Reidain Subsector – WriteUps

Write-ups for Reidain Subsector by Peter Gray:

Hollis/Reidain (Foreven 2523), Amber Zone

Starport: Class A, Regency Naval Base
Diameter: 3103 Miles
Atmosphere: Standard with high levels of sulfur, methane and chlorine
Surface Water: 4%
Climate: Very Hot
Population: 6.14 Million
Government: Representative Democracy (Hollis Quorum)
Law Level: 2
Tech Level: 13

Trade Class: Marginal/Moderate/Stellar

Hollis is a hot and dry desert, covered in patchy sand and gypsum boulders. What little water exists is the stagnant remains of cometary debris deflected a previous stellar collision. The world’s magnetic field is electrically interactive with the primary stars, and gas plumes ejected from the solar corona migrate down electrical force lines into Hollis’s polar latitudes, creating an ionized and poisonous atmosphere. Most of the population lives in a series of cliff-side cities, just south of the downport, located on steps cut into the sides of the Big Sandy, a sheer gorge nearly 5 kilometers in depth. Here the wonders of technology has allowed structural engineers to cover parts of the gorge in huge mesh nets electrically charged so that they attract and filter the ionized taint, allowing for the denizens to breathe clean air at 0.9 atmospheres without need of heavy filter masks.

The settlement was originally a large trading post established by the former Imperial megacorp Ling Standard Products, in partnership with Barracai Technum, in the late 1000s as forward base for trade expeditions into the traditionally Zhodani dominated areas of Foreven and Far Frontiers sectors. Heavy resistance by Zhodani agents and Avalar saboteurs left the world hanging precariously, and LSP and BT convinced other corporations and the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service into establishing a stake as reinforcement against possible attack or economic collapse of the colony. In the period before the Fifth Frontier War, Sternmetal Horizons imported a large contingent of trade specialists and diplomats that converted the colony from a dusty and dingy frontier bazaar into a major contact and communication center. Other companies followed suit, and the population now consists mainly of professionals who act as middlemen or factors for various commercial entities either native to the region or based in the Regency and other more distant Spinward States.

The local constitution, in a nod to an ancient legal precedent, considers these corporations as “citizens”, and allocates power and rights primarily to them. The ruling council consists of representatives selected or appointed by local corporate brass to lobby and legislate on their behalf. Private citizens are the legal wards of their employers, and visitors and persons terminated from local employment are considered to be resident aliens with more limited rights and no legal representation other than that recognized by the Quorum. For a company to be admitted to the Quorum, their application for membership must be approved by a majority vote of the thirty of so companies that make up its average body. The Quorum is both executive and legislative branch, though the IISS and other offworld governmental bodies oversee local legal disputes and staff the local legal profession and courts with hired journeymen. The overseeing executive is usually a retired corporate bigwig elected in recognition of their past contributions to Hollis and their companies.

The Zhodani Exodus has hit the world hard. Because of its close ties to the Regency, and its large naval base (built here in the 1150s), nearly thirty million Zhodani have crowded into the mesas overlooking the Big Sandy. Food and water are scarce, and the Quorum is neither that experienced nor that inclined in helping the refugees. This has led to icy relations between the government and Regency of Deneb representatives Though mindful of the locals’ historical xenophobia towards the Zhodani, it appears that the lack of cooperation is actually being orchestrated by shady elements among the corporate headquarters on Syl (Foreven 2724). With open warfare now raging between the Federation of Arden and its local Minotaurs, many of whom have representation among the Quorum, it appears to be a gambit to throw the refugees off in hopes of maintaining the worlds military strength in anticipation of offensive actions elsewhere by the FOA’s Sword World mercenaries.

Ryanbiwul/Reidain (Foreven 2527)

Starport: Class C, Avalar Consulate Naval Base
Diameter: 6932 Miles
Atmosphere: Standard tainted by local allergens
Surface Water: 79%
Climate: Cold
Population: 32,900
Government: Representative Democracy
Law Level: 4
Tech Level: 10

Trade Class: Standard/Low/Post-Industrial

Heavy gravity world of 1.23G. The local plantlife emanate chemicals to prevent predation, and some of these compounds produce anaphylactic reactions in humans. Some of these compounds have useful medical purposes, and the Kamrathi League settled the world as a collector station to collect these compounds for commercial exploitation. During the Leagues existence the world was named Mendel, after the famed Solomani botanist. After the League was annexed by the Avalar Consulate, the Avalar military attempted to take over the worlds vast store of research for its own nefarious purposes. This sparked a popular revolt among the population in 1096, and vandals sacked the station and destroyed much of the most dangerous research before the Consulate could put them down. The Avalar Navy finally took command of the station in 1098, and has spent billions of local credits to replicate the lost research.

