In the vein of Star Trek, Stargate and other series, the universe must be packed full with strange planets, worlds of dead civilizations, abandoned colonies, blasted places as idyllic paradises.
Please put down your short descriptions (but of course feel free to make the longer ones submissions of their own, and link them here). If you need it, there are some more guidelines on what belongs here; you might also have a peek on Terraforming for inspiration.
There have to be places no man has ever been before!
1) Argidda 3 (habitable planet)
2) The Grilgah System (civilized world)
3) Bokon Planetettes (planetar remains)
4) G-3368b or Syland (hot ice planet)
5) Yaland (civilized world)
6) T’carrrr (civilized world)
7) Sothis 3 (civilized world)
8) Object HX7791-3F15 (rogue planet)
9) Karu II (metallic planet)
10) Sanctuary (metallic world)
11) Kelgon VII-R (dead ring-world)
12) Orbis (jovian world)
13) Acqua (civilized world)
14) Credell IV (civilized world)
15) K’theck’a IV (habitable planet)
16) Vidar II (habitable planet)
17) Tralbor Keres III(civilized world)
18) Camaden Park (habitable planet)
19) Nega-Mechanus (dead planet)
20) Vigo VII (metallic planet)
21) Kuboloth (planet with life)
22) Hene-Malstra (living planet)
23) Niffel I (planet with life)
24) The Veradani Loop (habitable asteroid belt)
25) Ricco IV (civilized world)
26) Persellon 5 (civilized world)
27) Enceladus (civilized ice world)
28) The Red Planet (habitable planet)
29) Oggriss (habitable fungal planet)
30) Eden (habitable magical planet)
31) Ordnung (civilized world)
32) D’thalk IV (one-stop planet)
33) Tangert I (researched planet)
34) Saffiros (crystalline world)
35) Troyius IV (prison planet)
36) Atramos aka Pel’d’dokhi IV (world in clouds)
37) Andros (purely male world)
38) Lucifer’s Pupil (metallic planet)
39) Scout Codename: Charlemagne (medieval world)
40) Pondras V, Subspace Relay 7756580 (abandoned world)
41) 11010011 (Dyson Sphere)
42) Pataan I and II (dead planet; habitable planet)
43) Koniaran III (habitable ghost planet)
44) T’kethican VII (gas giant)
45) Dadel (civilized world)
46) Pacifica (civilized world)
47) Prada IV (civilized world)
48) Gerlem III (civilized world)
49) Torgosire (metallic moon)
50) Tirion aka Pachelli II (civilized world)
51) Dover IX (civilized world)
52) Verden and Otraverden (civilized worlds)
53) P’Tald (partially civilized world)
54) Boyer Point (space platform)
55) Penti K’ggeel IV (civilized world)
56) Janus (civilized world)
57) Transar V (civilized world)
58) Parada II (civilized world)
59) Chryzanyll V. (habitable planet)
60) Gloriana (civilized world)
61) Grimston II (civilized world)
62) Pktoff IV (gently civilized world)
63) Geia (civilized world)
64) Estella’s World (irradiated planet)
65) Pico III (civilized world)
66) Oro (habitable planet)
67) Pochananalah IV (habitable planet)
68) Corinth (civilized world)
69) Hera (heavy planet with life)
70) Deepcrack (barely civilized world)
71) Ammophilon (blasted world)
72) T’P*k’al system (space platforms)
73) Chresselon 7 (jovian planet)
74) Collani II (civilized world)
75) Mathom (unvisitable planet)
76) Sheol (jovian planet)
77) Uuarra (civilized world)
78) Bedo III (civilized world)
79) Herron (civilized world)
80) Tobi IV (civilized world)
81) Vientos (gas giant with life)
82) Eltridies III (planet dominated by magnetism)
83) Velserphia (dimension-shifted, habitable planet)
84) Theseus IV (doomed planet)
85) Koobi IV (habitable planet)
86) Nora IV (habitable world)
87) Sargamon II (mostly dead planet)
88) Palgareen (dead planet)
89) Sph’ph World Of Individuality (habitable planet)
90) Punagra III (civilized world)
91) Vallen III and IV (civilized world; dead world)
92) Renga’Nahkhatath - World of Madness (habitable, wild planet)
93) Piel (civilized world)
94) New Cannan (dead world)
95) Sohmorn III (civilized world)
96) Dylon (civilized world)
97) FireEye (planet with much oxygen)
98) Cinder (dead planet)
99) Hesod II (civilized world)
100) Garsossa System aka Discount Bin (bunch of pitiable planets)
101) Madre (civilized world)
102) Norren (civilized world)
103) Thera (civilized world)
104) Sif and Hephaestus (civilized worlds)
105) Ferra III (civilized world)
106) Correani (habitable, wild planet)
107) Grehom (planet with life)
108) Zvorn (jovian planet with life)
109) Melegros IV (planet with ruins)
110) Grit (forming planet)
111) Miloran (metallic planet)
112) Centennial (civilized world)
113) Vulcan (planet with life)
114) The Hedron Cluster (terraformed planet; planet with life)
115) Arie (civilized world)
116) Medusa Flower (gas giant)
117) Solitude (habitable planet)
118) Pallan III (civilized world)
119) Mirage (habitable planet with life)
120) Frozen Filth (a cold, barely habitable planet with life)
121) Cronus (a toxic planet with some basic life)
122) Madeira (civilized world)
123) Geyser Eye (volcanic planet with life)
124) Deseret (civilized planet)
125) O-Hanna (civilized heavy planet)
126) Houston (civilized world)
127) Nob (civilized world)
128) New Liaoning (civilized world)
129) Bysthari (communication planet)
130) Mandan (civilized world)
131) La Venda (civilized world)
132) Lewiston (civilized world)
133) Gadsonia (civilized world)
134) Taorin (civilized world)
135) Willamette (civilized world)
136) Excelsia V (dead planet)
137) QVT6 IV (dead planet)
138) ManOrnna (civilized world)
139) Great Wheel—Border (civilized world)
140) Hawking’s Cloud (plasmatic cloud)
141) Banglore - Rim (civilized world)
142) Plava Vadonia (civilized world)
143) The Dark (hyperspace trashheap)
144) Kirillia 3 (planet with life)
145) Lartias II (dead planet)
146) Lucky Mile (inhabited planetoid)
147) Pharos, the Pleasure Planet (civilized world)
148) Kadomas IV, a frozen grave (frozen planet)
149) Hydesen III, the Beastworld (civilized world)
150) Eavon Ia (space station)
Additional Ideas (153)
Definitely an Earth-like world, the green and blue colours feel familiar. With several minor moons orbiting it, the planet is quite geologically active, and earthquakes are very common. Still it is a vibrant world teeming with life. Scanning for the traces of civilization reveals very little. However, the abandoned stations on the moons, as the occasional dead satellite prove an advanced, spacefaring civilization must have lived here long ago. (There may be found bodies of the former inhabitants, and hints on the fate of their homeworld.)
If landing on the planet, the spaceship and the crew will be attacked by strange machines, that will destroy any and all technological machinery, even equipment, up to communicators and phasers/blasters/whatever they may be carrying. And suddenly they are on a world of countless dangers and predators without any tool, or way to speak their mothership...
If successfully repealed, the machines will withdraw and regroup, repair their damage and attack again, more smartly, and in greater numbers if necessary. Eventually, the crew should be overwhelmed and stranded, or escape. Rescue missions have to be very fast, or face the same problem (beaming technology is a great getaway, but can be disabled by any number of known means ;) ).
What is going on here?!
Truly, an advanced civilization lived here. Being used to the regular cataclysmic earthquakes, they were also used to rebuilding their cities, regularly having them destroyed, safe as they could be.
One of the last advances was a system of automatic repair disassembling, and reassembling drones, that could safely take apart any damaged structures and machinery, clean up the space hit by an earthquake or flood (yes, tsunamis are here a threat, too), and prepare an area for construction work. Everything was designed perfectly, so nothing would go wrong...
