series of geothermal vents had been formed within the cavern from the surrounding volcanic activity, high enough that it quickly displayed on close-range scans from within the Fang itself. Realising perfectly suited their needs, the Jensaarai liberated a minor geothermal plant from an abandoned Republican base, quickly establishing it within the cavern.
The cavern itself has been continually reinforced and supported by various durasteel struts and molecular bonding techniques on the surrounding rocks. This further protects it against the risk of tectonic activity, while a series of machines working to stabilize the local volcanic activity prevents the risk it might pose to the generator. The vast majority of these systems are automated. This is accomplished by the use of several droids and a primary computer operated by the droid brains of Tarvitz's former ship, the Fire Hawk. The amount of power that the generator outputs is far in excess of what the Fang currently requires, and estimates place that it will likely exceed what is needed to make the castle habitable eight times over. Because of this, some long term plans have outlined further expansions within the fortress. These will likely take years if not decades to bring to fruition.A number of secondary generators have been purchased as a means to back-up for the main drives, each established in key areas throughout the castle. Several are retained in the main storage area, while others have been moved to the outer gates, or where they would be most needed during a power cut.
The cavern also doubles as a means of heating the castle. An ancient pipe assembly utilized the natural heat produced by the cavern, and distributed it throughout the castle. After discovering the network partway through reconstructing a doorway, Rhan was able to use PIT droids to restore and rebuild the network throughout the main areas of the castle. While other sections remain blocked off, this has worked to stave off the perpetual cold of the surrounding territories.
The dungeons are a largely unexplored area within the castle, consisting of a large network of interlinked cells, caverns, tunnels and facilities meters below the surface. The exact layout and nature of this level remain unknown. In spite of its nickname, there is no current indication that the surrounding rooms were used as a dungeon of any sort. This is admittedly largely thanks to the limited access offered to the castle's current owners. In addition to cave-ins, large areas have been sealed off entirely from the rest of the castle. This has left only detailed sensor sweeps and underground radar scans to offer an impression of its design, and a few hints as to what lies within them.
Thus far, the only access anyone has been granted to the area has been a part of a route established to reach the generator room. One entrance on a stairwell leads out into a corridor that has been sealed at both ends. Several meters of rock now stands between explorers and whatever lies deeper within the Fang, which would require a considerable time and effort to breach. With the already monolithic task of restoring the upper levels to their former glory, the Jensaarai have chosen to ignore the dungeons for the time being.
Due to the size of the Fang and the constant operations to bring it back to full operational status, the Jensaarai have taken to utilising a growing number of droids as a means to bolster their numbers. These cover a variety of purposes, from teachers and archivists to builders and cleaners. The vast majority of these have been picked up from deconstruction yards, or rescued from destroyed warships. A number of them are even reprogrammed combatants from past wars, removing the encoded routines that would make them a danger without compromising their personalities.
Unlike a number of other operations, the more varied and colourful personas that have developed over time are favoured over those that have been nullified by mind wipes. The experience borne of operations outside of pre-programmed instincts and ability for greater ingenuity is prized above strict uniformity; a decision which was influenced as much by the past experiences of its founders and the history of Rhan regarding them more as individuals than tools. This was only furthered after Essik Lyccane opted to start teaching various droids sabacc, and soon snowballed after authorising semi-regular tournaments among their kind. No matter their function and design, the droids are permitted to take their own nicknames over set serial numbers and are actively encouraged to make personal design modifications. What's more, they are treated as equals to the general organic population, and granted free time away from duties and the same rights as the trainees.
While each droid is still expected to carry out each role they have been built for, it is treated as a job required for mutual survival rather the duties than an indentured caste. Given a right to elect a representative to speak on their behalf to the Fang's trio of leaders and petition for changes, this effectively allowed the castle to operate as a Free Droid Enclave. As a further effort to foster mutual loyalty over resentful submission, those that agree to work within the castle's walls are not fitted with restraining bolts, and opt to instead retain their services through treatment and opportunities.
Given the growing archive of various files and recovered relics, droids were soon required to both manage and guard the repository of information. Thus far the archives only benefit from a single droid, a KX-series security model designated Orion. Referring to itself as "librarian", the droid's former role as a reprogrammed spy and information gatherer to the Rebellion made it well suited to guarding and tracking the recovered items. Furthermore, armed with a number of long-range and melee weapons, it has proven itself to be a deceptively capable combatant. Those tasked with managing the archives also hold a rank superior to the other detachments, serving to command and coordinate efforts with other droids. In times when the Jensaarai are drawn away from the castle in force, Orion serves as its overall custodian. More often than not, it also serves as a representative for the wider droid contingents.