Relations between the Avalars and the locals are still quite frosty, and have actually worsened since the Avalar-Zhodani schism in the 1150s. The local government will have nothing to do with the Consulate, and it pays its taxes and revenues to Lenin (Foreven 2428) so they will not have to suffer the ignominy of dealing with the Consulate bureaucracy. Attempts to curry favor or crush local resistance have backfired, and the Navy base is the main locus for official efforts in the system. The old downport has been dismantled, and all ships must go through a secondary facility attached to the naval base. This has not prevented the proliferation of smuggling in the system, thanks to high level corruption in the Navy ranks, and the locals brazenly violate the local Quarantine. With the exception of the main highway between the main settlement and the base, the two may as well be on other planets entirely.

Ontsi/Reidain (Foreven 2528)

Starport: Class B
Diameter: 6857 Miles
Atmosphere: Standard with elevated CO2 levels
Surface Water: 50%
Climate: Very Hot
Population: 517,000
Government: Civil Service Bureaucracy (Dydo Combined Authority)
Law Level: 5
Tech Level: 12

Trade Class: Standard/Moderate/Stellar

World originally settled by the Kamrathi League, which named the world Dydo. Most of the local plantlife are inefficient photo-synthesizers and a very large amount of greenhouse gases exist. The CO2 lardered atmosphere slow descent into a runaway greenhouse effect was stabilized by the export of large “greengas” automated farms that utilize as much of the worlds surface for cultivation as possible. With the assistance of robots and careful design, nearly a quarter of the planets surface produced, via shifting cultivation, a wide variety of grains, fruits and vegetables for offworld export to Lenin and Tunmoposu, and world much farther afield such as Xenough and the Torinsk cluster.

The local government is actually a for-profit farming collective that efficiently distributes farming material and equipment in lend-lease agreements to every individual farming community. Most of the population lives in groups of a few hundred people, often little more than extended families or clans that have evolved via intermarriage over the last three hundred years. These families live in high-tech homesteads linked by satellite and microwave communication towers, and high speed grav “buses” that are actually outmoded starships converted into atmospheric bulk carriers and passenger loaders. Most of the locals rarely leave the world, as the work is lucrative and rewarding. Few even bother to travel across their homeworld, given its monotonous nature and the sophistication of local commo nets; the only people who do travel are the professionals that man mobile clinics and machine shops built into many grav buses and work in periodic shifts along fixed caravan routes.

Mindful of their failures on Ryanbiwul, the Avalar government treats Ontsians with a bit more care. Though the locals are miffed at the renaming of their world, the Consulate officials have largely left them alone, and have made up for what intrusion that does exist through subsidies and the construction of a large Quarantine support base. An increasing amount of local foodstuffs is now going, thanks to subsidies to offset the uncompetitive cost, to Avalar worlds on the other side of the Consulate. This has upset Kamrathi patriots on the main worlds, who perceive (both rightly and wrongly) a conspiracy against them and their cause for renewed independence.

Boygahe/Reidain (Foreven 2628)

Starport: Class C
Diameter: 3904 Miles
Atmosphere: None
Surface Water: 3% water ice
Climate: Frozen
Population: 552,000
Government: Impersonal Bureaucracy
Law Level: 7
Tech Level: 8

Trade Class: Marginal/Moderate/Post-Industrial

Boygahe, originally named Kesterman by the Kamrathi, is a cold and barren rock of no great significance other than its prime location. The system sits astride the main jump-3 gap between the Kamrathi worlds and the Darrian interface. Though the League actually received most of its trade in antebellum times from the Third Imperium via Urnian and Piah subsectors (Foreven O and P), the longer route across Reidain was more lucrative per unit owing to the higher sophistication of worlds in the subsector and in the Darrian Confederacy. The improving economic situation in Reidain and the Darrian Renaissance have boosted this trade significantly. But the Avalar Consulate has denied its benefits to the locals.

In a classic case of divide et impera (divide and rule), the trade licenses granted to ships operating through the Boygahe Quarantine are primarily rogue Kamrathi and Reidainian traders with deep political connections to the chief commercial authorities on Avalar. These traders are less reputable and unsavory individuals who owe their licenses to bribery and chicanery on the part of the ruling Venues, and in return their contracts and local regulations reward them with a virtual monopoly over refueling, maintenance and warehousing services. As a result of these stipulations (and generous kickbacks to the Venues in the form of selective self-taxation by the traders) the locals have been completely frozen out of the trade, as have been many legitimate Kamrathi trading companies. The fact that many of the “cowboys” in charge are Kamrathi has been played up by the Avalars, and it creates significant hostility among the underemployed locals. To protect themselves against attack and sabotage, the traders have become heavily reliant upon mercs provided at cheap cost by the Avalar government.

Syl/Reidain (Foreven 2724), Amber Zone

Starport: Class A
Diameter: 4975 Miles
Atmosphere: Trace
Surface Water: 3% water ice
Climate: Frozen
Population: 2.71 Billion
Government: Balkanized (17 feuding corporate enclaves)
Law Level: 4
Tech Level: 12

Trade Class: Marginal/High/Stellar

Tech Profile: CC-CCCBE-CCCE-CC-E

Syl is the fourth moon of seven around the gas giant Askew. It is a rocky-cored body of only 0.43G, with some of the water and atmospheric gases found at in her core being squeezed out by tidal forces to form geysers that lay a thin residue of air and streaks of ice onto the surface. The surface itself is covered by a layer of gravel and ice that runs to an average of several hundred meters in depth, and in some places has the consistency and properties of quicksand. The underlying bedrock is rent by extinct fissures and vents, and these in many cases were excavated out by mining companies from the Third Imperium searching for valuable minerals. Over the last three hundred years mining borers have moved out an enormous amount of material, and these mines have become major subterranean settlements.