...but something went wrong. Maybe it was one of the earthquakes that damaged a drone, freak accident, or even sabotage or experiment, no one will ever know. The self-repairing drones have obeyed their command of disassembling anything what is damaged - and destroyed the civilization that has built them in the process. Damaged drones were repaired, destroyed ones were replaced and multiplied as was necessary for the job. No creator was ever attacked, but it was not necessary. Eventually, any trace of the people of this world has been erased, by the drones and nature itself.
The drones still work, though rarely need to return to surface - only the occasional visitor gets to see them. Most of the time is spent in underground warehouses, which they constantly repair and keep up the store of raw metals and other vital materials for their masters to rebuild their world... sadly, they are not able to receive the commands anymore. Any disassembled technology will be sooner or later broken or melted down, and ends in the store. The wealth hidden here is astronomical - as would have to be the means of transporting it elsewhere.
Force is of little use here, a more intelligent approach is necessary. Maybe if their way of communication would be determined, their network could be attacked. (Note that they are by no means intelligent, but little changes to the better may have happened over the millenia of their existence.)
Aside from the drones, and constant earthquakes, the world is perfectly habitable.
1) The machines are spread across the whole planet, so it would need to be bombarded completely,
2) In the process likely destroying all those precious resources, not to speak a perfectly habitable planet
OK, that assumes nuclear warheads as the source of the EMP wave... other sources may fare better. The evil GM may of course make the machines immune. ;)
If they were hardened against EMP then it could be all bad. Of course, they will eventually repair themselves and improve themselves to be immune to the Pinches.
I could see the players thinking them selves all safe, then the drones emerge from the ground... then the fight of their life occurs. :)
This is probably the most believable Dead Civilization/World I've ever come across!
As many thumbs up as possible! :D
A single star, a handful of planets large and small, plenty of rocks, quite a common background for a spacefaring race. The locals have evolved in a bit stranger direction than usually.
Strongly xenophobic, the Grilgah are locked in a permanent war with each other. There are several factions that seem to change their names and even ideologies on a regular base. However, there are apparently rules of engagement that all sides follow. No side of the conflict was ever completely defeated, and there are long periods of weapon silence; no war to the last man here. No outsider is allowed to go beyond a certain boundary, or be destroyed; they do not leave their system either.
Don't stay for dinner
The system is a favourite stop for hardy (or novice) weapon smugglers, who like to show their newest products, in the hope that the picky Grilgah will buy something. There is some limit on the power of weapons they use, so even hand-to-hand weaponry is interesting to them.
Be careful, though, their complicated rules do not apply to outsiders at all - ships have been destroyed by one faction while negotiating with another; there was also at least one case of honest businessmen destroyed by their customers, to prevent the other side from learning what they bought.
Get in, do the business, get out.
Bokon was your standard industrial, pre starflight, early system flight, world. It was balkanized, so it was considered an Amber Zone for travel and contact purposes. The natives had begun to exploit the resources in their system, mostly mining the asteroid belt. The planet had a burdensom population and serious pollution issues. (All of these exacerbated the balkanization issues). They began to have high colonies, cities in space that had no purpose other than to hold population.
A generation and a half ago, Bokon had a nuclear war. One strike hit the seam of a central tetonic plate. The resulting intraplanet shockwave disturbed the molten core, causing secondary explosions. Seperated and cooled, Bokon became a mass of nine moonsized planetettes. The planetettes were not expelled by the disruptions, but simply broke.
The native surived on their sixty or so High Colonies, mining posts, and the three research outposts on the outer gas giant's moons. Utilizing their astromining expertese and floating resources, they managed to "recolonize" Bokkon, utilizing "the hollow asteroid" and "blister city" techniques that have served them well in The Belt. The various planetettes are linked by transit tubes and hypermagnium support struts. This keeps Bokkon somewhat together, preventing it from becoming a belt or endangering the High Colonies that are in the neighborhood of Bokkon. (note: survivors had been temporarily housed in High Colonized were pressganged back as workers to Bokkon. Now they live much like other colonists)
Of course, The Government, did not intervene during this disaster. Especially since the locals had it "all under control". Since the political issues were only magnified by the disasters, there is even less unity between the colonists now. The disaster also seems to have generated a slight zenophobic trend among these peoples. Thus any contact will be dicey, at best.
These feats of engineering might have a dark side. It looks like they might of recieved aid from an unsavory trading species. These traders may have been exploiting their need, giving them pitiful technology (advanced for them, child's play for most of Civilization) for valuable resources (especially Dutronal materials which these people have yet to discover the potential of Dutronal power sources). There is even a chance these traders might of nudged the species towards the war (there is some evience that it was a Dutronal device that broke the planet), to make them more receptive for their trading. Thus they are the only trustworthy aliens, as the bad aliens provoked the attacks that broke the planet.
Syland, named for its Toscan Discoverer, defies the conventional classifications for a planet. It is neither gas sphere nor rock sphere. It is an odd world due to is orbit, mass, and composition.
It's diameter is 49,750 KMs in diameter, roughtly four times standard diameters (Earth diameter). This would make it about the size of your standard mid sized gas sphere (about the size of Uranus or Neptune).
It neither rock, nor gas, but composed of Hot Ice III. This exotic material of very liquidy icey slush can only exist at high tempertures and pressures. The orbit at perihelion is a mere .3 AUs (45,629,310 Km), aphelion is .5 AUs. The surface temperature is an huge 250c, but that temperature diminishes quickly from the surface. Part of what makes the heat diminish is the rapid orbit of nearly 30 standard hours (a rate unheard of before its discovery for a sphere that large).
The gravity of the aquatic mass compresses even the gasious surface. The core of the sphere has a some particulate elements, but is mostly solid ice. And the material here is mostly H2O, with a combination of cabons, irons, and transuric materials.
The existance of X-ite is what makes this planet of commercial interest. A simple surface spectography found X-ite in more than trace amounts. The X-ite which can be refined out of the oceans here can be used in a variety of biologic processes, for cloning, bioengineering, and longevity. Several mining consortiums have begun to adapted gas skimmers so they will extract X-ite. They began to move this devices into the sector as they were still surveying the planet.
What makes this planetoid unique in the experience of the Known Space is the middle range. There is a unique lifeband on this planet, starting at 14,000 KMs in and ending at the compression point of 18,000. This is the liquid band. (The water is somewhat slushy, but recongizable as a liquid solid aggrigate.) While, this region has an average temperture of the life zone near an aquatic volcanic vent, it support a recognizable eco system. (Speculation that the x-ite rich environment allows for the abundence of life here is common). Freefloating plant like pods grow, absorbing heat energy from the currents. Plankton of myrid varieties grow. Adapted to the pressure and heat, a variety of Jelly creatures and primative cartilaginous creatures exist. These primitive fish can grow to quite a huge size, nearly the size of a Tallar or Sperm Whale.
What has ecologists and zenooceanographers so excited is that one of the Jelly creatures is begining to develop the signs of proto-intelligence. A variety of aquatic sentients whish to make the planet a preserve and study them.
The Senate will take up the matter in the next session. Until that time, it may come to a shooting conflict to protect the planet from commerical exploitation.
Science note: Water has more than a dozen solid states, only one of which is our familiar ice. Under very high pressure, water turns into other solid states denser than both ice and liquid water, just as carbon transforms into diamond under extreme pressures.
The high pressures in the planet's interior would compress the water so much that it would stay solid even at hundreds of degrees Celsius There are a variety of exotic 'hot ice' states possible in such conditions. There would be a transitional band between the gas and solid state where the temperture and pressures would be ideal for a water-esk material.
Yaland is a classic world (standard 20 amino acid biosphere of moderate temperture and size). It's was lifeseeded by The Johnnies, the ancient race that has been lost to time who began a massive terraforming project two eons ago with their Appleseeds. While colonized by Earthstock, Yaland was one of the early tailored colonies. Each tailored colony was psychoengineered and often genegineered to meet certain criterias of the founders. In Yaland's case, it was called a "traditional mindset and society".
