The Valneikian hive is a Geonosian hive located on Aliso that is under the control of Clan Plagueis.
On the planet Geonosis circa 400 BBY, a queen was unexpectedly born to one of the many Geonosian hives. As was tradition, she left her home in order to found her own hive, which would eventually become the Valneikian hive. As the centuries rolled by, the hive continually grew alongside its neighbors, establishing itself as part of the Geonosian landscape. When the Clone Wars drew near, however, Archduke Poggle the Lesser allied with the growing Separatist movement. Along with the rest of the hives under the Archduke’s rule, the Valneikian hive assisted the Separatist’s in their war effort.
The Valneikian hive never saw any direct action during the Clone Wars; their primary form of assistance was in bolstering the production of Separatist assets. However, just like the rest of their kind, they shared in the consequences. With the successful defeat of the Separatists and subsequent rise of the Empire, the Geonosians were forced to help the Imperials complete construction of the first Death Star.
Once their part in the construction of the battle station was complete, some time between 10 BBY and 3 BBY, the Empire decided to cull them in order to keep them silent. This became known as the Sterilization of Geonosis. While it is commonly believed almost no Geonosians survived the event, this is untrue. The Valkeinian hive as a whole was able to escape the planet, barely avoiding complete annihilation by the Empire.
The Valkeinian hive retreated into the Unknown Regions where they hoped they would be safe from the Empire. There they were able to settle on a planet that had formerly been settled by the Separatists during the Clone Wars, Aliso. The planet had been abandoned since the end of the war, but that made it an even better safe haven for the hive. The Geonosians began tunnelling into the ground nearby the Pinnacle, opting to forgo the usual spires their people built in order to remain hidden in case the Empire managed to find the planet. Once they had completed their complex tunnel system, they set up a defense system of old Separatist droids and went into statis, awaiting the day when the Empire would no longer be a threat.
Decades passed before the Dark Jedi Brotherhood’s Clan Plagueis found their way to Aliso. They set up their headquarters in the Pinnacle and founded Aliso City unknowingly on top of the Geonosian tunnels. In 35 ABY, while some of the citizens of Aliso were exploring the tunnels, they managed to activate the defenses the Geonosians had set up. The battle droids flooded into the city streets and the Geonosians began to awaken from their stasis.
What followed was a violent but relatively brief clash. The Plagueian forces, led by then Dread Lord Selika Roh, pushed back against the droids and easily dealt with the threat. However, now that the Geonosians were awake, they began to overwhelm the Plagueian forces by sheer numbers. Deciding to make a precision strike, the Dread Lord led a team of Sith into the heart of the Geonosian tunnels where they encountered the queen of the Valneikian hive. After a brief battle of wills, Roh was able to force the queen to submit under threat of genocide.
With the battle over, the Valneikian hive became loyal, if not fearful, servants of Clan Plagueis. As part of the agreement, the Clan sent out a scouting party to assist the Geonosians in locating a new area to build their home. After weeks of searching, the Geonosians and the Clan agreed on a location within the coastal mountain range, about 300 kilometers southwest of Aliso City. The Valneikian hive began their migration to the area and wasted little time in building their new home, the Valneikian spire. Once they were firmly established in their new nest, the Valneikians got right to work for Clan Plagueis, building factories and foundries to work in. To this day, they labor under the watchful eye of their overlords, hoping that the day never comes when they are no longer useful.
The Valneikian Hive toiled for Plagueis over the course of the next few years, inviting no further conflict or incident into their midst. They were loyal, diligent, and submissive to their masters and had no misconceptions about their place on Aliso. They frequently provided materials and aid to the Clan whenever it was needed and the Hive would grow to become one of the notable factions on Aliso. In late 37 ABY, the Hive assisted with the construction of the newly created House Tyranus’ base, allowing it to be ready as soon as it was needed. Half a year later, the Archduke came to a meeting with other Alisoan factions to barter for influence beneath Plagueis, but the Archduke was largely outshone by the other representatives present. The Hive parted with no ill will, however, having grown content with their place within the clan.