Many of these mining companies were subsidiaries for major Imperial firms, and included many of those involved in the settlement of Hollis (Foreven 2623). Because of its strategic proximity to the volatile Kamrathi cluster and contested worlds in the Zhodani Shadow (worlds within 10 parsecs of the Zhodani border), the corps moved an increasing number of people here in support of their expansion and exploration efforts. Corporate headquarters for operations in the subsector were established by major companies such as LSP and Sternmetal, along the lines of countries with complete militaries and colonial infrastructures. They were aided and abetted by the 3I Navy, which sold or rented out surplus warships to corporate clients to help defend the burgeoning settlement. Because of the threat it presented, the Zhodani took great pains in attempting to undermine the colony, and paranoia of their efforts led to the balkanization of the government into warring corporate factions.

Since the Collapse, Syl remains a burr in the sides of not only the Avalars and the Zhodani, but many law and order types in the Regency as well. The world is the main Minotaur center in Foreven and the spinward reaches. The main power is Sternmetal, whose colony controls almost a quarter of the population and the largest downport. The TCP/JAX network maintains its alternate command center here, and an important center for its extensive transport and mercenary services offices. Sternmetal’s dominance is challenged by other unsavory mining companies like Anaconda-AX (a former LSP subsidiary) and Glittersnake, LRC, who have extensive Foreven holdings and a desire to skirt the law. Other notorious firms like Blackhawk and SuSAG have smaller colonies, McClellan Factors run the local downports, and the Ventureprise/SpinDev and Interglobal development companies (euphemism for industrial and financial piracy) round out a volatile Imperial contingent. Throw in several Avalar and even a few Zhodani corps, and you have a thriving legal wilderness staked out by heavily armed corporate condotterie units and local military cadres.

Like Hollis, the corps are considered to be sovereign entities, and private citizens are considered wards of their states. People who aren’t in the employ of a company are treated as second-class citizens or resident aliens. On a world with a high population, such as Syl is, that category includes a third of the population. These people congregate in abandoned steam and aqueduct tunnels (known collectively as the Agrippa) that lie between the larger corp enclaves, or in abandoned mineshafts. Though these “Agrippina” are quite poor compared to their corporate fellows, their communities are absent of the resident paranoia that keeps the corpsies from leaving their insulated and heavily regulated communities. In the past the corps have used the Agrippa dwellers to create a neutral buffer zone between them, and as a useful means of negotiation and commercial contact outside of the lines dictated by the local cold wars. Ironically, while the Minotaurs are depicted as being dodgy and shady operators who live by their own wits and vague morals in the empty margins around the edges of mainstream society, on a world where the Minotaurs reign supreme that status is denied to them and left to the very communities of people rejected by the corps for their lack of utility.

Taypikacho/Reidain (Foreven 2821), Amber Zone

Starport: Class B
Diameter: 4636 Miles
Atmosphere: Dense
Surface Water: 35%
Climate: Very Hot
Population: 2.92 Billion
Government: Balkanized (88 different states)
Law Level: 12
Tech Level: 9

Trade Class: Marginal/High/Post-Industrial

Tech Profile: 99-A9999-979A-AA-E

Taypikacho appears to have been settled by dissident Imperial groups sometime early in the Chodlot period. The colony was under-capitalized and nearly failed several times, and the hardships further reinforced bitter feelings by the population towards their former homeland. The lack of water and food created a paramilitary culture of armed gangs and petty warlord states that is ingrained into the local psyche. Everyone belongs to a clan based upon their ancestry, geographical location and political affiliation; the latter encompasses a massive realm of possibilities. Bitterness between different groups led to low level street wars within major cities, or bloody raids between different warlords and their surrounding settlements or regions.

Fearing the negative effects of this world upon their own interests in the region, the Zhodani made the world an important client in the early 800s. Peacekeeping troops and development money were provided in sufficient amounts to provide a modicum of unity and development, and the 3I government grudgingly accepted this influence. In return the locals produced a variety of low tech industrial goods that were sold to the Zhodani under their specifications, and this trade helped alleviate local poverty. But despite their best efforts, the Zhodani were unable to psionically influence the people into abandoning their culture, as many warlords violently resisted the attempts of the Tozjabr and Tavrchedl to reeducate them or their population. A failed attempt to reeducate the main warlord of the northernmost continent of Seales led to a violent anti-Zhodani backlash in the mid 1050s that ejected most of their diplomats and advisers in a series of wars, and it took 40 years for the two sides to reconcile and the Zhodani to return.

