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The exploration of subterranean rakghoul tunnels by THORN personnel has led to many chilling revelations about rakghoul biology and behavior--none more horrifying than the gargantuan creature known as "the Eyeless". Far larger than any rakghoul ever previously recorded, these creatures make their home near the very heart of the outbreak. Sensor probes and scouts have never found more than one such creature in each tunnel network.
No two THORN scientists can seem to agree on the role of the Eyeless in the rakghoul heirarchy. Some theorize that they are actually the source of the outbreaks, where others believe them to be a mere byproduct of the plague's progression. Until more detailed scans are made available, definitive answers on the nature of the Eyeless will likely remain out of reach.
XP Level: 1
It has long been thought that the only way for the rakghoul virus to spread was by turning other beings into rakghouls through infection, but close studies of underground rakghoul habitats now point to a more complicated and unsettling reality: that rakghouls can propagate without the need for turning.
Located deep below the surface of infected planets, small rakghouls have been found roaming together in packs. These "raklings" appear to have been formed from luminescent spore sacs strung along the rakghoul tunnels, though it is not yet clear to biologists how this process works. They have learned, however, that the raklings are attracted to a particular pheromone emitted from certain flora found within the tunnels. Researchers have long wished to use this pheromone to lure raklings into captivity, but strict antiviral protocols enacted by THORN do not allow these proto-rakghouls to be taken aboveground. Until they can be tested in a proper laboratory setting, the truth of how rakghouls self-multiply may not be fully understood.
XP Level: 1
The Rakghoul Tunnels
While it's clear that the rakghoul virus initially spreads across the surface of a given planet, it has been difficult to determine the point of origin because the greatest density of rakghouls is not aboveground, but rather deep underground. Researchers attempting to understand why rakghouls congregate below a given planet's surface rather than above have developed a theory: that the subterranean tunnels in which the rakghouls gather are not found, but are actually created by the rakghouls themselves.
Careful study of the tunnels has revealed striking similarities in contour and dimension reminiscent of the natural algorithmic optimizations witnessed in the configuration of killik hives of Alderaan and in the formation of blood-ant mounds on Tatooine. Furthermore, the familiar distribution of spore sacs and unique flora suggest not only an attempt to create an environment conducive to their habitation, but also a robust fungal signature stored within the virus's genetic code. It is the hope of THORN researchers that unlocking the key to the creation of these tunnels will also provide insight into stopping the rakghoul menace for good.
XP Level: 1
Rakghouls on Alderaan
In the war for the hearts and minds of the masses, propaganda can be a powerful weapon. Since the rakghoul plague surfaced on Alderaan, theories surrounding its point of origin have spread wider and faster than the plague itself.
House Organa immediately cited the outbreak's epicenter near King's Pass as proof that House Thul and the Empire were conspiring to use the plague as a biological weapon, while House Thul countered that House Organa implemented the outbreak themselves so they could place the blame on their rivals to stir up sympathy. Yet another premise suggests that House Ulgo nurtured the plague in order to ratchet up hostilities between Organa and Thul and further weaken the rival houses for Ulgo's eventual conquest.
While none of these accusations are likely to be revealed as true, one fact remains: Alderaan stands perilously close to the brink of a global rakghoul pandemic.
XP Level: 1
Rakghouls on Corellia
Life is strenuous enough in a world torn asunder by the throes of war, but when an emergency development like the rakghoul plague emerges, the citizens of Corellia have no choice but to summon up new levels of endurance and courage.
To avoid the constant threat of bombings and looters, Selonians on the outskirts of Coronet City had repositioned their den-style homes far underground, surfacing only when it became absolutely necessary to acquire provisions. In the earliest days of the plague, rakghouls seeking an ideal foundation for their distinctive tunnel networks quickly invaded the dens. Hardened by their survivalist turn, however, the Sleonians found they were enough of a match to hold the rakghouls off--though not without many heart-rending casualties along the way.
Eventually, the rakghouls found their way underground via Coronet City's sewage system, but the Selonians who protected their dens from the growing epidemic can take some measure of satisfaction. Sometimes that's all a survivor needs to keep hanging on.
XP Level: 1
Rakghouls on Tatooine
The first time rakghouls threw Tatooine into pandemonium, they came from the sky, spewing out from a wrecked ship called the Stardream. After the epidemic was believed to be contained, no one thought to check below the dunes of the desert planet for signs of the diseased beasts.
When a seasoned clan of Jawa scavengers stripping the Stardream's interior for parts found a hull breach, they uncovered a network of rakghoul-infested tunnels deep underground. Cobbling spare parts into traps, the clan methodically captured and exterminated every remaining rakghoul and then used detonate charges to collapse the tunnels.
Since that day, the clan have made the Stardream's husk into their home, seeing it as their solemn duty to keep watch over the hull breach, ever wary the rakghoul plague might return. Not having anticipated an entirely new infestation to rise up elsewhere in the Dune Sea, they are quite relieved for THORN's intervention and are more than content to let the organization's aid workers deal with the problem this time.
XP Level: 1
When a mining crew drilled into what they had thought was a prothium gas pocket, the first underground network of rakghoul tunnels was discovered. Since then, direct routes have not been found into these densely populated tunnels that happen to correspond with rakghoul outbreaks. To access such networks in an efficient and timely manner, THORN founder Addalar Hyland introduced The Spike: a massive, cylindrical pulse hammer that quickly displaces soil and rock to form a temporary turbolift shaft leading directly into the rakghouls' subterranean lairs.
Originally developed by Galactic Solutions Industries to fire troop deployments deep into sub-crustal enemy bunkers, the effects of The Spike's ground-busting payload were deemed too violent for those within to survive the turbulence, making the costly apparatus less than desirable to prospective buyers. In its new role as a facilitator between rakghouls and those who wish to dispose of them, The Spike has found great success.
XP Level: 1
Whenever an outbreak of the rakghoul virus surfaces anywhere in the galaxy, one of the first distress calls is made to The Hyland Organization for Rakghoul Neutralization (THORN). With its vast resources and singular mission--the permanent eradication of the rakghoul threat--THORN is a planet's best chance of avoiding a global pandemic.
To most citizens of the galaxy, this philanthropic organization created by entrepreneur Addalar Hyland is a welcome force for good. Few, however, are aware of the reason for Hyland's support of THORN as opposed to any other charitable cause. While he would never discuss it in public, it is a matter of record that Hyland lost two of his children to an outbreak of the rakghoul plague on Tatooine. Ever since that fateful day, he has diverted a great deal of his wealth earned from Galactic Solutions Industries to personally finance THORN.
XP Level: 1