Ix (Dune)

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Ix
Ixian Insignia.jpg
Emblem of House Ix from Emperor: Battle for Dune (2001)
Universe Dune universe
Notable people Hwi Noree
Malky
House Vernius
Creator Frank Herbert
Genre Science fiction

Ix /ˈɪks/ is a fictional planet featured in the Dune series of science fiction novels written by Frank Herbert, and derivative works. In Dune (1965) it is noted that Ix is classed with the planet Richese as "supreme in machine culture,"[1] and that Ixian solido projectors "are commonly considered the best."[2] In Dune Messiah (1969) Herbert explains that the planet's name (a spelling pronunciation of the Roman numeral IX) is derived from the fact that it is the ninth planet of its sun.[3] Ixian devices are commonplace and considered essential throughout the rest of the series, though they sometimes test the limits of the anti-technology proscriptions of the Butlerian Jihad, humanity's crusade against computers, thinking machines, and conscious robots.[4]

In Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's Legends of Dune prequel trilogy (2002–2004), the name of the planet is originally Rodale IX at the time of the Butlerian Jihad.[5]

The original series[edit]

By the time of the events described in the 1965 novel Dune, Ix is the leader in providing technology to the Imperium. Ixian devices are ever-present, but the society itself is unseen until later in the series. The sequel to Dune, Dune Messiah (1969), refers to the "Ixian Confederacy," hinting at society governed by a group of empowered political bodies or worlds rather than by a single ruling House, as is typical in the rest of the universe.[6] Dune Messiah begins with "Excerpts from the Death Cell Interview with Bronso of Ix,"[3][7] a historian imprisoned and condemned to death for his critical analyses of Paul "Muad'Dib" Atreides and his histories, as presented by Paul's followers.[6] This "interview" — and a subsequent excerpt from Bronso's Analysis of History: Muad'dib — serves to summarize the plot of Dune and establish the political and religious conflicts in play as the novel begins.[3][6]

In 1981's God Emperor of Dune, Leto Atreides II can see through his prescience that his Golden Path has prevented the Ixians from being the cause of humanity's destruction in the future. Leto's Golden Path has prevented a future in which the Ixians released, and ultimately lost control of, self improving Hunter-Seekers that would eventually consume all organic life in the known universe. Leto talks about his relationship with the former Ixian ambassador Malky, who had been specially raised and trained by the Ixians to be a "tempter" — the "Devil to Leto's God." The Ixians had intended for Malky to manipulate Leto into doubting his own purpose; the plan had ultimately failed. They had later created Hwi Noree, a female designed specifically to attract, seduce, and hold influence over Leto. In the novel, Leto meets Hwi and sees this intent, but cannot dismiss his attraction to her. The Ixians have an embassy on Arrakis which is infiltrated by Tleilaxu Face Dancers, who kill and replace everyone there — except for Hwi — as part of an assassination attempt on Leto. The attempt fails, but Leto later allows himself to be killed by Siona Atreides, as part of his own plan for the universe; Hwi dies with him.[8]

The Ixians had managed to keep Hwi's development a secret through the use of their new invention, the no-room (later called a no-chamber), which contains machines that hide the people within from prescience (as Guild Navigators can do).[8] They had also created the Navigation Device which would eventually take the place of Guild Navigators and help fuel the Scattering. Combining these two technologies later results in the no-ship, a starship that can remain unseen and does not require a Navigator to fold space.[9]

By the time of the events described in Heretics of Dune (1984), the power of the Ixians seems at its apex with their alliance with the Fish Speakers; however, Bene Gesserit analysts see them as a failing power, because Ixian society had become a bureaucracy and no great inventions had come out of the workshops of Ix for centuries. As the Honored Matres conquer the Old Empire, the Ixians are reduced to a barely tolerated technological combine.[9] In Chapterhouse: Dune (1985), the latest Duncan Idaho ghola suggests that Leto had never "suppressed" Ix because "He was fascinated by the idea of human and machine inextricably bound to each other, each testing the limits of the other."[10]

Legends of Dune[edit]