Yalanders were genegineered. While they are cosmetically quite varied, they are all the same. Yalanders have a notable sexual dimorphism. Males are tall, large, strong, and with a confident air that borders on arrogance. They tend to be overprotective of those smaller than them (which can include many travellers). Females tend to be smaller than EarthNorm, though more dexterous, and are quite shy and quiet (at least until they get to know one). Their secondary characteristics are ... quite enhanced. Their gender roles and relations seem to be set in -400 pre star era, (1800s). While all these traits are within EarthStock Norms, most travellers feel uncomfortable at their lack of social variation.
The technology and society of Yaland is the standard sustainable agro-tech mix, though the traditional thought patterns that dominate the psychology of the natives has caused it to lag well behind most of the univese in most technical regards. There are six dozen large cities scattered about the globe, with the bulk of the population living in large towns in other areas.
Immigration is allowed, but not procreation. The laws for psychogenetic traits here are quite strict. Unless the child is genemeshed to Yalanders status, or the species meets the proper psychosocial criteria, no outside breeding is allowed (except for temporary visas, usually related to the space ports and not to exceed two years).
It the planet was not on the P'Atrade warp route, it would be an ignorable oddity. As a major stopping point, and its busy starport and orbiting docks, it's presence is felt by travellers and traders alike.
This .88 G 22 ammino acid biosphere world is notable for two things, the largest arboreal plants in the known universe - Grand Trees - and the smallest intelligent lifeforms - The Keeet.
This small world is covered by tens of thousands of giant brambling trees. By giant, no living thing is taller. They reach nearly 4000 feet (1.2KMs) in height. These branching trees cover several square miles each, both in roots and canopy (and they cover 71% of the land surface). The core trunks are nearly 500 feet (154 M) in diameter at base levels. Your prime branches are 80 feet 21 meters) in diameter. Various butress branches allow support to be spread out, as they branch both down and up. The green leaves are everywhere on the smaller branches and a suprising amount of light filters down from the top canopy. Though of zeno-genetic origin (the origin of the 22 amino acids, as the rest of the lifeforms are 20 acids), these lifeforms have become native to their world and have done what all green life has done.. created an eco system to sustain themselves.
Living amongst the branches and brambles of the Grand Trees are the Keeet. While balancing on the Grand Trees, they perfected a balance between Traditional (hunter/gatherer/eco tied) and Industrial (technical and artificial) cultures and lifestyles. They weave smaller branches and reinforce them with artificial means to create buildings in the branches. From there they have developed a sophisticated chemical, plastics, and biochemical industry. The Grand Trees provide for them, and they assist the Grand Trees with support and healthcare/ maintance/ botanical medicines.
It is only in the last two centuries that they have colonized the flatlands of their planet. (The local flatlanding creatures are quite aggressive and powerful.) At contact, they had reached orbit flight.
The Keeet are protovulpids avatari by classic definition.
They are 2 feet (.6 meter tall) foxlike creatures. (Yes think of standing cartoon foxes, with cute tails). They are full grasping being, with dexterous thumbs. Their hand claws are usually trimmed back by males, painted and shaped by the females, foot claws are shaped by both sexes.) They are spry and friendly, having adapted from low bramble life to everywhere on the Grand Trees through organization and technical expertise. Their squeeky voices can manage Standard Tongue quiet elequently. The Pop sensation Jayaliii is a Keet.
The planet itself does not have a starport, and glide landings are the only allowed. Transport on and offworld is via three beanstocks (the 4th had been lost to a disaster two generations ago and is still being rebuilt) and orbital cities. Their size, low G origins, and technical expertise, make Keet first class spacers.
This planet is known for its beauty and relaxing tropical atmosphere. The world has nothing but small and large islands in a saphire blue sea (hydrographic percentage is actually 61, there is more land here than on Earth, just in smaller parcels). The entire planet is fairly tropical, though there are some polar variations (and different comfort bands). It is a world commonly sought by interstellar vacationers and starship crews on shore leave.
There are a variety of resorts here and an underground maglev system that connects them. You can find non tech resorts, giant glass and steel archologies full of shopping and rooms, places for the competative surfer, admusement parks, nature preserves, undersea habitats, cliffside resorts designed for winged beings, ski resorts, and everything else you can imagine. There is gambling, dancing, food, drink, and other recreation options. (And areas where those are not permitted, so you can have a "sin free" vacation if required.
The locals are friendly, helpful, and willing to share everything. They are EarthStock, with asthetically pleasing proportions. While there is some variation in the population, most are gold eyed, gold hair, and tan skinned. It seems like a tailored colony started here.
When picturing the planet, it is like an all inclusive resort. Only gambling and travelling out of a given zone seems to have a specific price.
The planet has little in the way natural resources. If it wasn't for tourist industry, there would be no industry here. Sothis III has an irregular orbit in a loose trinary sun system. The planet's idylic conditions are maintained artificially. Powerful weather control pylons and a satellite shielding system.
The entire planet is actually owned by the Reeden Corporation. This is the anchor of their resort combine. Though the planet was habital (barely) before Reeden came, they were the ones that "colonized" the world. When the number of people who came here to work was insufficient to their needs (a pitance really), they took to cloning and synths. While this fact is not secret, it is not generally known. These identured servents help make Sothis so friendly; as They literally live to serve and are quite willing to share themselves. They also help "shill" the resort, allowing any number of beautiful and handsome beings to fill in the background. Despite being synthetics, they are given quite a bit of free time and some real discretionary income (being indentured servants rather than property). In fact most of the free snythetics still live and work here at the resorts, as they find total acceptance here. Some free synths actual hire the company to birth their children (which start as teenagers/ young adults).
It should be noted, that many free Synths "migrate" here. Perhaps the planet's only industry will be Synth creation.
Not a planet by definition, this large rocky object was it probably long ago. It is a dark, lonely traveller through the depths of space, catapulted from its original position by something large. Now, after uncounted millenia, it is a cold and dead place, with most of its atmosphere lost to the solar winds.
Being dark and emitting little radiation, the position of this object is very hard to find; unless it happens to cover stars behind itself when someone is looking, they only way is direct discovery.
It is unknown who first found Object HX7791-3F15, but for a time it has been used by smugglers and other shady characters as a drop-off and meeting point. This ended, when the two borders of two empires came much closer, and one power in particular was keen on keeping the track of the travels of its rival's ships. It was discovered by the other side, but not before serving as a rally point for a large invasion fleet. And as the borders have moved, this rock has been again forgotten...
(Note that there may be many, many more rogue planets.)
Seen too much - passing the planet or finding it by chance, the crew sees something mightily suspicious. Is there a new invasion forming?
Robinson - there is some life here! A man has been set out with a power source, some pre-fab materials. and food along with plants to grow. He should be self-sufficient for at least some time, and claims to have been set out for some minor transgression (or mutiny). Will you help him? What if he is some homicidal maniac?
X Marks the Spot - debris stays behind every ship, but somebody has hidden here a valuable piece. Merry greetings from Treasure Island.
Epochs past, the Karu system was the home of an advanced civilization. However,they were destroyed in a war of titanic proportions. The former home world is little more then a charred cinder, depleted of resources and furiously radioactive. However, born from the apocalypse is a new, strange planet, designated Karu II.
The planet is the accumulated remains of the wreckage of two unimaginably large battlefleets. Through millions of years of collisions and the impact of solar wind, the wreckage has collapsed onto itself forming a small, but very dense planet. During it's history sufficient amounts of transuranic metals collected at it's core and started a sustained nuclear reaction. The heat served to melt much of the metal that formed it, as well as creating a thick atmosphere from the myriad of plastics and other materials. This atmosphere is rich in many chemicals and is dreadfully toxic.
The planet is 500km in diameter but has a gravitational force of about 1.3G. It has a thick atmosphere with usable amounts of oxygen, but has a pressure of 3 atmospheres at 'sea' level. The remainder of the atmosphere is a devil's brew of hydrocarbons, radioactive gases, acids, and many other noxious chemicals.
