The Antei system is not only an anomaly by its binary configuration and bizarre history: perhaps the biggest abnormality is The Shroud that cloaks and protects the system. The Shroud is a nebulous cloud of ionized particles that prohibits hyperspace travel in and out of Antei. Legends labeled the Shroud as a source of evil from which no ship ever returned.
The source of the shroud is unknown. Over the years, scholars have formed a variety of disparate arguments over its construction. Those that are partial to the Antei system’s dominance and believe Antei pulled the Antares System into its grasp also believe that the Shroud is an anomaly of the Dark Side. This theory begets that the Shroud existed even into the times when Okemi discovered Antei. However, as the entire basis for that theory, that Antei is dominant over Antares, is now disproved, the latter prognosis is just as questionable.
More likely is the theory that the nebulous cloud was formed around the binary system over the three millennia in which the system was formed. As Antares pulled Antei and her planets into orbit, there were collisions of various magnitudes. Scientists believe that both the Antei and Antares systems may have had up to ten more planets with numerous moons, but during the merger, some of these planets collided. The remains of those planets make up what we today refer to as the Shroud. The particles, rocks and other debris found orbit around the perimeter of the Antei system, serving as a strong barrier against entry.
The Shroud is essentially impenetrable without the assistance of the Force. History shows that accidental travel through the shroud can happen, but most non-Force users cannot navigate the thick cloud. No one is sure how many non-Force users have actually made it through, but we do have documentation that the initial re-colonization of Antei after the merger may have been by stranded colonists who managed to traverse the system’s barrier.
The use of the Force to get through the Shroud is essential because computers have proven incapable of tracking the intense movements of the cloud. With Antei and Antares pulling at the cloud particles simultaneously, the Shroud is always random and chaotic. Even with the Brotherhood’s knowledge of the Shroud, only those of Equite strength in the Force have been able to navigate their way in alone. As the Force user grows in power, he is generally able to enter in more places and traverse more shrouded space. Elders within the Brotherhood can enter and exit the Shroud at any point without difficulty.
The inability to travel by hyperspace through the Shroud requires all travelers to stop prior to attempting entrance. Those who cannot travel on their own make headway to the Brotherhood outpost on the outskirts of the Shroud, a space platform that is administered by Clan Tarentum. Upon request to and verification of permission by the Dark Council, a Brotherhood Equite enters and pilots the incoming ship through the anomaly.
Clan Tarentum's Role as Guardian of The Shroud
Clan Tarentum has long been known as the “Guardians of the Shroud.” This honor and title came about both by luck and necessity. After the Exodus, Tarentum was the only Brotherhood clan that remained in its system, Yridia. Yridia was well known as a Brotherhood system, and, as such, was the only known location of the Brotherhood after the Exodus. Entities that wished to find and travel to Antei found themselves in Tarentum space. As a result, the clan found themselves guiding visitors along the quick-path of the Hydian Way and through the Shroud.
Not long after the Exodus, the Dark Council and the leaders of Tarentum reached an agreement by which Tarentum became the official gatekeepers to Dark Council space. Tarentum was granted administration over the newly erected Brotherhood platform outside of the Shroud and charged with controlling entrance to the Antei system. When the Dark Council commissioned the Antei Defense Group, one battlegroup was placed at the entrance to the Shroud under the command, but not ownership, of the Tarentum administrators.
The other Clans generally loathe, but understand, Tarentum’s role in as the Guardians of the Shroud. The Brotherhood needs an open channel of communication and travel to the outside universe to survive politically and economically; Tarentum’s known location at Yridia allows for that. The other clans do not always need to use Tarentum’s gateway to enter the system, but the Dark Council looks down on unannounced visits through non-traditional pathways. As such, this role will continue for now. However, as the years have passed and the other clans have become less obscure in their respective systems, other paths have begun to develop to the Brotherhood from those clan systems. The Hydian Way is, by far, the fastest route to take to Antei, but other standard routes are sure to develop over the years that will carve into Tarentum’s monopoly.