Practice Halls Contingent
With the near full restoration of the practice halls, several droids were activated and given the duty of training students. Selected primarily for the variety of weapons that they can wield and their effectiveness across a broad range of environments, these droids serve as tutors and soldiers in equal measure. Programmed with the knowledge and tactics gathered from multiple engagements, they can emulate the basic tactics of units from minor and major galactic powers, along with the fighting styles of various groups.
Most such lessons are taught by IG-000, or "Vega" as he has come to be nicknamed. Taken from a Trade Federation ship that was salvaged for supplies and equipment, the droid was reprogrammed to serve as a teacher and with its loyalties shifted to the Jensaarai. Already programmed with a variety of techniques used to overcome Jedi in battle and proficient with a wide array of weapons, the droid made for an effective tutor during any time when Tarvitz and Rhan are not present to train others. During group combat sessions, a trio of training remotes are deployed, with each programmed to mimic the firing patterns and methods of Iron Legion, Collective, and Clan forces.
In times when the castle is besieged, these droids can be readily deployed to reinforce the existing garrison.
Maintenance & Repairs
A cluster of Pit droids serve as the backbone of the Fang's maintenance force, most purchased from former podracing groups. Durable, compact, and with a humanoid form that is well suited to most general tasks, they are easily adapted to both mechanical labour and technological repair work. Due to their history and lack of mind wipes, no two are wholly alike and act without the same inherent coordination that might be expected of a droid workforce. However, this gives them the benefit of experience and allows them to be individually far more capable in their tasks. The group has also been further augmented by a number of ASP droids and SE-2 worker droids from salvage units purchased from salvage units. While individually less intelligent, their basic durable frame requires less maintenance in continual work and heavier lifting in reconstruction efforts. These have begun to be augmented and supported by further engineering droids with in-built systems, such as the highly modified R2-series astromech droid R3-M2 "Clanker", and Tarvitz's personal R3-series astromech droid R3-M1 "Ratchet". These are steadily being bolstered by power droids, intended to both ease the strain on the Fang's energy grid and offer greater freedom of movement for the local residents.
The castle's primary transportation shuttle - The Bug - was maintained and piloted by a FA-5 Valet Droid taken from a junkyard, given further programming to help avoid freak storms and weather effects common to Trepus. However, since a series of faults and engine failures saw the ship effectively scrapped, it was replaced by a YC-123B transport hauler designated the Stargazer.
Due to Yuki Suoh's unwillingness to be tied to a single location, time has been spent gathering a wider number of droids with medical experience to cover for her role. Although a multitude of droids were quickly recovered or bartered from salvage merchants, few were brought fully back into active service. Most displayed mechanical failings and warning signs that indicated they could be a risk to those they operated on. Misjudgements, faulty servos, or abrupt shutdowns weren't something that the Fang's occupants were willing to risk in the middle of potentially major operations.
Nevertheless, two droids were eventually brought online to serve within the castle's medical wing following a series of detailed examinations and experimental trials. The first of these, 4-R1N, a 2-1B Surgical Droid that once belonged to the New Republic, was the result of repeated reconstructive efforts and gathering replacement components. The second, a GH-7 medical analysis unit GH-0, was a model reclaimed from a derelict starship.
Following the raid on the castle in 38 ABY, it was clear that the Fang's natural defenses were not enough of a deterrent to hostile groups. Undermanned and with only a handful of experienced fighters occupying its walls, Rhan made the choice of further augmenting its fighting complement with a force of droids. Although limited funding meant that any progress towards a true army was slow, Rhan carefully picked and chose a few key areas to focus upon at any one time.
The castle's first line of defence exists in the form of several BT-16 perimeter droids, tasked with watching the surrounding grounds. While an unconventional choice, many of the same elements which made them unpopular or ill-suited to most roles offered them a notable edge within the Sea of Blades. Their towering spider-like design gave them a distinct edge in traversing the environment and lessened the risk of disturbing the creatures which dwelled within there, and even allowed them to hide within the deeper ravines when required. The lack of repulsorlift drives avoided an inherent risk of being disabled by Sarsirians or being thrown about during blizzard events. Equally, the droids' alternative to more complex sensors meant that they were less likely to be disrupted by the local environment, while their seismic trackers and motion sensors meant they could easily pick out oddities and environmental hazards within the local area. Combined with a heavy repeating blaster cannon and a communications module that was well suited to dealing with multiple droid variants, the BT-16s have already proven themselves capable sentinels even in limited numbers. Those rebuilt and purchased for this role are usually selected for their predatory natures, with in-built comlink systems to augment patrol ranges.
Even after discounting a number of the more common oddities with the Fang's design - and its remarkable durability given its age - a variety of phenomena surround the castle. Few of these can be ever fully explained, and Rhan has taken to recording each since the Jensaarai occupied the castle. These have thankfully proven to be non-hostile until this time, but the variety of these strange effects remains a point of concern.