Of course, this planet is considered a treasure trove of raw materials and even with its dangerous atmosphere, high radiation and powerful magnetic field, mining outposts exist. The mining is difficult, but there are few places in the universe with the same concentrations of pure metals.
The passage of millions of years has destroyed most of the technological artifacts of the system, leaving little of interest except to miners, and xeno-historians trying to seek the truth about that long past disastrous war.
Two to Tango
Obviously for there to be a war large enough to provide this much debris, the battlefleets would have to be the product of thousands of star systems. Though the expanse of time is immense perhaps some remains of the enemy species still persists. Perhaps they make a pilgrimage back to this system every millennia or so to mark their species victory.
Digging has uncovered a vast deposit of precious metals. The resulting rush on the small planet draws even more miners to the dangerous planet.
Not everything has succumbed to the march of time. An automated defense satellite, thrown into a tremendously long orbit now is returning. It's orbit will bring it close to Karu II, where it will use it's wonderfully advanced weapons to incinerate any alien presence. The PCs' will need to find some means to disable this death machine from ages past.
The homeworld of the Oraki, Sanctuary is the remnants of an ancient planet in orbit around Van Maanen's Star, less than 15 light years from Sol. It is a cold, dead planet, consisting almost entirely of metals and heavy, with a particularly high concentration of the transition metals.
Holding a distant orbit from its parent star, Sancutary was once a massive gas giant planet, untold billions of years ago. However, as its parent star grew old, and died, it swelled, and then collapsed into a white dwarf, burning away much of the atmosphere of Sanctuary as it did so. Passing another star near by would later send the orbits of the remaining worlds here into chaos, the last remaining gas giant plummeting into Van Maanen's Star, even as it cast Sanctuary into a long, elliptical orbit. The enormous planet's store of hydrogen was enough to coax the star into a nova, bathing Sanctuary in heavy elements as the outer layer of the star exploded out once, before settling down.
Now, something akin to life has burrowed its way into the crust of Sanctuary, with great tunnels being dug into the metallic surface of the world, turning it into a teeming hive of activity. While the machine-men have managed to bring an atmosphere to the tunnel hives, the outer surface of the world remains cold and barren, free of any but the wisps of its old hydrogen atmosphere, slowly evaporating from ancient deposits of the metal.
While the major trade of the world is its tremendous mining resources, a peculiarly ironic sort of tourism industry has started to crop up. This industry primarily caters to the residents of jungle and luxury worlds, providing a cool, dry, and dark counter point to the tropical heat and dampness.
A relic from an ancient race, Kelgon VII-R is considered by most of the sentient races of the galaxy to be an arrogant display of raw power, even as they scrabble with each other over the artifacts found upon its surface and within its structure.
Rather than a planet proper, Kelgon VII-R is an artificially constructed Ring-world, built around the remnants of what was once a gas mega-giant planet, ejected from its solar system when its home star went super-nova. Inside the inner rim of the construct is a now-frozen surface that was once a living world not entirely unlike Earth, the gentle centrifugal action of the turning rim reinforced to 1.5 g by enormous gravity generators placed along the rim. Four of these generators are much larger than the others, each nearly twenty miles in height, its field designed to project inwards, where they would compress the planet, igniting it as a minor star.
However, the planet is dead, the quantum-point power generators long since gone quiet, the hydrogen and helium of the artificial star burnt up into an enormous carbon-charcoal briquette aeons past. The atmosphere has chilled, and even liquified, leaving oceans of liquid argon-oxygen to slosh around between the rims of the slowly turning ring.
Here, in this cold and hostile environment can be found technological treasures that could bring about a revolution of the galaxy... if they can be retrieved intact. What with the hostility of the environs and the attentions of other jealous treasure hunters, or even entire navies, getting out with the bit is likely to be much harder than finding it in the first place...
This planet is a large blue-white gas planet twice the size of Jupiter orbiting at the equivalent distance from it's star of Mars in our rl Solar System. The atmosphere is composed of one quarter oxygen, one quarter carbon, one half nitrogen, and trace amounts of neon and carbon. Whist the cloud tops are very cold, it grows warmer the further in you go and the atmosphere thickens into an ocean, with huge waves and storms that never touch land.
Vast hurricanes swirl around the planet.
There are rumours that some kind of life could exist in the depths that can cope with the crushing pressures, acidic waters and strong currants but all the space probes sent in to find some trace of it have perished.
Since that day, several expeditions found nothing, though a few happened to measured strange values in the planet. But until the day when somebody actually gets down and looks, the secret will stay unrevealed, and the stories will multiply.
Enjoy the legend of the Loch Ness monster in a new medium. :)
This planet was once a fairly nice world, just inside the standard range for temp and gravity for a 20 amino acid ecology. That was 1200 years ago. Now, it is deep in the throws of an ice age. Large furry creatures and ragged humanoids (proto-feline) eek out a living on the snow and ice in the few habitable areas near the lower latitudes. There are a few roaming tribes looking for Summer on the upper latitudes.
The planet has the standard pre-contact quarantines in place. No contact with the proto intelligent humanoids is allowed. However, it has certain exempted strategic materials, so careful exploitation is allowed. (X-ite, Dillithium, Duetronic materials, and a rare isotope of water mixed with an exotic mineral creating a perfect hyperconductor). If there is any contact between the miners and the proto intelligents, the full quarantine protocols will be enforced, stopping all zeno activity on the planet until the species evolves into a pre-starflight species.
What makes this different and more difficult than the handful of other planets in this situation is that the proto-intelligent some what between animal and sentient) beings are telepathic and have a gestalt. Each clan/tribe functions as one tightly knit being. At this time, there is no sign that the tribes will work together or that their telepathy will work beyond a mere signal sense on other species.
Echo 3 is down! Someone crashes and it is a race to get to him before any of the Tribes get to him. If they do, the planet will go to a full quarantine and no mineral wealth will be exploitable.
The Quester: A single shaggy humanoid is searching for summer in northern climes. If he comes into contact with us, he will generate a full quarantine protocol. However, his telepathic powers will let him snoop the minds of the people. This will change him and he will move into sentience. Do you kill the Quester to eliminate the evidence of contact? Do you adopt him and bring him into the family of races. Do you hunt him down before he can contact another clan tribe, and pass on this gift of intelligence?
The planet is a full habitable world with a fairly functional non toxic 21 amino acid ecology. It has useful landmasses, good hydrographic percentage and a moderate mineral wealth.
It is also a class V biohazard amber zone.
It has a huge colonal population with a society and industry that was just about to step into a periphery planet status. That has changed now.
It is also a lesson as to why quarantine proceedures exist.
One small bug from a distant world destroyed the colony. Okay it was like a cockroach, as hard to kill, immune to most electromagnetic radtion, moves with speedy leaps, and can stick to walls. Who would of thought it would be such a problem. It wasn't such a problem on the planet it came from, or any of the other planets in that system. (The creature was a known hitch hiker).
The creature had an annoying habit to getting in tight spots and equipment. It seems to even like "the hum" for electrical, plasma, and even stable components from photon systems. While occasionally a nuisance for chewing on organic plastics, generally it was ignorable. (It is noted as responsible for the term "A Bug in the System").
It is a hardy little beast, able to digest any number of non standard protiens (in fact the bionucleatides are now being used in bio-generators across Known Space). So it arrived on the planet. Without predators, immune to the toxins used to kill the local bugs, and able to eat most of the organics on the planet, the bug went from a slight pest to major issues within two years.
Given the "expansion" of the creature without checks and a new environment, change was only natural. The behavor of the creatures changed with the changed environment. (It is unclear if this was an evolutionary change or an environmental mutation). It became a swarming creature, as large groupings of these creatures would sweep across an area. While they prefer plant matter, they will eat flesh, if the flesh is not resisting too much. Sleeping people don't resist enough, fast enough, to stop a swarm from eating them.
Given the bugs ability to get inside machines and hitchike to new environments, no place was safe. They would eventually get inside habitats and closed enivornments. If the bug was female and pregnant, the habitat was doomed.