In late 38 ABY, a coordinated attack by the Phantom Assembly led to the Valneikian spire coming under attack by an army of Killiks. While they were completely caught off guard, the Hive was able to combine their forces with Plagueian reinforcements to fight off the invaders, repelling them from Aliso. They would only find out later that the assault on the spire was a distraction away from the Assembly’s true target: The Circle. In the battle, the spire took significant damage and many Geonosians were killed, so the Valneikian hive began recovery work, focusing their efforts on rebuilding the hive and restoring their infrastructure and communities. While this would limit their productivity for the foreseeable future, the hive would survive to continue serving Plagueis, despite their hardships.
- Main article: Valneikian spire
The Valneikian spire is the home of the Valneikian hive, the last bastion of Geonosians in the galaxy. It is located on the inland side of the coastal mountain range, roughly 300 kilometers southwest of Aliso City on the southern continent of Aliso. There are multiple spires that rise among the mountains, but Valkenian spire refers to both the settlement as a whole but also the primary central spire that rises above all the others. Within this spire is where you will find the Queen and Archduke of the hive.
The location was chosen after the hive had been subjugated by Clan Plagueis in 35 ABY as a suitable place to resettle the Geonosians. Given the needs for swift construction, most of the spire has been hollowed out from existing stone as opposed to built up through more typical Geonosian construction. The spire descends deep into the mountains, extending nearly as far below ground as it does above.
Like all Geonosian hives, the Valneikian hive is caste-based. There are three primary castes: the queen caste, the aristocrat caste, and the drone caste. The queen caste is usually occupied by only one member of the hive at a time, the queen. The queen retains ultimate authority over the hive and is primarily responsible for populating the hive. Approximately twenty-five percent of the hive is of the aristocrat class. The aristocrat class is primarily responsible for the day-to-day tasks associated with running and organizing the hive. The aristocrat class is born with wings, instantly making them easier to differentiate from the drones. The drone class makes up the bulk of the hive and are responsible for the grunt work, whether that be taking the front lines in combat, working the factories, or gathering food.
The castes are further divided by the warrior sub-caste. Both aristocrats and drones can become warriors, however there is still a clear social divide between the two castes. The Valneikian hive does not engage in much warfare themselves since their subjugation, so those that choose to become warriors mainly do so for the sport of it. By proving themselves in the arena or in duels, warrior drones can occasionally move up to be considered part of the aristocrat class and equal to their warrior aristocrat counterparts, but this is both difficult and rare.
Picadors are members of the warrior sub-caste who have proven themselves to the leadership of the hive. Traditionally, they were given the privileges of being permitted to use mounts and being in charge of the creatures used in the arena. However, because the Valneikian hive has not domesticated any of the sparse fauna on Aliso, the picadors instead are assigned as honor guards to the leadership of the hive, such as the queen and archduke.
The current queen of the Geonosians is Queen Duzhannu. She is the queen who oversaw the evacuation of Geonosis as well as the queen who would later pledge her loyalty to Clan Plagueis. Like all Geonosian queens, while her thorax strongly resembles the other members of her species, her abdomen is absolutely massive in size, about a dozen meters long and half that in circumference. This is what allows her to be the sole form of repopulation for her people. Queen Duzhannu bears a heavy burden on her shoulders, as she knows her hive is the last that remains of the Geonosian people. Due to this, she chooses to focus most of her time and attention on repopulation, leaving most of the leadership responsibilities to her archduke and his underlings.
Formerly, Archduke was a title reserved for the leader of the planet of Geonosis. However, seeing as the Valneikian hive is all that remains of Geonosis’ natives, the hive saw fit to adopt the title for their leader. In this case, their leader being Archduke Krullok. The Archduke was recently appointed after the hive subjugated themselves to Plagueis in order to handle leading the hive while the queen’s focus was elsewhere. While he certainly looks out for the good of his people, the Archduke easily cows to whatever commands the Dread Lord hands down to him. Formerly of the aristocrat class, Krullok knows how to organize and efficiently run the hive, even though he’s a bit green behind the ears. However, he doesn’t want to make any large decisions or strides in fear of upsetting Plagueis and chooses to keep the actions of the hives rather insular and straight forward.