After the rapprochement between the Domain of Deneb and the Consulate in the mid-1120s, the easing of tensions allowed for an improvement in trade and prosperity in Foreven, and conditions for Taypikacho improved enough for the locals to attempt forging a unified government in the 1140s. The new bureaucratic government got off to a slow start, and was still in the painful middle of formation when the Zhodani Exodus began. The sudden collapse of their ally has caused the planetary government to unravel into unprecedented depths of paranoia and recrimination, and the factions have reappeared and begun rearming themselves with equipment and weapons provided to the new planetary military from Zhodani sources. The world is now a powderkeg with a hundred times as much firepower than before, and Sword World mercenaries have begun infiltrating their troops in an ill considered attempt to set it off.

Orynphant/Reidain (Foreven 2829), Amber Zone

Starport: Class D
Diameter: 4579 Miles
Atmosphere: Thin with heavy dust and silt levels
Surface Water: 34%
Climate: Very Hot
Population: 73.6 Million
Government: Impersonal Bureaucracy
Law Level: 10
Tech Level: 5

Trade Class: Marginal/Moderate/Industrial

Originally known as Heifong. This backwater trade world is most noteworthy for its extreme windy conditions and weathered rock formations. The world enjoys a fifteen hour rotation period, and high winds that result have carved the soft lose soil and sandstones into badlands of startling complexity. The population lives at the north pole, where the winds are mostly mitigated by the low rotation velocity, and engage in mining and low tech manufacturing. Most of its money was made on Kamrathi traders engaging in speculative trade with the poorer worlds of Urnian and Five Sisters subsectors.

In the wake of the Kamrathi annexation, the badlands have begun attracting a large number of fugitives on the lam from Consulate justice. Living conditions in this region are poor, and most escapees usually either return to face the music, or suffer lonely deaths and disappearances. Some pirate and privateer groups made bases here in the Fifth Frontier War’s aftermath, but these were uprooted and destroyed by the Avalar Navy. But their former existence has encouraged smugglers and runaways to attempt their own fugitive existence here, in defiance of Avalar authority. These squatters live in very primitive conditions, and most are heavily armed, and their presence and the dangerous weather gives the world its amber zone rating.

Reidain/Reidain (Foreven 2925)

Starport: Class A, Regency Naval Base
Diameter: 9399 Miles
Atmosphere: Ellipsoidal
Surface Water: 94 to 100% water and some mixed gases under very high
pressure
Climate: Varying (Averages Very Hot)
Population: 4.22 Billion
Government: Balkanized (34 different city-states)
Law Level: 6
Tech Level: 14

Trade Class: Water/High/Stellar

Tech Profile: EE-EEGGG-DDDG-GE-G

Reidain is an extreme bit of bizarreness even within the category of weird that are ellipsoidal planets. Ellipsoids are egg shaped worlds, bulging at the equator and flattened at the poles, formed by a variety of different processes, not all of them adequately understood. But in most cases a protoplanet accretes with an excessive amount of molten material in its core, and the poles collapse toward the center as this material is pushed out the equator by centrifugal forces, or a collision/near miss with a gas giant or other large body disrupts the soft and heterogeneous material and pulls it out of shape. At any rate you have a world that has an unusually dense atmosphere and high gravity at the poles, with a trace or very thin atmosphere at the equators coupled with almost terrestrial gravity.

But Reidain, as mentioned before, is very extreme. Unlike the normally terrestrial origins of these worlds, Reidain was originally the rocky core of a proto-gas giant of around 40,000 kilometers in diameter. Another molten cored body of around 9000-10,000 kms diameter hit it dead on in its first few million years of existence, and the collision disrupted the gas giant’s atmosphere and orbit. As a result, Reidain is smaller than most ellipsoidal worlds by about 1500-2000 kms. And its atmosphere is all that remains of the original gas giant, and is unusually thick and dense even at the equator. The world is a true hybrid with an unusually hot core and active undersea volcanism. The high pressure generated by the atmosphere and gravity, coupled with a 36 degree axial tilt, leads to the creation of massive ice sheets at the wintering pole; when these melt in mid-spring, they release billions of tons of water back into the oceans, causing massive and catastrophic flood surges in the equatorial and subtropical regions during the summer months. Worsening this flooding is the warping and flexing of the crust due to gravitational and tidal pressures.

Reidain

Life developed here after the collision pushed its orbit into the habitable zone, though most of it is extremely alien to people accustomed to more terrestrial environments. The dominant lifeforms are the huge worm-like megafauna known as Sea Dragons, though these are in fact swimming vertebrates that range anywhere between 30 and 150 meters in length. The Sea Dragons inhabit a wide range of different environments, though most live on the sea floor, and have a variety of different diets and behaviors. The largest are mostly herbivores that subsist off of the chemosynthesizing bacteria and algae that cluster around undersea vents, and the midsized ones are dangerous predators that will eat just about anything they can catch. Other lifeforms include massive jellyfish-like swimmers that catch smaller swimmers in tentacles or filters; and the bizarre burrowers, armored arthropods that “tunnel” through the dense layers of water and ice formed at the poles by gravitational and atmospheric pressure.