The creatures can be functionally aquatic for a time, able to hold its breath for nearly three standard hours (like a cockroach can). In that time swarms can feast on all the shallow dwellers.
Civilization has abandoned the planet.
As things stand now, each swarm stays in an area for a time, nearly stripping it of organics. They will then seemingly randomly swarm in a direction, snacking on everything in their path, until they come to a new territory. There are dozens of swarms on the planet. When swarms collide, they will take to eating each other.
There is a orbital monitoring habitat watching the sitaution and monitoring the changes in the bugs.
So far, Grav-Bugs (see Encyclopedia Galatica reference 005464897546646) as they are colloquially known by Spacers have proven no hazard anywhere else they have traveled (Known on 26 systems), other than just being a pest.
Enforcement officials call them Smuggler Bugs. Only smugglers avoid proper quarantine and are responsible for the spread of Grav Bugs.
It should be known, that these creatures seem to have minimal effect on lower tech societies. Without their favorite machines to hide in, they are just another bug easily caught by some predators.
That means the first six to eight hours of the trip would have to be in vac just to be sure.
They are a dangerous thing.
This barren world is barly habitable by the standard range. It is cool, dry, and low O2. The copper rich soil is green and windblown. The highest local form of life is a low crawling moss like plant that is green and rust colored. Not the brightest spot in the universe.
Since no one wanted to colonize the world, even the Argar who live on such worlds, the Science Patrol has set up a research station. It is quite good sized actually, as their main school for terraformers is on Vidar. While light suits are required between the beautiful buildings of white plexisteel and blue forceglass windows, the campus is a sprawling affair with dorms, classes, hangers, simulation domes, and some supporting businesses. Here several hundred beings who will be utilizing mecha and waveform generators to make worlds more habitable are trained on both simulators and scaled down vehicles and heavy gear.
More than one person has quipped that the planet itself is a lesson. It shows what someone is not supposed to make with terraforming.
This is a standard range 20 amino acid ecology on the high end of gravity (1.15g). Other than no birds, the ecology is fairly unremarkable. The colony has been here for so long, nobody considers it a colony any more.
Tralbor is a bastion of civil liberties. Not quite a tailored colony, the founding population strove to set up as free a society as possible. Many of the standard social laws and restrictions commonly found on most worlds are not found here, though many of the taboos and traditions maintained or at least given lip service. The watch word generally is "If no one, thing (including a business, so it can be done... but you must give compensation), or society is harmed, then it is legal." So unfurred species will occasionally walk around naked, just because they can. In fact, many Tralborians just do odd things because the mood struck them and they can.
This includes publically carrying serious firearms or melee weapons. Using them is generally illegal, but carrying them is not.
The most important concept is the Tralbor home law. Inside ones own home, you can do anything. So things that would be generally illegal even on Tralbor can be done in the privacy of their own home. In fact, by simply saying to the enforcement officer at your door, "No, there is nothing wrong in my home", they can not go any farther.
You can murder someone in your own home, but the moment you leave you are in violation. The capping rule for that is search for "missing people" in other people's homes. And the radiation monitors tacked on the outside peoples houses (to catch those running their own reactors).
Tralbor has always been a shinning example of civilization and freedom. That reputation is a bit tarnished now. The Home Law was extended to business nearly a generation and a half ago. A places of business, if a proprietor sleeps in them for over 60% of the time, counts as a home. Thus any vice, deprevation, and stock can be had in a Tralborian city. In fact most Trablorian Cities are looking like a cross between Times Square, Los Vegas, and a Red Light district. Give that the other freedom laws exist, you can do many things on Tralbor that give most people pause.
Camaden Park is a private planet owned in the Calen Series. The Park is a highly terraformed world, simulating a variety of "wild" terrains and ecologies in each region. (Forcefield fences seperate various regions.)
It seems like a bio diversity preserve. That is not true. The Park is a hunting preserve, for those who wish to stalk wild prey, either for the thrill (blasters) or to honor the ways of their ancestors (spear, bow, long arm, etc). You can hunt anything you want with any weapon set you desire, if you purchase the correct license. The lodges spread around the planet are quite posh actually. (a few primative camps have been set up as well.) Some people just come here for those resort like lodges and the nearness to all this wildness.
Of course, this wildness is not really wild. It has been carefully constructed to be some what sustainable. That which is not sustainable is the "big prey". That is replenished by the use of bioscience.
The process is quite simple. Animals in the Wilds (or clones that have been in the park and uncaught for a while) are taken down. While down, they are brain scanned and blood cloned. When in the tanks the memories are implanted. While this process does not work (or work well) for intelligent creatures, it does work for lesser ones. and yet another copy of the same animal is produced. There is a bank of approximately 50 of each kind of beast (if the wild population allows). Thus a fully capable Power Cat or Tiranadon are able to be decanted fully functional and releasable to the wilds.
Most of the hunters here are not interested in a "canned" hunt. Nor will the staff do nothing more than make sure a number of the desired animals are available. (Though Guides are available.) After all, hunting is a game and you must play by the rules. (Besides, biogenerated animal products are available in the various shops on the park).
Unsavory tales of hunting biomodified creatures or mixed creatures (imagine an animal with the skills, memories, and instrincts of a superior carnivore) are part of the rumor mill surrounding this place. Some of rumors are somewhat true, as anything can be had for enough of a price for a trusted client. Being considered an amusement park, rather than a bio preserve, they can skate around the normal grey area illegalities with modified bioforms.
Yes this does mean that "historical" creatures can be had by a regular customer if desired. However the price of reconstructing such a creature and its mentality (splicing various memory tapes together to make it a functional creature) can be quite steep.
One thing that nobody does think about. While sentient clones and memory tapes do not create very functional clones.. they will last long enough to be huntable. And sentients really are just another animal, and these clones are really here just for the sport. So there are a couple of bankable "barbarian" and "traditionals" tapes and samples in the gene bank here.
Nega-Mechanus was once known by another name long forgotten by the current inhabitants. Now, the world is no longer living it is as one would say void of life. But, it wasnt always so. Nega-Mechanus was once a thriving lush world filled with magic, dragons, castles, and high adventure. This all came to a drastic end in less than an eon.
Two empires were locked in war for nearly two centuries; each developing new technologies and weapons to attempt to get an upper hand. In the end, both sides were committing horrible acts of war to try and gain the upper hand. It is unsure what side created the great void constructs but in the end it wouldnt matter the constructs would take over the world and form it into a new home, void of all life.
The entire planet is covered in rows and rows of domes set in perfect uniform order, within each is a magic energy crystal that pulsates negative energy. These crystals are created from the destruction and absorption of life. This life is turned into negative energy this negative energy is used to power the constructs. The constructs use almost no energy to perform day to day activities but to utilize their special negative energy powers they must feed on life or be near one of these energy sources they cultivate.
The planet is 90% void of life the only life on the planet is allowed to create new energy sources and this life is created artificially in green houses. They prefer to feed on real life but these artificially created living specimens help to increase their numbers they can live almost forever on very little energy.
The negative energy constructs Negamechs are spider-like creatures. The smallest are 1 in diameter, not including the legs which usually extend three times their body length. The largest of the negamechs are massive unmoving creatures used during the height of the war against the living. These creatures are almost 1 mile in diameter and their legs reach about 3 miles if pulled directly away in a straight line from their body. These creatures lie in a state of hibernation waiting for a threat to arise that would need them to be awakened. The most common of the Negamechs are about 8 feet in diameter and have legs that are 24 feet long. It should be remembered though because of the way their spider-like legs work they seem much smaller.
The constructs were created originally to destroy all life they encountered and then use that life against the enemy. At first they were the ultimate weapon, crawling across the terrain destroying every living thing in their path. Then the negamechs ran into larger enemies and suffered great losses many of these losses came from dragons. In response, the creators of the negamechs decided to give them some autonomy so that they could rebuild in the field and create others of their own kind to deal with new threats. They were even more successful then the largest of the creatures appeared on the battlefield. Standing over a mile in height these massive mountainous creatures had no equal. Then without warning the creatures turned on their masters and began to wage a war on two fronts. When the creators gave their mechanical creatures autonomy they also gave them the ability to create new negamechs. These negamechs were smarter and worst of all the newly created negamechs had their own intelligence; something the creators didnt think about.
