Most people often think of museums as musty old buildings filled with fading exhibits and the bones of animals long dead, or perhaps artifacts from cultures of days past. They’re quiet buildings, filled with knowledge for those who are willing to seek it out. Unless, of course, you happen to be a capsuleer, in which case anything that doesn’t involve explosions isn’t worth doing, be it for knowledge or some other cause. Which is why it shouldn’t surprise anyone that, tucked away in the Araz constellation, the Museum Arcana combines the thrill of combat with the soporific effect that museums tend to have on people. More an archeological site than a true museum, the area is still overseen by a Curator who seems curiously oblivious to the ships fighting over the choicest archeological artifacts.
The Museum is dedicated to the Takmahl. Although often playing second fiddle to the more well-known Sleeper and Talocan ancient civilizations, the Takmahl have a fascinating history in their own right, and are probably the most recent of the lost civilizations of New Eden. The Takmahl started off as an offshoot of an offshoot of the Amarr faith. Those familiar with Amarr sects might recall that the Sani Sabik believe that purity can only be found through human blood. While the official Faith disclaims these teachings, these theological ideas have long had some popularity amongst the Amarr. Every so often, the Faith would set out and purge these blood believers. One of these purges, early on after the discovery of interstellar flight, led to the expulsion of what would eventually become the Takmahl. The followers left in cryo-ships, and apparently ended up in the Araz constellation. They became experts in cybernetics and bio-engineering before mysteriously dying out. One of their more complete data repositories was eventually rediscovered and labeled the Museum Arcana.
Aura has this to say regarding the Museum:
The Museum Arcana is an exclusive abode for purveyors of ancient, even arcane knowledge. The museum prides itself in serving only those truly learned in the secrets of the ancient world. To make this a certainty all visitors must not only have a rudimentary knowledge in prehistoric matters, but may be called upon to demonstrate their capabilities.
Aura has apparently been developing a bit of a sense of humor, since “a bit of rudimentary knowledge” roughly translates to “able to spend a few million isk.” By running an analyzer and obtaining a Key of the Arcane, the doorkeeper is happy to let you pass into the primary area of the museum. There, the Museum becomes a bit of a free for all. Despite being open for business for a few years now, the Museum still has quite a few juicy morsels at play, and collectors of archaic memorabilia can often be seen tussling with those hoping to find some of that cybernetic and bio-engineering technology that I mentioned. And, of course, any newcomers can expect to have both of those groups gang up on them for daring to intrude into their territory. However, it can be useful seeing as how finding a few tokens for the Curator allows you access to another fascinating Takmahl site, the Labyrinth in Aphi. But that’s for another entry.
Assuming you can take your mind off of the people trying to blow you up, the Museum itself is quite a sight to see. The Museum is anchored by a massive central structure, surrounded by a field of secondary data repositories. While the main structure has long been mined out of artifacts, many of the secondary repositories are still active, assuming you have the proper equipment with you. However, the main structure of the Museum dominates from an aesthetics viewpoint. Amarrian influences are clear in its construction, almost making the entire thing feel like a temple dedicated to preserving Takmahlan knowledge. In particular, the top of the structure is dominated by the all-too-familiar sweeping hand of Amarrian destiny, demonstrating that the Amarr (and the Takmahl) had delusions of galactic domination for millennia.
Although the Amarr influences are to be expected, perhaps more surprising are the deviations from Amarr architecture. While the Amarr are well-known for their love of all things golden, the Takmahl structure’s blue-ish hues, organic curves, and biodomes gives much of the structure an almost Gallente feel to it. I would have thought the styles would clash, but they go together remarkably well, giving the structure a very graceful feel. The biodomes, of course, fit the Takmahlan historic interest in bio-engineering. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of it was the fact that even now, hundreds if not thousands of years later, the biodomes were still as verdant and green as anything you would find on Gallente Prime. Indeed, everything seemed remarkably well-preserved, which is yet another testament to Takmahl technology, regardless of any ethical concerns I might have about their religious beliefs.
I spent some time at the Museum, mostly just looking around and admiring the views. Professor Science’s cloak meant that just about everyone ignored me, something with which I was perfectly content. Eventually, however, it was time to move on from the Museum. As I warped out, I couldn’t help but wonder if museums would be more popular if they all involved guns, explosions, and blood-drinking religious fanatics, but I guess we will never know.
- Attraction: Museum Arcana
- System: Zimse
- Security Rating: 0.5
- Region: Kador
- Potential Hazards: If you’re below a -4.5 in security status, or -5 standing with the Amarr, you’ll have to deal with some rather unpleasant policemen. Additionally, a number of rats, ranging from frigates to a battleship, are present at the site. They will fire on you if you remain uncloaked.
- Additional Notes: You MUST obtain the Key of the Arcane, which I purchased on contracts for about 10 million isk, in order to get past the first acceleration gate. The key is not consumed upon use.