Extreme Site: The Demon Moon of Dxun

It orbits the world of Onderon, giving rise to the most terrible legends-and even more terrible truths. The moon Dxun, called the demon moon, houses all kinds of monstrous creatures. A dense jungle covers the moon, but the place is far from pleasant. It rains almost constantly throughout the endless jungle, and a thick, semi noxious fog clings to the horizon like the obscuring webs of some giant spider. Frequent quakes rock the demon moon, and volcanoes regularly spew molten lava and clouds of hot gas.

This environment, combined with pockets of dark side power, has created some of the toughest, most brutal lifeforms in the galaxy. Even the plants developed potent natural defenses in order to survive. Some became poisonous. Others grew wicked barbs. Many became carnivorous, hunting and killing prey as efficiently as predators from the animal kingdom.

In the ancient past, a planetoid entered Onderon's orbit and increased the number of the world's moons to four.The new celestial body altered the orbital paths of all the moons. Dxun's new path allowed its atmosphere to brush against Onderon's for a few weeks during the planet's summer season. Over the millennia, this periodic meeting has had two notable effects. First, the atmosphere of Onderon has become slightly noxious, while Dxun's atmosphere has become slightly more tolerable. Second, Dxun's largest flying predators have been able to migrate from the moon to the planet during these periods to find more plentiful food on Onderon.

As civilization developed on Onderon, the humans gathered in one huge walled city to defend themselves against the predators from the demon moon.

It was in this city, called Iziz, that the Darksider Freedon Nadd would eventually rise to power.While the demon moon was hellish and its inhabitants were savage, the place was not inherently evil. Not originally. When Jedi Master Area Jeth decided to enter the remains of the evil Sith Lord Freedon Nadd and his descendants, King Ommin and Queen Amanoa, on the demon moon, things changed. Of course, the plan was that the natural dangers inherent in the ecology would serve as a natural defense for the Sith tomb. Nadd's tomb was built from Mandalorian iron, a nearly indestructible alloy that repels lightsaber energy. This not only prevented interlopers from invading Nadd's resting place (and stealing the Sith artifacts also interred there), but protected the tomb from the massive tidal shifts that racked Dxun. Area did not foresee the consequences of his actions, however. The evil residue of Nadd's dead body (as well as the dark side auras of numerous Sith artifacts) began to twist and alter the very life of Dxun itself. The orbalisk, a deadly, predatory parasite, became capable of feeding on dark side energy. Plants that grew around the tomb changed, becoming even more deadly.

Many different types of predators inhabited the area surrounding the tomb, changing into creatures of the darkness. Seekers of dark knowledge-including Exar Kun, instigator of the Sith War, and Darth Bane, savior of the Sith-faced such monsters as they fought to enter the well spring of Sith knowledge contained in the Mandalorianiron vault.By the time of Darth Bane, the entire demon moonbecame a dark side site. The dense jungle is considered to be a minor dark side site. There are also a few major sites scattered throughout the jungle and at least two major sites: Freedon Nadd's tomb and the well of darkness.The iron tomb that houses the remains of three powerful darksiders has contained a wealth of Sith artifacts over the centuries, and some of those items probably remain locked away well into The New Jedi Order era. This extreme site radiates with the presence of a dark side master and his descendants. Although Exar Kun destroyed Freedon Nadd's spirit, the dark lord's presence can still be felt, even if he can no longer manifest and influence the actions of any visitors who may come to pay their respects-or loot his final resting place.The well of darkness is a great pit located within a cave filled with orbalisks. For some reason that may never be known, the dark side power that seeped out of Freedon Nadd's tomb seems to have pooled in the fissure thatlooks like an open wound in Dxun's rocky flesh. Those who enter the cave claim to hear the whispered voices of long-dead Sith Lords calling to them from deep within the well. Too soft and indistinct to hear clearly, the voicesnevertheless fill visitors with fear and dark images ofunnameable horrors. It is believed that if a visitor can overcome his fear and absorb the horrors projected athim, he can learn dark side secrets lost to the depths oftime. Of course, those who fail to embrace the specters ofthe well are often lost to madness.

