Author Topic: Azure Skies: The World without Land  (Read 1910 times)

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Offline Siren no Orakio

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Azure Skies: The World without Land
« on: August 22, 2005, 12:56:41 AM »
With all due respect to Cheka's World of Urania and Moonhunter's Sky Realms,
this is what I created when faced with the task of colonizing Uranus in a semi-fantasy anime setting. This was largely a piece of background to the setting, and was not truly meant originally for a full campaign, but rather, one stop along a much larger campaign. There is little place in this setting for ye-ol-hack-n-slash. This is a place for ship-on-ship(or interstellar monster) combat, for political intrigue.  Be aware that some laws of physics are arbitrarily set aside, and that this is just a brief overview of a very, very unfinished setting.  
One of the newest and rawest of the Colonies, the chill light of the distant sun and utter lack of geography and habitable orbital bodies made Uranus extremely difficult to work with. With an atmosphere so deep that finding land above the point at which human life is crushed is impossible, and winds that claw and scream with the fury of a woman scorned, many despaired of ever finding a way to colonize this world. However, only a few generations ago, a solution was found. One of the airless moons was lowered deep into the atmosphere, and suspended by the same magic that lifted the massive colony ships that were soon to follow. Though structures were built on the outside, the small moon, now named Azure Skies, was swiftly tunneled out, creating a massive, floating tunnel-city, one where a light breeze can be felt even in the most sealed of rooms. The reward for all this effort? By harvesting the power of the wind, and transmitting it to the other colonies, Uranus now provides nigh-limitless warmth and power for the people of the colonies beyond the asteroids, where the sun is faint and chill.  
Still, however, this alone was not enough to justify such tremendous expense - This planet of endless sky would become a fortress, an untakeable rock for anything from the outside to sweep up against, and dash itself upon. Here the first battles would be fought, and here Darkness would break. And so, the people chosen for the colonization were of two bents: The scientific, and the military. The technicians responsible for upkeep of the structure would report to the military, who would train to break sieges upon this strange fortress. For eight generations now, the army and scientists have settled into this strange structure, their unique pressures causing them to find a new kind of social order.
The City of Azure Skies
A massive, tunneled rock that has been suspended in the skies of Uranus, this single city contains all of the population of the world. In a world of endless sky and eternal storm, there is is simply no other land to be occupied. Surprisingly, Azure Skies is not a cramped city, its tunnels bored wide and open, broad streets that lead to homes and businesses carved into the rock itself. Filled to the brim with a people who are innately practical at heart, these homes are spartanly decorated, free of clutter and superfluous furniture.  
The shared military experience of the Uranians brings a kind of unity to them that is absent in other places. As such, Azure Skies is a very orderly and generally peaceful town. While the occasional rowdiness is not unknown, there are very few of the more serious crime problems that plague other large cities.
At the outer boundaries of the city, vast turbines are mounted to harness the power of the wind, supplying heat and light to Azure Skies. Excess power, and this accounts for much more than is used, is transferred to the other Outer Worlds, so that those planets too far from the sun may support life. The method of this transferral is a focused beam of light, tight enough to travel from world to world with a minimum of energy dissipation. Should Uranus be attacked by ships, it is likely that this will also serve as its first line of defense, though it has never been tested as a weapon.
Society & Economy
The bizarre blend of war, research, and confined outpost that is the habitats of Uranus has created a society that is comparatively unique. The military and scientific elements of the society both prize efficiency and ingenuity, and it is not unsurprising that the people of Uranus in general prize both these attributes in a person. However, no one would ever mistake the vivacious Uranian for a machine or robot, for, in their orderly quarters, they have come to prize art, and there is not one Uranian who cannot perform in some artistic fashion, be it writing, painting, music, dancing, or any of a hundred other arts. The living quarters of Uranus are lushly decorated, many of them crafted by those who live there. Many outsiders are disturbed by this strange dichotomy, for, by all experiences, men and women like this are drones, yet the people of Uranus most certainly are not. Few outsiders who come here, however, remain 'outsiders' by long, either breaking down under the howling, chaotic winds and dull boredom of routine in a world without nature, or finding the delicate balance of creation and action required to fend off that boredom.
Economically, Uranus is completely reliant on imports for nearly everything: Food, clothing, weapons, tools, all must come from outside, and it is paid for in the raw stuff of life, the wind-power of the storm that substitutes for sunlight in the outer planets. Though capable of extending its food supplies for some time, to be cut off from the rest of the system would spell certain starvation for the tens of thousands that walk the corridors of Uranus.    
With the primary needs of the people, taken care of by the export of power, and distributed by the strong central military of the planet, there is still a need for something to do beyond their military jobs and art, and many sports have flourished in the windy halls of Azure Skies. Perhaps the most daring, however, is known as riding the storm. Men and women with more guts than brains don thin wings of cloth and metal, and glide upon the gale force winds of Uranus, in order to complete a circuit of the city. Unsurprisingly, the fatality rate of this is high, and only a few practice it. These few, however, are renowned and respected for their courage and skill at reading, and even commanding the skies themselves.
Military and Government.
By both law and by what passes for tradition in such a young world, every member of Uranian society between the ages of 20 and 140 is a member of the army. Each young man and woman is checked for aptitude, and assigned to a position most fitting their abilities. More than not are technicians, trained to upkeep the city of Azure Skies and its generators as well as to defend it. A smaller number are chosen as pure soldiers, trained against the inevitability of attack by the forces of Chaos. Even rarer are those trained to command, those who make the decisions that run Uranus.  
As of yet, the armies of Uranus have only been called upon to repulse the lightest of attacks, and have not been asked to execute a major war. Only time will tell if they have the mettle they have promised the Queen that they would develop.
As every adult citizen of Uranus is a member of the military, no other government is needed outside of that command structure. There is almost no nobility, there are no elections. Instead, those who show aptitude are promoted to officership, and those officers make up the bureaucratic backbone of Uranian government. Each officer has a pre-defined sphere of decision making, and, as aptitude tests must be passed in order to move upwards in authority, the politics of power are muted greatly.
Royal Family
Created more to soothe the nerves of the rest of the Empire than to serve the need for a hereditary ruler, the Royal Family of Uranus none the less serves both those needs. The first High General and his wife were chosen to serve in the role, with the promise that their children would be the first examined to replace them. Their daughter was found suitable, and in time, became the Queen of Uranus. So too, was her first daughter found to be suitable. And so, for the past six generations, the leadership of Uranus has passed through the hands of the family of Sa`Rosh.