Reidain was first discovered by the Darrians early in their space travels; though it was interesting enough for them to build a science outpost in orbit, the world’s environment was too extreme for their tastes. The world was rediscovered by the IISS in 336, and it became a curiosity for various academics who travelled out of their way to reach this remote system. The first serious settlement waited until around 445, when a consortium of Darrian settlers and companies reestablished their claim to the system, and built a small number of floating cities. These people were mostly starry-eyed romantics that sought to reclaim the Confederacy’s old glories by colonization, and Reidain was their major coup. But their technology was overwhelmed by native environmental and zoological difficulties, and they were eventually forced to open up the world to further immigration from the Third Imperium.

Most of these newcomers were members of an evangelistic Protestant coalition that took their inspiration from ancient Terran Calvinism. Calling themselves the Destined, they were noteworthy for their archaic dress, stoic and somber demeanor, and a tireless work ethic. The Destined worked tirelessly under the direction of their clerics to tame their new world. The coalition broke apart as each community became absorbed in its own projects, but they remain culturally homogeneous. Though their descendants are mostly secular now, due to the amount of distance between them and their ancestors, they have retained an archaic culture that looks as if it stepped off an old Vemeer painting. That includes a mode of urban government modeled upon the old ruling ecclesiastical oligarchies. They have retained the old “burghermaster” clothing consisting of dark black buttondown tunics, with widebrimmed hats for the men and bonnets for the women. Local mores are quite conservative, and the government tends to censor offworld media, sanitizing it of “prurient” materials (mostly material advocating free thinking or rebellion against any status quo, rather than material of a violent or sexual nature).

The world enjoys very advanced technology, and its environmental and medical tech levels are better than anything achieved during the Imperial era. The medical profession is widely respected, a custom that grew out of the vital roles medical technicians played in preventing epidemics within the crowded first settlements. Unlike on many worlds, computerized automation is emphasized less than the personal touch and hands on contact. Though only average as surgeons, Redainian medicine is famed for its diagnostic and therapeutic abilities. Since the Collapse, the human doctor has become more important all over the Regency, and Reidains’ medical schools have filled an important niche by educating new Regency doctors in old fashioned practices of bedside manner and communicating with patients. The precision and professionalism demonstrated by the local hippocratic guild rubs off on the other professions, and local manufacturing is famed for the quality and ease of use built into their products.

The bulk of the worlds surface settlements are built along ridges of submarine volcanoes dotting the temperate regions. In terms of construction these cities are built as large cylinders, tapering at the top or terminating in teardrop artifacts to minimize the pressure exerted by the annual flooding. Some of the more elaborate cities have articulated superstructures designed to float freely as the water levels increase, remaining attached to the main colony by elaborate towers built along an Archimedean screw principle. The average population of these cities range between sixty and two hundred million, and the larger cities have several towers that rise kilometers into the sky from deep beneath the ocean. Because of the high pressure at sea level, these cities aren’t built too deep, and most are found only a few hundred meters beneath the surface even during the flood seasons. Each community has its own starport built on the apex of the highest tower, and most have A or B class starports with elaborate defenses against attack by human or zoological predators.

The world’s military is mostly a voluntary affair, the COAAC forces being a “pool” of different space, air and missile units provided according to the abilities of each community. Actual defense of the system is left to the sizeable Regency fleet contingent located on a huge naval base built in the roadstead during the 1160s. The only unified force is the “wet” navy force known as the Zoological Patrol, or called the Zee-Pee in local slang. The Sea Dragons are usually considered to be the greatest threat to human life, if only because of the indirect damage they inflict. Often the beasts attracted to the life support and effluent vents and intakes of the larger settlements, either boring into them in search of nutrients or attempting to take up residence. The unusual nature of this threat requires a specialized service for deterrence, control and removal of these destructive pests. The Zee-Pee draws its members from every arcology, and fields a diverse fleet of hydrofoils, submersibles and gravitic triphibians armed with a variety of lethal and non-lethal systems to neutralize the danger presented. Because so much of their work requires significant biological knowledge, and experience in various fields of engineering, joining requires a background in various sciences, engineering or underwater vehicles.

Lenskansi/Reidain (Foreven 2926)

Starport: Class B
Diameter: 1094 Miles
Atmosphere: Very Thin with heavy methane and ammonia “smog”
Surface Water: 4% water ice
Climate: Frozen
Population: 29.7 Million
Government: Subjugated (Governor appointed by Reidain)
Law Level: 3
Tech Level: 13

Trade Class: Marginal/Moderate/Stellar

Lenskansi is the solitary moon of the gas giant Yertypu. Yertypu is a violent world that often burps hot gas into space, where it often collects around the moon to form a thin layer of toxic atmosphere. Primitive bacterial life of very alien composition that might be native to the gas giant’s crushing depths somehow become seeded on Lenskansi, and uses this gas layer as the basis of a stubby food pyramid. The world itself is of little geological interest, and is chiefly made up of gravel accreted from passing asteroidal material or ejecta from cometary collisions with Yertypu. Most of the ecosystem fills the cracks and pores between the underlying rock, creating a slushy, slimy goo known as “rock glue”This unusual ecosystem attracted Darrian scientists in the Pre-Maghiz period to study the world, and a science outpost was the first settlement to be recorded on Lenskansi.