Even reaching the Fang itself can be a challenge at times, as can be attested by multiple pilots. Its location is hardly a secret nor is it exceptionally well hidden among the landscape, yet finding it can be impossible to inexperienced individuals. Multiple navigators have found their minds wandering away from the Fang when trying to concentrate upon leading a vessel there, or that distractions will abruptly arise causing pilots to overshoot the destination entirely. What's more, when pinpointing it on a map and making plans to journey there, events will inevitably conspire against those making the trip. Problems will arise, vital equipment will be mislaid, unexpected circumstances will arise, and lapses in judgment will cause abrupt failures. This will make efforts to arrive at the Fang extraordinarily difficult, and either through pragmatism or oversight, and journey will inevitably be drawn away from reaching the castle. Even upon arrival, the terrain and weather can conspire to draw attention away from the Fang, until a group can miss it long after they are within sight of its main gates. Only a relative few, either those with exceptional skill or sheer will, can reach the destination in question. In fact, the only ones that the Fang will seemingly permit to find it, are its existing owners.
Due to its size and the materials that the Fang has been built from, communications failings are a certainty within the castle. Only wired communications retain any reliability in speaking over long distances, as distortions and static will frequently interfere with wireless means. The likes of snowstorms and hail can even cause a surprising level of distortion with otherwise reliable means of equipment, but there is more to this than simple warped communications. Those using comlinks have found whispered words emerging from the static, typically from unknown sources. In the strangest of cases, the speaker can sometimes even hear themselves, speaking transmissions that they have never made. Some have theorized that this is an echo formed from the stonework of the mountain, but most who experience this phenomenon put little faith in this idea.
The problem of the irregularities within the Fang's structure has only become progressively worse as time has gone by. The holographic map in the Great Hall was intended to at least somewhat alleviate this issue. Even then, multiple oddities exist which cannot be fully explained. Elements of the castle's architecture do not fully match up with the exterior of the building, and even general choices in its layout have only baffled Rhan's efforts to better understand its structure. As the map expands Rhan hopes to better avoid these problems but, for the time being, they remain a frequent issue to those within the Fang's walls.
One of the more infrequent issues troubling the Fang is the variety of energy spikes that periodically appear on sensors. These are almost entirely isolated to the dungeons, but appear sporadically without any clear pattern. For the first several months each was mistaken as part of a sensor glitch created by the environment or geothermal plant. However, between random emergencies and signs of movement throughout these areas, it has become increasingly likely that these are physical manifestations of something. Exactly what they are remains unknown, as attempts to further isolate or confirm their nature have met with no success. The lack of metallic build-up or clear motion means that ancient droids have been discounted as a possibility. The lack of known lifeforms capable of movement which channel high energy currents has also led to any suggestions of local fauna being ignored. It will be some time before any answers are given, but Rhan has begun to suspect that the dungeons might have been sealed off for good reason.
The greatest challenge facing the Fang's defenders lies in Trepus' local wildlife. Along with the habit of Varritul attempting to nest within the castle, other creatures have constantly been drawn to the walls. More often than not, herds of creatures have tried to force their way through the make gate, seeking to enter the courtyard if not the keep itself. For a time it was believed that this was simply due to convenience. Given the ferocity of Trepus' snowstorms and the Fang's long abandonment, herds might have come to recognise the castle as a natural shelter. Yet as time has gone by, the sheer volume of animals drawn to the castle has become extremely suspicious. They seem to be actively drawn to the castle, to the point of some natural enemies ignoring one another in their efforts to enter its walls.
Even without the surprising problems beyond its walls, the Fang has suffered in other areas. Animals have mysteriously shown up among its lower levels, seemingly with no means of having reached them. These are often predators, some of whom are too vast to have entered through the Fang's doors, or even to have made their way through its corridors. While thankfully extremely infrequent, how this is even possible has been a major point of concern by both Tarvitz and Rhan. It has led to infrequent patrols of the lower levels or purge them of predators, and far more defences being erected throughout the Fang's interior. Until the source of these unwanted intruders is found, the Jensaarai have largely limited their focus to securing a few rooms at a time.
Even with the internal heating systems present throughout the castle, the Fang has retained a bizarre relationship with the local temperatures. While heating has served to maintain a standard level of warmth throughout the entire building, they are insulated against the cold even without apparent shielding. Many open doorways leading directly into the castle do not vent heat, nor do they compromise its inner rooms during the times of blizzards. Others are seemingly immune to even the most pressing efforts to reinforce the temperatures within an area, until they are as cold or even colder than the castle's exterior.
There is seemingly no discernible reason or pattern for these random temperature changes. This has led to rumours among students that this is the castle showing a potential dislike for certain members in an effort to shun them entirely. This has as of yet led to no deaths, but the risk of a potential fatality is a major concern among its current occupants.