As explained in Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's Dune: The Machine Crusade (2003), the family of the Titan Xerxes had originally ruled Ix. When Tlaloc had conquered the Old Empire, Xerxes had taken control and changed the name of the planet from Rodale IX to just Ix. After the fall of the Titans at the hands of the thinking machines, Ix had become one of the Synchronized Worlds. In the novel, Ix is finally liberated by the Army of the Jihad in 175 B.G.[5]

Prelude to Dune[edit]

In the Prelude to Dune (1999–2001) prequel novels, Ix is a beautiful planet with no development on the surface, and practically no one goes above ground. The developed part of Ix is subterranean, mainly consisting of labs and factories. The Ixians are the leader in technological production and have the monopoly on producing the starships known as heighliners. Ix's prime competitor is Richese, but Ix always maintains a healthy lead in technology. House Vernius rules the planet, but the Padishah Emperor Elrood Corrino IX holds a grudge against Earl Dominic Vernius for two reasons: Dominic had married Elrood's former concubine, Shando Balut, and Ix's new, larger heighliners negatively impact Imperial tax revenue on cargo.[11]

Elrood secretly grants the Tleilaxu the right to occupy Ix by force (with the help of his Sardaukar army) and remake it into a laboratory station for Project Amal. This secret project seeks to produce a synthetic version of melange the Tleilaxu Master Ajidica calls ajidamal, or amal. The old Emperor wants to take over the spice monopoly by making sure that he has the only access to spice, thus controlling the Spacing Guild. The Tleilaxu rename Ix "Xuttuh" after their founder. In the year 10,156 A.G., Elrood IX is assassinated by Count Hasimir Fenring. Crown Prince Shaddam, now under the name of Shaddam IV, gives Fenring the title of Imperial Spice Minister and orders him to supervise the project. Although Ajidica manages to create an artificial melange that seems to have the original's properties, it does not work properly. The test-sandtrout explode, and Fenring's test of its use on two Guild Navigators ends in catastrophe. When Duke Leto Atreides invades Xuttuh in 10,175 A.G. and reestablishes Prince Rhombur of House Vernius as the ruler of Ix, all the records of Project Amal are destroyed.[11]

House Vernius's power is checked by that of the Technocrat Council, a quasi-executive body that eventually forces Rhombur's son, Earl Bronso, into the position of a figurehead. This process is alluded to in Winds of Dune, the second in Herbert and Anderson's Heroes of Dune series.

Dune games[edit]

In Dune 2000, the Ixians are responsible for providing the technologies for the three Houses to build Missile Tanks and their House-specific vehicles. This is done by building the Ixian Research Facility at the player's base. Once this is done, the player will be able to build either the Atreides Sonic Tank and Ornithopter, the Harkonnen Devastator, or the Ordos Deviator. The Ixians are also required for the construction of each House's Palace.

Ix is also one of the major subfactions in Emperor: Battle for Dune (2001).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Herbert, Frank (1965). "Terminology of the Imperium: RICHESE". Dune. 
  2. ^ Herbert, Frank (1965). "Terminology of the Imperium: SOLIDO". Dune. 
  3. ^ a b c Herbert, Frank (1969). "Excerpts from the Death Cell Interview with Bronso of Ix". Dune Messiah. 
  4. ^ Herbert, Frank (1965). "Terminology of the Imperium: JIHAD, BUTLERIAN". Dune. 
  5. ^ a b Herbert, Brian; Kevin J. Anderson (2002–2004). Legends of Dune.
  6. ^ a b c Herbert, Frank (1969). Dune Messiah. 
  7. ^ In the 2008 Brian Herbert/Kevin J. Anderson interquel novel Paul of Dune, Bronso is established as the son of Rhombur Vernius, a character from their Prelude to Dune prequel trilogy (1999-2001).
  8. ^ a b Herbert, Frank (1981). God Emperor of Dune. 
  9. ^ a b Herbert, Frank (1984). Heretics of Dune. 
  10. ^ Herbert, Frank (1985). Chapterhouse: Dune. 
  11. ^ a b Herbert, Brian; Kevin J. Anderson (1999–2001). Prelude to Dune.