A Firefly world
As the Earth That Was was being "used up", the Dysporia began. Any Rocky World in the Lifeband were Caeliformed (given biostandard atmospheres) by molecular cracking and the slamming of planets with comets (for the water). Some were given rudimentry Ecopoiesis (creation of an enduring ecology) and even terraformed (altered the planet surface to enhance a bit. This produced a huge number of barely habitable planets to disperse humanity to. This is most of the worlds on the frontier (and a few worlds in the core).
Madeira is not one of these world.
Madeira was created at this time, but unlike most worlds on the outer fringe (the old frontier) it was done with planning and care. This created a rich and habitable world, with a strong and moderately diverse biosphere and a solid climent; where most worlds on The Outer Worlds are dry and barely habitable.
Madeira was not designed to create wine. However, it had all the right elements, so the vinters came. The climate and soil in most lattitudes will support a variety of grapes. The dispersed seas keep storms to a minimum, but still generate weather effects. The climate is general pleasant for people to.
The colonist came to the ten continents. Those with an eye to the older arts came in droves. They created a florishing business here, driving the economy of the colony. Techniques that barely survived on Earth-That-Was are employed here. (And not just for wine.) No steel vats and forced fermination here. Here everything is handcrafted with care and pride, with wood, smoke, sweat, and tender care.
The people here are traditional in orrientation. This makes them tied to their lands (if they are land owners) or their crafts (if they are not) and their families. Their way is one of pride and skill. They see themselves as throwbacks to a more chivalrous time: one of honor and caring. They are not here for the credits (though credits are nice and never turned down). They are here for the mastery of themselves and their craft.
The emphasis on hand crafting and old ways bled over into other fields. Wrought Iron is both a craft and an art here. Carpentry with an eye for detail is common. Walls are plastered and often have frescos included. While guns are used, and the locals are quite skilled with them, theirs is a dueling culture here among the wealthy and middle classes. Perfecting of one’s body through the use of sword is encouraged for men and more adventurous girls. It is another reason people are so polite here. You never know who is going to pull out a sword.
Most people live in and around Manors, central house complexes surrounded by vineyards. The Manors are surrounded by a great deal of land, most of it being used by for agriculture. The Land Owner and his family run things, or at least own them. Skilled and unskilled workers are treated like minor family members associated with the manor. The longer and more loyal the service, the better you are treated. Each Manor function as a small town. It has all the basic services one would need.
There are towns and even cities (though a Coreworlder might be hard pressed to call them that) not attached to a specific manor. These serve several manors and usually have connections to the outside world or off world that manors do not have.
Shorthands for this world: Old World Vinyards, Honor, Spanish California.
Most Madeira Wines are fortified wines made in a variety of styles ranging from dry wines which can be consumed on their own as an aperitif, to sweet wines more usually consumed with dessert. Due to the unique maturation process most of the wines undergo, they are especially long-lived.
This method of vinification consists of subjecting the wine to a high temperature for a period of some months in buildings called estufas specially designed for this purpose. This process is meant to duplicate the effect of a long sea voyage of the aging barrels through tropical climates. The temperature varies from 35° to 60°C (100° to 140°F), according to the quality of the wine, the lower temperature being used for the better wines. Proper estufas are built of stone and are divided into compartments heated by means of hot air obtained from a system of stoves and flues.
Much of the characteristic flavor of Madeira wines are due to this practice, which hastens the mellowing of the wine and also tends to check secondary fermentation in as much as it is, in effect, a mild kind of pasteurization. Furthermore, the wine is deliberately exposed to air, causing it to oxidize. The resulting wine has a color similar to a tawny port. It is highly prized by those who live on the go, as it can be maintained with a proper cellar.
Other types wines, including some very fine Sparkling Wines from Madeira’s Cristal Region, are also made here.
The finest wines of the Outer Planets and some of the best wines in the Alliance.
Plots: Because you knew there had to be some
*Because of the method of terraforming used here, there are unusual deposits of valuable transuric elements and naturally occuring deuterium (2H), tritium (3H), and even quaderium (4H). Mining concerns have tried to "relocate" various Manor families to plunder the riches beneath them (including the enriched ground water). However, in doing such, they would destroy the soil and land these people have worked so long to cultivate.
*The Last Bottle: There is a rare bottle of wine. The ownership of such bottle seems to be in question. It is time to retrieve it. Players are hired as outsides.
The bottle is worth more than the "expensive wine" it holds. Who ever holds the bottle is the defacto leader to the Manor Holders for most of the planet. Thus resistance might be… intense.
*If you need some other plots, might I suggest the classics. Romeo and Juliet fits well. Othello is another fine piece, if you turn warfare into economic conflict or wine crafting. You can see where I am going with this. Turn your mind back to a gentler, more honorable time. On Madera, you need to get out of "The Western Mode" and shift into an Old California/ Zorro or "Old World" mode. People here are about honor and responsibility in an old world mode, not the Western Movie mode. This will give the players some disconnect, so make sure you have established the western mode in the campaign before and after any visit to this world.