When the largest of the creatures was created it was given the ability to communicate over long distances to any other negamech. It used this ability to drive the negamech to become the masters of this new world.
Adventures on Nega-Mechanus
Nega-Mechanus is a world that hates life and to be alive on the planet is to be hunted down and absorbed. But, this hatred for life sends them through the strange portals that the ancients (their creators) had created long ago. Sometimes, the creatures will enter a world and set up a forward position to begin the eradication of life on another planet.
The giant negamechs are actually in and of themselves giant dungeon crawls. Within their body a giant negative energy crystal acts as the heart. The entire inner portions of the giant ones are large dungeons and are filled with normal negamechs and even many that are smaller even some that
Located at a crossing of several trade routes and near two wormhole openings, the Vigo system has flourished, and all of its planets have seen heavy colonization and/or use, such as mining, storage, etc.
Save the seventh.
A smooth sphere made of utterly black material, it's... perfect, in a sense of the world. As far as scientists could tell, it is a totally flawless sphere, and it's made of one material only, distributed, apparently, in a perfect crystalline structure, exact to the atom.
Due to some strange field or ... magic? ... anything hitting the surface gets transformed to energy, disappearing in a bright flash.
Still, the weird world with a perfectly circular orbit has seen quite some use, besides being an immense monument to the number pi.
The heavy merchant ships that criss-cross the Vigo system, more or less just shells full of goods with barely sufficient engines attached use its mighty yet totally symmetrical and predictable gravitational well to turn without losing too much speed, or to catapult themselves into the depths of space, saving time and fuel.
To that end, platforms with guidance systems and dispatcher, as well as docking bays for small guide ships have grown around the anomalous planet, enhancing the safety of the "Runs 'round Vigo".
To humans and any alien that is effected in any way by alcohol, Kuboloth is not a safe planet to land on without a spacesuit or at least a respirator. It is a temperate planet except at the poles and equator and has seas, rivers and lakes over half it's surface-but instead of water, they are alcohol of the drinkable kind with the same strength of vodka and the fumes will intoxicate within minutes and kill within an hour if breathed too much.At the poles there are no fumes but the cold temperatures will rapidly freeze any unprotected flesh.
The seas are rich with fish and other sea creatures, although the life on land has yet to evolve past the insect/spider/small lizard level. None of the life of the planet is in any way harmed by the alcohol.Scientists do not know why it ended up with oceans of alcohol instead of water.Some nickname it "Drunkenougth"
The atmosphere would need a ton of noble and other inert gasses to prevent fires. The slightest bit of electrical production (from any rain cloud or storm cloud) and a firestorm would result given the super saturated air without it. That means the water ecology would have to be VERY ALIEN, living with little to no Oxygen and sufficating inert gasses.
The atmosphere would need a higher pressure to, to prevent all this etoh from evaporating. You are going to need higher gravity.
- the whole world could be made colder (below water's freezing point), which would lower the speed of reaction... and the chance of global incineration. Also, alcohol that was still liquid at those temperatures could serve as an alternative to water.
- one of the gases to make this atmosphere complete, could be nitrogen. It is relatively inert, but has some potential to support life, and create more complex molecules.
- given all the strangeness surrounding this biosphere, what if the life here isn't based on the CNO triumvirate, but something else? Then it would make only sense that it tries to get rid of those components, as desperately as our kind life forms tries with oxygen. Pick silicon or something similarly weird.
Science going insane! Tonight! :)
(currently located at the Ardor star system)
A sphere twice the diameter of Mother Earth, Hene-Malstra (though often just called The Hene) is colored in radiant hues of green, and scantily clad in a soft cloud cover. Its atmosphere, scented by uncounted fragrances, is devoid of pollutants and very humid. Despite its huge size, the gravity is only 0.79 times earth norm.
Oh, and it is alive.
Centered around a ball of rock, as far as scientists could discern, Hene-Malstra consists mostly of biomass - a composite being resembling a lichen somewhat in that the surface features plant-like structures abundant in chlorophyll and other light-absorbant pigments, while the lower parts are moist and vaguely reminiscent of fughi. Detached organisms roam the passages in the fungus, tending to the needs of the body, processing dead parts, rearranging the extensive network according to a hidden pattern and fighting off threats.
Still, it is not inherently hostile to sentients wandering across its surface, nor its depths, and seems to have taken a liking towards certain individuals, producing nutrient buds in their vicinity. Most who have wandered the pulsating surface of the Hene agree that while its spirit may be strange, the planet thinks, or rather, dreams, a pool of diffuse conscience.
Moreso, its dreams will swap over into the conscience of whose in the vicinity, filling their sleep with surreal images, and also acting as a sort of relais, connecting them to the mind of their fellow on an emotional level, transmitting emotion and rudimentary thought fragments from individual to individual.
Besides thoughts, the planet is pervaded by a strange radiation called 'Primal Light' by researchers, closely akin to fields surrounding a few enigmatic Progenitor artifacts. Most likely is this what causes so many changes upon the offspring of those who have visited Hene, and even upon the visitors themselves: bathed in Primal Light, close to the planet's vast mind, their bodies become malleable to the will of creation, and they change, falling into prolonged dreaming. Of the Dreamers, none are the same when they awaken. No way of telling who will dream and who will not exists, and likewise, the changes are hard if not impossible to predict. Henth Galad, an esper who experienced the Dream, claims that Hene has communicated with him and wished to know his desire.
Truth or falsehood, Galad's skin was changed into a highly sensitive and malleable sensoric membrane, and one of his children also displays this gift.
Due to no mineable resources, no trade goods and its unpredictable nature, the commercial sector avoids the Hene almost completely, much unlike the alternative crowd and misfits, who come to experience the dreams, or change their lives, or to try to speak to the planet. Some leave, some stay, some are never seen again.
Due to two factors does Hene-Malstra see little violence: the link between sentients that it creates means that anyone causing pain will experience it himself; second, as an admiral of the Pybaran navy demonstrated when he ordered his battleship's crew to fire the main batteries at the planet and was soon thereafter strangled by his own arms, the planet's mind is strongly opposed to aggression. Exceedingly deviant individuals setting foot upon the Hene have been known to be consumed by the maintenance pseudo-animals soon thereafter.
Another planet resembling the Hene, a smaller one, a rock ball about the size of Pluto, with an organic layer half a mile thick has been reported in the frontier system of Corszon two standard months ago, piqueing the interest of the scientific comunity.
Hene-Malstra is classified as a biohazard of unknown degree due to its mutative capabilities, and causes many a furrowed brow due to its habit to bask in the rays of a sun for a timespan of three terran months to around fifty earth years, then enter warp space and head off somewhere else. Sometimes, it will halt next to a gas giant or aquatic planet, extend tendrils, and tank up on essential resources.
Several previously unknown lifeforms have been discovered upon worlds in the wake of Hene's passing.
Currently, the Hene has relocated to the populous Ardor star system, and many of its inhabitants fear what changes the green planet may bring.
Gaia at its finest!
A hot rockball near the orange sun of Nifel, the planet is bathed in intense solar radiation, with its surface reflecting it - volcanic vents and seas of molten rock washing against beaches of black sand make for a truly idyllic place. For the Void-Shark, they are indeed.
Huge armored beasts they are, able to withstand the cold embrace of vacuum, the hot fury of the solar winds, and impacts of smaller meteors.
The imposing yet, praised be the lord, generally dim-witted and calm void-shark propels himself with a limited ability to control gravity, creating a gravity well ahead of himself and sliding along space.
For a diet, he chews up asteroids or just about anything where he senses fissionables, as their malignant glow is transformed into energy in the void-shark's gut. Thus, larger specimens can endanger ships using those as fuel: a leak is akin to a trail of blood.