The Maghiz caused the station to be abandoned, but the world was eventually rediscovered by several groups during the Long Night, and was resettled by a mixture of Zhodani and Solomani outcasts. This colony eventually broke up into smaller factions of mixed descent, subsisting upon greenhouse agriculture that used the organic-rich rock glue as compost and fertilizer. These colonists are somewhat xenophobic due to their tenuous existence on a hostile planet, though as much towards each other as offworlders. The population had been neutral towards both the 3rd Imperium and the Zhodani Consulate, though psionics have been an accepted part of local society for centuries.

Control of the world’s meager downport passed to a consortium of Reidainian investors during the Psionic Suppressions, and this led to their increasing political and economic control of the world over the last few centuries. Formal annexation came in 1101, in response to the Avalar absorption of the Kamrathi League, and has been a quiescent possession ever since. The world’s tech level has soared, though most advancement has occurred in the main settlements surrounding the capital at Downport City, and the adjacent Guar Fracture Zone, a rift valley that separates the main settled areas from the sparsely settled northern hemisphere. Agriculture has given way to light industry, particularly the manufacture of robots and consumer electronics.

Danalipa/Reidain (Foreven 2927), Amber Zone

Starport: Class A, Regency Naval Base
Diameter: 4487 Miles
Atmosphere: None
Surface Water: 0%
Climate: Very Hot (Hot Side), Frozen (Night Side)
Population: 84.5 Million
Government: Subjugated (Governor appointed by Reidain)
Law Level: 4
Tech Level: 15

Trade Class: Marginal/Moderate/Stellar

Foreven’s only other TL-15 world is a rocky cored world tidally locked with its primary, and the sole world in the system. It was overlooked by the Darrians and the Zhodani, and was only settled at the instigation of Reidain (Foreven 2927) in the early 900s as a refueling base for ships travelling to Kamrathi. Rising political tensions and lingering xenophobia between pro-imperial and pro-Zhodani factions on the mainworld, plus hostile atmospheric conditions, hindered trade and commercial contact during this period, and kept Reidain from advancing to its full potential. Eventually Danalipa was expanded, with the settlements becoming a common colony of the city-states, as a trade and development center. A string of colonies and research stations ring the world along the terminator between the Hot and Night sides, under the unified government appointed from Reidain. To date the experiment has paid enormous dividends, as the local tech level equals the old Imperial max. The Regency of Deneb also maintains a full consulate here, which has done much to ease tensions with Reidain.

However, Danalipa is dominated mainly by commercial entities, and the appointed governor is largely a figurehead. Taking inspiration from the corporate culture on Syl (Foreven 2724), the population is divided along Social Darwinian lines between the native Reidainian population and offworld immigrants. Essentially the world is a high-tech sweatshop. The natives hold the main management jobs and technical positions, while importing offworld “contractors” that are either low wage laborers to do menial labor, or young professionals who work temporary contracts while their work is poorly compensated. Many of these workers live and work in abysmal conditions, and they are subject to abuse or de facto slavery. The locals cover up this fact through a glossy and well executed PR campaign that is marketed among younger workers on nearby worlds, often spread by charismatic “headhunters” that recruit heavily among university students and unemployed young adults. This results in a steady flow of new blood, and the local companies are quick to use their money to spike stories and rumors of the truth.

Inpota/Reidain (Foreven 3124)

Starport: Class A
Diameter: 6163 Miles
Atmosphere: Standard
Surface Water: 46%
Climate: Warm
Population: 340,000
Government: Feudal Technocracy
Law Level: 4
Tech Level: 13

Trade Class: Standard/Moderate/Stellar

Inpota was originally discovered and settled by the early Darrian society around -1350. Unlike the other colonies, the distance from the homeworlds prevented the Darrians from building more than a small settlement (with a population of around 50,000). Though lacking much in the way of metals, the poor soils actually supported a significant number of unusual flora with significant nutritive and medicinal qualities, and the colony was primarily a research and exploitation center that extracted useful pharmaceuticals for export back to the Confederacy. A small flotilla of starships was built to both carry the drugs back to Daryen, and to bring back supplies needed by the local population. The world was so dependent upon this flow that the loss of interstellar contact caused by the Maghiz nearly caused the world to be abandoned. Unfortunately for the colonists, their ships were only able to evacuate a small number of persons to other Darrian worlds before they were confiscated by the surviving planetary governments to maintain their fleets.

With the population effectively cut off from resupply, the colony procters were forced to take drastic action. One of the drugs that were present in enough abundance for the entire population were a new class of fast drugs. A fast drug slows down the human metabolism by as much as sixty fold. That means that a person under its influence needs only one-sixtieth as much food and water as a normal person. Faced with chronic food shortages, and lacking any other technological means of survival, the government began mandating that entire communities enter “slow time” to extend resources. Normally this meant that as much as half of the population was medicated, the other half going about normal business and providing for food and shelter for the entire community. This is still practiced by certain elements of society, particularly scholars and teacher, to ensure that the younger generations remain in touch with their traditions.