The Valneikian hive is structured similar to most Geonosian hives, with the aristocrats in positions of leadership and management while the drones work to satisfy the needs of the hive. The hive has three priorities: serve Clan Plagueis, repopulate, and expand. These priorities are expressed in the atmosphere of the hive, giving the Geonosians a constant push to keep themselves busy. The queen works tirelessly to push out as many new Geonosians as she can, and due to the lack of conflict since their move to the Valneikian spire, the rate of death is not particularly high. This lends the hive to a quick growth in numbers.
The aristocrats spend a lot of time planning where to build the next tunnel system or spire. With their growing population, they need someplace to put everyone. Due to the lack of natural materials that they would have had access to on Geonosis, most of their expansion is tunneling through and under the mountains, however several aristocrats still insist on building what spires they can due to habit and tradition. However, older ideas and thoughts of tradition are starting to become seen as old-fashioned. Many of the younger aristocrats see this as a chance to build the culture of their people in their own image and start things anew. The Archduke refuses to take a side in the argument, so the aristocrats are left to hash things out on their own.
Of course, serving Clan Plagueis is the highest priority the hive has. If they do not prove themselves useful to the Clan, they could be wiped out of existence at any time by the orbiting fleet. This pressure is seen not only in the leadership, but also among the drones. There is a quiet anxiety that hangs in the air, and most simply try to keep as busy as possible to avoid letting it wear on them. There is occasionally a voice that questions if it really is worth it, but they usually find themselves swiftly silenced through social pressure and shame.
The hive tends to keep to itself most of the time. They rarely have visitors and rarely venture out of the mountains, and they like it that way. However, that doesn’t stop the occasional aristocrat or warrior from getting curious and venturing out into the wilderness or even to Aliso City. It isn’t uncommon to occasionally spot a Geonosian in the crowd at the Sand Pit and even once in a great while, a picador will show up in the arena. The Geonosians have set up their own arenas in the Valneikian spire, one of their few forms of popular entertainment, but the temptation to show their skills to outsiders can sometimes overwhelm a warrior.
The Archduke and the Queen both have their own retinues that accompany them wherever they go. The Archduke will often have a few sycophantic aristocrats with him along with a dozen or so picadors to act as bodyguards. The Queen is usually accompanied by a handful of aristocrat breeders as well as a few picador guards and a messenger that she uses to communicate with the Archduke. The Queen’s only orders to the Archduke were to make sure the hive isn’t wiped out, and so he isn’t interested in making any kind of controversial moves, especially not against Plagueis.
The Valneikian hive’s industrial efforts are rather unfocused as a result of their hasty and recent reestablishment. Therefore, the factories they have built up and currently work in are rather hectic, constantly being adjusted and rebuilt to accommodate a new direction. Their work for Plagueis can vary, whether it be building starships, speeders, weapons, or whatever odd project the Dread Lord might have. Their work isn’t perfect yet, unfortunately, but it’s functional. They are in a new era with new tech and new designs, with different resources than they are accustomed to. However, the aristocrats are working hard to learn new techniques and refining their old ones in order to catch up on the thirty-plus years that they were out of the game.
For themselves, establishing clear lines of supply, especially food, has been important. Developing new agricultural tools and practices for a new planet with new lifeforms has taken up quite a bit of time. Once they managed to stabilize their resources, however, the hive shifted their focus to developing new construction technologies to ease the burden of spire expansion.
Many of the aristocrats continually urge the Archduke to open a hive-owned industrial company in order to open trade with the Alisoans and possibly the Brotherhood at large. These requests are largely ignored, however, as the Archduke’s focus remains firmly set on survival over prosperity. The production orders from Plagueis are always given the highest priority, even over vital hive projects. While the Valneikian hive is still working on finding its footing in this new time and place, they have already proven themselves industrious and hard-working enough to avoid extinction at the hands of their Sith overlords.