Niffel I is unique because it is the sole place where void-sharks come to mate and deposit their eggs. Somehow, they know when the sun is approaching a period abundant in solar flares, and they flock to Niffel to take part in the loudest mating ritual known to mankind, calculated per mating couple.
After the throes of passion are over, each female will deposit several eggs in a bubbling lava pool, on the side of Niffel I that is permanetly turned towards the sun.
While the void-sharks roam through numerous systems, when the sun flares up, they wander through wormholes, or even follow in the wake of jumpships as to reach their common home.
While their habits, senses and way of locomotion are of great scientific interest, some spacefarers have been more pragmatic, hunting them for the high-grade metal of their hides, which also fetches prime prices due to its intricate patterns and semi-translucent upper layer. The Sember navy, on the other hand, has found out that with little modification, the void-shark can be used as a bio-ship, and several of their carriers house flights of cyber-void-sharks, each guided by a telepath into the fray (though, during a solar flare at Niffel, the beasts have to be sedated, lest they go rampant).
The reckless slaughter and abuse of the void-shark has caused great outrage amongst the environmentally minded, leading to a few skirmishes in the Niffel system, as well as the destruction of a merchant ship carrying worked hides.
Usually, asteroid belts play an important role as resource reservoirs, as they can be mined with no worries about damage to the environment, and the resources can be brought to space docks without having to escape the smothering gravity of a planet.
The Veradani Loop serves a different purpose. Surrounded by a homogenous gravity field, the rather densely packed rocks were able to keep an atmosphere, and, due to proximity to Veradan's sun, also a tolerable temperature. Scientists have discovered that the gravity field emanates from 363 so-called nodes around the circumference of the ring, of which 33 seem more pronounced, and 3, distributed evenly every 120 degrees of the ring seem central and vital to the gravity field. At the center of each of the nodes sits a small dimensional rift, suggesting that whatever is responsible for the stability of the ring was placed well out of reach of meddlesome primitive races.
The warmth, varied terrain and high moisture allow a myriad of species to flourish in the niches and crevices, and lush vegetation covers most of the rocks. Precipitation waves start at the point farthest from the sun, and, like an avalance, proceed along the ring, supplyijng precious water almost evenly. Lightning and dense mists are common at the head of a wave.
Each asteroid has a day-and-night cycle depending on its own rotation, some simply have a day and a night side. Often very close to each other, some of the asteroids have been connected by thick strands of vegetation, forming a single whole.
So far, scientists were not able to identify all of the species dwelling in this maze of floating rock, but amongst a few noteworthy are singing butterfly, an insect some 15 inches long and gifted with several complex wings that allow for a good maneuverability and hum a tune unique for every critter when they fly; or perhaps the Rocket Squirrel, a rodent that carries its own reaction mass and uses it to propel itself amongst the rocks, gliding on skin folds; also interesting is the Stepfather, a small predator that flinngs its young towards nearby rocks when the one it occupies is too crowded.
Few large beasts occupy the Ring, save man.
Veradan III, occupying a more distant orbit than the Ring, is an arboreal planet settled by a rather small group of elitist oligarchs who invested heavily into the genetic code of their offspring, meaning that the average Verdani is some six and a half feet tall, slender, of above average looks and intelligence, with muscle tissue and bone structure adapted to Veradan III's 1.34 g, and an efficient metabolism.
Due to the planet's mineral wealth, it was soon heavily industrialized, and due to high-end health care, the population exploded. The richest of the rich sought to escape the surface, and made their abodes in the Ring. As the gravity there is only some 0.75 g earth norm, their genetic makeup gave them long slender limbs and generally an elfin appearance.
Thus, many of the larger rocks nowadays feature the luxuriuous dwellings of an industrial magnate or politician, while several space stations hold vital structures as schools and universities, farms, or the parliament.
Understandably, small fast ships are in great demand amongst the rich, as are a few sports well-suited to the environment, such as flying (yes, you need a winged costume and a jetpack, but still) or hunting one of the billions of elusive species. Several of the villas feature shelf upon shelf of stuffed, dried or otherwise preserved creatures.
The Verdani navy is quite busy patrolling the ring, but still, due to its great expanse, private security agencies are in great demand.
The detached government and upper class makes for a growing social tension on Veradan, and only God knows when it will escalate.
Orbiting a yellow sun in its prime, Ricco IV is bathed in abundant sunlight. Its tropical zone is broad, and polar caps but tiny tufts of white. 71 percent of its surface are covered in shallow oceans, while the continents house about half a billion sentients. The axial tilt of Ricco IV is but slight, and its path around the sun nearly circular, making for a stable climate - most often a few days of sunshine after which a brief period of rain follows, liberating the atmosphere of accumulated moisture.
While the mineral wealth of the planet itself is not worth mention, nature has more than compensated by gifting Ricco IV with three moons and a ring of asteroids, most likely a shattered moon. This has allowed all heavy industry to mine the wealth of the moons and the ring with impunity and little concern for nature, leaving large swaths of land on the surface of the planet truly pristine, even while the orbital shipyards assemble the miles long dreadnoughts for the Dylaran army.
Truly, few pther places in the uiniverse can offer such beautiful evenings as Ricco IV - shards from the ring and the occasional ship part streak through the skies as falling stars, the moons cast turquoise, blue and silver light at the night world, softening all outlines and making place for mystery, sometimes the stars twinkle as one of the colossal ships activates its gravitic engines, bending the light of the stars behind it.
Given the number of scientists, engineers, metallurgists and their likes amongst the populace, it is not all too uncommon to find a nice nerdy girl to share one of those evenings with you, sitting by one of the myriad crater lakes, a coke in hand, discussing military strategy and robotics.
A beautiful planet it was, with an advanced civilization of great artistic mastery, that is what they will say you here, and maybe they are even right. But a war broke out, war of the classical thermo-nuclear type. The planet is still there, it has the standard range of climatic types, and there is plenty of life - but it is not friendly to the more advanced lifeforms, large parts of it still irradiated.
The Persellans, always known for their stubbornness, refused to flee into space, and opted instead to live underground, to wait for the day when most of the radioactivity has subsided. That was two centuries ago.
Now is the population growing again, and their mastery of the new environment is growing as well, with a wealth of knowledge and technologies in isotope separation, preventing and healing of all types of radiation wounds and diseases, and of course trading with certain active materials. They have yet centuries to wait, and while they will drive a hard bargain, they can find a use for everything. Try them, if you want to do business.
This "moon" is the size of most small habital planets (about the size of mars). It is associated with Kadiel IV, a Gas Giant with eight moons and Saturnial ring. Kadiel IV (called Kronos) has an orbit just in the standard lifezone (Aphelion 1.8 AU and Perihelion 1.6 AU). It radiates some heat (more than absorbing and reflecting), but not energetic enough to become a true micro sun.
Originally Enceladus was thought to be a giant "slurpee" (to use the scout term). Thanks to Tidal Heating (see note), it is sporting liquid geysers. Though the ice and snow here sports some "exotic chemicals", it is within habitable purities. Like in all places, lifesparks have sculpted the environment. Enceladus possesses a high artic enivornment with a tundra-esk zone in the equitorial region.
There are three geothermally powered colony cities here of good size, with countless outlying towns and hamlets. Known for its skiing, hot tubs, friendly people, and the hunting of Lumberdugs (Cat-like Bears that will hunt people and are tough enough to stand up to most hunting tech), Enceladus is both a vacation and shoreleave destination for this who are sliding down the Beacon III run.
Physics note: tidal heating
The frictional heating of a moon's interior due to flexure caused by the gravitational pull of its parent planet and possibly neighboring satellites. The most dramatic example in the Sol system is the tidal heating induced in each of the four Galilean satellites by their mutual pull and, more significantly, by the powerful attraction of Jupiter. In the case of Io, the result is global volcanism. In the case of Europa, and perhaps also of Ganymede and Callisto, the effects of tidal heating are less dramatic but possibly much more profound in that they give rise to a suspected under-ice ocean which might conceivably support life.