The modern community on Inpota has become disdainful of their Darrian cousins since recontact more than a thousand years ago. The effect of fast drugs on historical recollection makes memories of the Maghiz period much fresher than for people living in the Confederacy. The locals still nurse a grudge over their abandonment by their fellows, and this has colored their perceptions of the modern Confederacy. In their eyes, the people of Inpota are more truly Darrian than the effete snobs that constitute the so called mainstream. Inpotans think that they are tougher, more intelligent and have a stronger tie to the mystical essence that makes them Darrian. This makes relations between them and offworld Darrians very cold and distant. They do not mix well offworld with other Darrian travellers or traders, and the past they often vocally opposed the Confederacy’s expansionistic policies.

Sowponanho/Reidain (Foreven 3126), Red Zone

Starport: Class X
Diameter: 6607 Miles
Atmosphere: Dense with heavy industrial pollution
Surface Water: 63%
Climate: Very Hot
Population: 3.12 Billion
Government: Balkanized (71 different nations)
Law Level: 7
Tech Level: 4

Trade Class: Standard/High/Industrial

Tech Profile: 43-54434-4344-45-0

The only free world in its asteroid strewn system. The odd orbits of the local gas giants apparently prevented the formation or accretion of more rocky bodies, but they have also prevented the removal of old asteroidal and kuiper belt material dating back to the systems formation nearly 2.5 billion years ago. The mainworld is highly amenable to human habitation, thanks to its dense atmosphere and edible ecology. An abundance of fossil fuels and heavy metals allow for heavy industrialization, and the human population of the world is quite large despite its low tech level.

The human community on Sowponanho appears to date back to the late Long Night period, and are primarily a mixture of Vilani and Sylean humans from Core sector. How they got here is still a mystery, for no oral or written record of their journey has been discovered. They have no memory at all of spaceflight or star travel, and they are an unusually superstitious and observant of local taboos. The population’s balkanization seems to be an outgrowth of some kind of caste system rather than any kind of genuine nationalism. Scientific learning and knowledge is hoarded by the top caste, who fiercely enforces their mastery over the sacred knowledge and prevents the remainder of the population from receiving learning in advanced mathematics and alchemy. Beneath them is the landholding caste, which is descended from ancient warlords and cavalry soldiers; these control the industrial and agricultural economies and acknowledge the scientific castes monopoly in exchange for their technical assistance. The mercantile and laborer castes make up the remainder of the population, and beneath them are an outcaste of people segregated for their handling of the less appealing and more abhorrent functions of society.

It is thought that the scientist caste has retained or rediscovered the practices of good hygiene, modern germ theory and structural engineering, which would go far in emancipating the lower castes and outcaste from their current lives of misery. The upper castes live better than what would normally be obtained with the observed level of technology. If these groups have rediscovered more advanced electronics or optics that would have enabled them to rediscover the interstellar community, they have kept it well concealed; though they appear capable of it, no evidence of this technology has yet been found by survey teams, and the ruling class would have powerful incentive to prevent this knowledge from leaking out to the lower castes.

Lopiengeta/Reidain (Foreven 3227), Amber Zone

Starport: Class C
Diameter: 8110 Miles
Atmosphere: Standard
Surface Water: 84%
Climate: Cold
Population: 5.6 Million
Government: Balkanized (8 different authorities)
Law Level: 9
Tech Level: 9

Trade Class: Prime/Moderate/Post-Industrial

Lopiengeta is one of Foreven’s few T-Prime worlds, and a shource of major conflict between its seperate Solomani and Darrian communities. The population is evenly divided between older Darrian communities and newer, mainly Solomani population that has migrated here during the early days of the 3rd Imperium. The Darrians were holdovers from Pre-Maghiz days, and were factionalized into warring societies, and the new arrivals have merely adapted themselves by breaking up into separate countries (known as Authorities) that impose their will over widely isolated settlements, and protect their sovereignty by force of arms. Border wars waged with mercenary soldiers are common, though the Authorities are too evenly matched, and perhaps too overextended, to break the stalemate that has prevailed here for the last 300 years.

The local economy is dominated by agricultural, primarily herding of farm animals that originated on Daryen. The local landholders are resentful of offworld competition, and despite their differences, have allowed circumstances to conspire against opening the world to fuller settlement by immigrant colonists. These land baronies are the true powers behind the Authorities, and competition for control of the local governments are nearly as fierce as the bigger wars between them. These conflicts often resemble a more hoedown version of the conflicts between the ancient families of Renaissance Italy, and are resolved through negotiation, bargaining, ambushes, assassinations and other Machiavellian means. There exists steady employment for ex-military personnel, particularly special operations, among the staff of the warring families, and mercenaries are a common staple of local defense forces.