Using the Demon Moon in Your Campaign

From Exar Kun to Darth Bane, Dxun has been a sort of pilgrimage for those attempting to master the dark side of the Force. Dark side secrets and Sith artifacts-or at least the promise of such-have drawn would-be darksiders from across the galaxy. Few were able to survive in the harsh environment, and most of those who made it to one of the dark side sites found only death or madness waiting for them.You can use Dxun as a testing ground for a dark side character, especially one with a master. A character exploring the dark side on his own might want to travel to the demon moon to uncover a secret or two to help him gain power and prestige. The lure of Sith artifacts will probably be too great for a dark side hopeful to resist. Freedon Nadd's tomb is not without guardians, however, and if a character survives the various dangers of the demon moon, he'll still have to contend with tomb beasts and other horrors. It should be extremely difficult for a character to break into the tomb and survive a visit to its dark interior. Of course, success should grant the character an artifact or two, such as a Sith amulet or a Sith holocron.

The well of darkness presents an entirely different challenge-and an extremely tempting reward. The cave surrounding the well houses a huge colony of orbalisks, which present a challenge in and of itself. In addition, the well spins three separate illusions to test the intruder. Each illusion is more potent, more horrific than the previous one. The illusions threaten to shatter the mind of the recipient while promising great power. Barely perceptible voices rise out of the well, caressing the intruder with the cold touch of the dark side and filling his mind with images of evil.

The first illusion tests the resolve of the character, trying to determine whether the intruder is worthy of the dark side. A vision of terrible violence and evil, delivered upon someone or something the intruder holds dear, seems incredibly real and frightening. The cave fades away and the character suddenly finds himself in a place he knows well, watching the terrible drama unfold but unable to participate in any way. The character must make a Will save (DC 15 minus the number of Dark Side Points the character possesses). If the save succeeds, the character gains a Dark Side Point, resists giving in to the madness-inducing illusion, and can proceed onto the next test. If the save fails, the character suffers a bout of madness that results in Id6+l points of damage to the character's Wisdom score. The Wisdom returns normally, at a rate of 1 point per day. (If the character's Wisdom score drops to 0, the character falls into a deep, nightmare - plagued sleep.)

The second illusion draws the character deeper into the darkness, this time playing upon the character's dreams and hidden desires. The character sees himself as the focus of this illusion, the recipient of everything he always wanted-power, influence, wealth, prestige, love. Only one thing stands in the character's way, either a cherished friend, respected mentor, or loved one. To reach the dream, the character must destroy the thing in his path. Then the character must make a Will save (DC 25 minus the number of Dark Side Points the character possesses). If the save succeeds, the character gains a Dark Side Point, can proceed onto the next test, and gains a +2 dark side bonus on one of the following: any single Force-based skill check, melee attack roll, or ranged attack roll. If the save fails, the character suffers from madness that deals 1 d8+2 points of damage to the character's Wisdom score. All but 1 point of this damage returns normally, at a rate of 1 point per day. The last point, however, is a permanent Wisdom drain from this illusion.

The final illusion deals with anger and aggression. The character is worked into a rage by images that he just hates with every fiber of his being. This uncontrolled anger opens the character to the full force of the dark side. This requires a Will save (DC 35 minus the number of Dark Side Points the character possesses). If the save succeeds, the character gains a number of Dark Side Points needed to achieve the dark template (if the character is already dark, he or she gains 2 Dark Side Points), gains a Force Point, and learns a dark side secret. This can be access to a new skill or feat (which will still need to be selected in the usual manner), the details on building a piece of Sith equipment, or some similar bit of arcane knowledge. If the save fails, the character loses 2 points of Wisdom permanently and suffers enough additional Wisdom damage to be reduced to 0 points of Wisdom. All but 2 points of this damage returns at a rate of 1 point per day. The final 2 points are permanently drained by the effects of the illusion.

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