[background=A few years ago, while I was still Master of First Knowledge, I set up over a dozen bolt-holes across the galaxy: secret vaults, hidden enclaves, places where the Jedi could take refuge. This was during the years when the One Sith were hitting every Jedi Temple they could identify, even as far as Ossus. The pressure is less now, but for close to a decade, the Jedi were in full retreat out of the Core, even the Colonies, well into the Mid and Outer Rim. One of the secret refuges I set up was on Dagobah. It’s outlived its usefulness, to the point where I’ve listed it (location unspecified) for sale to the right party. While I was on Dagobah, though, I learned something new, something that’s been forgotten since Master Yoda.[/size]
[background=Any number of Force-sensitives have visited Dagobah in the last nine centuries. Quite a few have noticed that a local species of lizard, the nudj, is responsive to Force energy. I wouldn’t call it common knowledge, but it’s easy enough to note if you’re a Jedi. The Force can make them skittish, or calms them, or otherwise makes them more alert. They’ve been dismissed as a curiosity, because the effect is mild, ambiguous, and not of immediate use. In theory you could use them to detect Force potential, like you would use thaissen crystals, but the crystals have a simpler, more explicit, more reliable response that can also differentiate light and dark proclivities. Also thaissen crystals don’t defecate during use.[/size]
[background=The nudj, then, has been considered functionally useless, and with good reason. While I built the secret enclave on Dagobah, though, I happened to bring in a Dark Side artifact that needed containment. An accident breached the artifact’s coating of nullification resin, and I could feel the Dark Side strongly. So could several nudj lizards on a nearby tree. They became agitated. Soon, though, they began to calm down -- as did the Force itself.[/size]
[background=In a small degree, the common Dagobah nudj has the ability to reduce or cancel out Dark Side influence.[/size]
[background=On a hunch, I visited the well-known Dark Side cave on Dagobah. I noted several nudj lizards in the trees around the cave mouth. I felt a chill from the cave, and the lizards became mildly agitated; I doubt I’d have noticed if I hadn’t been paying attention. My Force senses are highly specialized and mostly negligible, but it doesn’t take rocket surgery to realize that the local concentrations of nudj lizards probably helped Master Yoda keep the Dark Side nexus from spilling out of the cave. [/size]
[background=Think of each nudj as a little candleflame. Or less -- striking a match, you could say. Keep enough of them around, though, and a deep darkness gets eased away, kept in check in a subtle sense. [/size]
[background=Nudj lizards are comfortable on most planets, though I doubt they’d last long on Tatooine or Hoth. They’re slow, placid creatures about the size of my forearm. They don’t breed especially quickly or slowly. There’s not a lot to distinguish them. Even so, when the Dark Side rears up, the nudj lizards don’t like it, and a match gets struck at midnight.[/size]