Alenzar/Reidain (Foreven 3229)

Starport: Class B
Diameter: None
Atmosphere: None
Surface Water: None
Climate: None
Population: 260,000
Government: Corporate (Alenzar Cooperative Union)
Law Level: 5
Tech Level: 11

Trade Class: Asteroid/Moderate/Post-Industrial

(Alenzar originally appears in the Double Adventure 5: Chamax Plague/Horde.) One of the terminal systems at the farthest spinward extent of the Spinward Main, the system was discovered during the late 700s by the IISS. Being rather far from the Imperial border in those days, only a few itinerant prospectors showed much interest in the small clusters of asteroids found in the inner system. The sole habitable world, known as Chamax, was largely ignored by the belters, and the mining company, InterStarSpec, that took over the system after the Fourth Frontier War.

Imperial mining companies discovered that the belt was quite rich and profitable. After getting established in the system, InterStarSpec began orbital surveys of Chamax with a view towards colonization. These surveys indicated that the world was once home to an intelligent culture about four to eight hundred years before, but it, and the world’s large land animals, were no longer extant. An exploratory ship was finally sent down to the surface to do the ground leg of the survey, and was promptly wiped out. A second ship was sent to the surface to determine the fate of the first, and immediately came under attack from a strange insect like species they called “bugs”. The crew managed to escape, rescuing the few survivors from the first expedition, and IISS was called in to interdict the system. After spacecraft belonging to the extinct native species crashlanded on neighboring Raschev (Foreven 3230) in 1107, and caused an outbreak there, the Imperial Navy took over the interdiction, and “winnowed” the bugs with airdropped biological weapons.

Since the Collapse, Chamax has been interdicted by a pair of RISS/RQS cruisers with orders up to and including deadly force to prevent landings. The original corporate government, which minimized the dangers and failed to maintain the interdiction, was deposed and replaced by a new corporate council representing several local and corporate interests. The belt has been opened to more extensive contact and settlement, though new habitats are outfitted with some anti-bug defenses in case of a repetition of the past.

Raschev/Reidain (Foreven 3230)

Starport: Class B
Diameter: 8258 Miles
Atmosphere: Standard
Surface Water: 91%
Climate: Cold
Population: 881.2 Million
Government: Civil Service Bureaucracy
Law Level: 9
Tech Level: 9

Trade Class: Water/Moderate/Post-Industrial

(Raschev is the other world that appears in the Double Adventure 5: Chamax Plague/Horde.) Raschev was originally discovered by scouts in the 830s, and was colonized from the 3I about a century later. With the world just a hair outside of being classified as a T-Prime, the Imperial Ministry of Colonisation was loath to turn up its nose at such a rare find. The 3Is influence over the system was limited by tensions with the Zhodani, and by the late 1000s had become a sleepy backwater rarely visited by passing ships despite its location at the end of the Spinward Main. Most of the population subsisted by farming and fishing, and the colony was limited to the large Jourin peninsula in the southern temperate latitudes, which allowed for the original virgin wilderness to remain nearly pristine. The local government was dominated by local community elders, who kept the individual settlements aloof from each other. The only institution held in common was the planetary militia and its supporting infrastructure.

An alien ship from the Alenzar belt (Foreven 3229) with the Chamax Plague, managed to make its way to Raschev, and disgorge several “bug” queens into the local wilderness. Finding local conditions amenable to their biology, the bugs reproduced out of control, and attacked the colony in massive numbers. Only through the careful coordination of the militia and several armed adventurer groups did the colony manage to stem the tide and prevent total destruction. After a siege of several weeks, Imperial Marine units from Five Sisters (Spinward Marches M) subsector responding to emergency assistance requests arrived, and in a month long campaign converted every bug they could find into puddles of ineffective protoplasm. The locals still remember this as the “Day of Hell’s Fury” campaign. The elimination process was accelerated by the recovery of alien technology from a second ship that neutralized the Chamax bugs attacks. Marine units were withdrawn at the outbreak of the Fifth Frontier War, but left behind Imperium employed mercs that spent the next five years mopping up remaining pockets of bugs.

Though the system was declared “all clear” by IISS monitors in 1112, the colony continued to encounter surviving bugs, and sporadic fighting has been recurring ever since. Not content to be at the mercy of a future catastrophe, the colonists reorganized their government and military, and opened up to much more offworld contact and trade. The old settlements are now increasingly sophisticated urban enclaves, heavily defended against bug incursions from the southern wilderness by a mixture of passive defenses and vigilant security forces. The heavily wooded wilderness is classified as amber, and private excursions are not permitted outside of the main settlements, with armed military aircraft and SAM units enforcing this ban. The colony has slowly expanded into the outback, aided by the massive influx of Regency citizens immigrating here during the early years of the Collapse. Forest land has been cleared for these settlers, and fortified towns equipped with modified ESA arrays have sprung up to increase the amount of territory under the governments control. Despite, or perhaps because of these efforts, the bugs have begun to evolve into more elusive creatures that live increasingly underground, and the war between them and the locals is far from being resolved.

 

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