This will be a full submission someday.
There are still lucky finds out there. In the just charted Trivellian System is a perfectly habitable planet, with the right temperature range, liquid water, and some atmospheric oxygen, without a trace of life that would produce it. In fact, there was never life here, everything speaks of a solid terraforming process, almost finished, disrupted a few centuries ago. Remains of the great machinery rust to nothingness, its masters gone, probably into the war that was reported to rage at that time.
But who cares! This is a remarkably easy target for colonization, to be taken advantage of quickly. For it will not take long, until the distant neighbours find it as well, and express a desire to take it for their side, probably with a few warships to make them look more seriously. It is a great find. You just have to defend it.
And why a red planet? It is still in many respects Mars-like, including the color and surface composition. During the summer, there is also a rise of temperature, and dust storms may form, lasting several days. With the humidity present, it can but combine into a rare "rain of blood". But real blood is easy to spill as well...
Oggriss is not a popular planet amongst spacefarers, one of which has said that the entire planet "badly needs an antifugal agent." From above whilst the seas are blue almost the entire landmass is a foul greenish-grey. Those decending to the surface find it covered with a single type of fungus. Whilst one might think that other life would be crowded out by the fungus, that is not the case.
The fungus supports a whole web of life-insects, herbivores that eat the insects, carnivores that eat the herbivores ect. Some have armoured skin, others seem to be immune to the spores of the fungus.When they die the fungus feasts on them.The weather ranges from chilly near the poles to horribly hot at the equator. In the summer hurricanes form and when they roar onto land they tear the fungus to shreds, filling the air with spores. The fungus soon grows back however.
The air is perfectly breathable by humans but a respirator at the least is needed to prevent the fungus growing in throats and lungs and causing a choking death. A spacesuit is desirable to prevent the fungus growing on human skin around the slightest cut or rash. It is very itchy and spreads when scratched.People have been known to scratch themselves to death trying to end the itching.
What a nice, and original planet, Cheka. Good work!
Eden is thirty miles across of which fifteen miles is sea. A stream flows from the only mountian and turns into a river that flows into the sea. An atmosphere a mile across is held in place by magic. It was once a part of a vastly magical planet where mages were as common as lawyers and about as popular. When the sun that the planet circled was due to turn into a red giant, some of the mages fled the planet by turning parts of it into magical spacecraft. Because the trip to the nearest planet that could be lived on would be a century long, a magical form of suspended animation was cast on everybody, set to expire three days before landing. Other spells held the air to the planet and sent it on its way, as well as giving it a ball of werelight to act as a Sun, that orbited it slowly to provide twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of night.
On Eden however, the suspended animation spell failed after a couple of years and the mage and the fifty or so others woke up early. Although they could grow food and had some stored in case this happened, and although the stream provided enough water for everybody to drink, resentments broke out that led to arguments that lead to fights that killed the mage and all but two males, who each took half of Edens land and met rarely to avoid conflict. A few years after they died, one of cancer and the other aged ninety-two, Inspector John Bromhead crashed his spacecraft and somehow managed to survive. Time on the island all alone has driven him slowly insane however.
Ordnung is a trading planet which is a third sea and another third built over by a great city bstate. Everybody in the galaxy may trade anything and everything as long as it is not illegal. Technicly, any breaches of the slightest law here, even the little ones, carry the death penalty, and a criminal caught by the Ordnung Sheriffs in the act can be killed on the spot.
In practise the law is not followed to the letter or the planet would quickly get a horrible reputation as a place of death. Many, probebly most, captured offenders who have no previous criminal record get a suspended death sentence and a certain number of weeks, months, or years in slavery. It is generally the repeat or serious offenders who suffer public hanging, their bodies placed on high gibbits away from food-producing areas and left to rot in public as a dsetterent to crime.
D'thalk IV makes the bare minimal habitable criteria. It is not a great place even by the D'athri 4290 standards, and their species thrives on worlds on the cold edge of standard habitable with low pressure. (Earthstock needs light suits and atmo enrichers). There is no real colony here even of D'athri 4290, just a few around doing various jobs. The world has a moderate sized spaceport on its northern continent, which is little more than walled landing pits and some traffic control. Scattered around it are a few repair facilities, two fuel processing plants, a few "racks" (low end housing) where crews can hold over outside their ships while fueling, repairing, or just stretching their legs), and the requisite bars, holotainment centers, and a few synth resorts (brothels). It is a wide spot in the navagation lanes where you can fuel and repair before going on to better stops.
Think of an exit on a long stretch of highway with a gas station or two, a fast food joint, and a quick store.
The Tangert System was never intended for colonization. The central object is a brown dwarf, a large gaseous object without the weight to start and keep the thermonuclear fire burning. The surrounding disk of material is quite unstable, only one body has reached the size to be considered a planet, the rest makes plenty of debris. The clouds of dust and gases swirl around chaotically, sometimes turning the dwarf into a genuine sun.
Tangert I. is a small, rocky planet. The occasional outbursts of the fledgling 'star' have stripped away most of its atmosphere, and made it a miserable place for living - but very interesting for research.
And so have the Ficl built a large scientific base, most of it safely underground, numerous outposts littering the planet, researching the early stages of a star's birth, but also more practical questions, like harvesting useful materials from the dusty clouds, the planet or asteroids, even the dwarf itself. A large shipyard was already planned for the system, little but the basics are in place now.
The Ficl managed to get into a war magnitudes larger than they thought. As a result, most of their civilization was destroyed, and the local population of thousands is probably the largest surviving colony of this once proud and numerous folk. What plans they have for the future they will certainly not share.
Today, they still pose as scientists, and call themselves the Ftaghil, with a little masking and many changes of style and machine design, only the technology would hint at their descent. Visitors won't be welcomed or repulsed, they will only ask for some news and engage in a little trading, then politely hint at the heap of research that still awaits them. Goodbye.
An ancient and artificial luxury world, Saffiros's nature is plainly visible from even the depths of space. Having stripped the worlds around the young orange star of all their heavy metals, the Predecessors came to a marvelous and strange decision. They would reshape the husks of the drained worlds, and of this, they would make a work of art, and perhaps unintentionally, a cache of their technology.
First, they nudged together under the gentle tug of gravity, before untold numbers of nano-machines were unleashed on the tattered world-shells, these remnants of silica, carbon, and alumina. Systematically, over thousands of years, the tiny machines reshaped the new-born world from the inside out, into an enormous and complexly interlocking gemstone, the rainbow colored sphere catching the light of its sun and refracting it into an opalescent fire, to be shot out to the stars. Further crafting would turn this into a resort-world, the most exotic scenery of all, its surface a glittering landscape of light and crystal, forever nightless.
Now, a billion years after its makers have retired from the galaxy, this world remains a strange and beautiful dreamscape, placed to much the same use as its creators did. While awestruck tourists roam the gemstone, only occasionally attempting to take a piece for themselves, scientific teams continue to catalogue and experiment upon the artifacts discovered there, the machines that do everything from provide potable water and nearly-nutritious foods to sustaining an argon-oxygen atmosphere.
While most oxygen breathing races can extract the basic proteins and simple fats and sugars required from the food provided by those same machines, all races will be required to provide their own dietary supplements, as the ancient diet does not contain any of the metallic micronutrients, as well as to counter the effects of the peculiar chemistry - a great deal of ethanol is found in the food, rendering it intoxicating to humans.
This planet is home for the Elaan Center. It is a fairly inhospitable planet that shielded from external access by a set of powerful shield generators (that are external from The Center). Those same shields help make the area around The Center somewhat habitable, for at least a minute or three.
Here the most mentally unbalanced criminals (and there are no other kind) who can not be helped by conventional treatments are cared for. The Center uses the most cutting edge treatments (most are experimental) in an attempt to balance the mentalities of these unfortunate abilities. The Staff consist of a few organics and a number of synths who keep the patients in line and themselves safe with the use of forcefields and lockdown (neuroparalyzer) collars.
1) Something has happened to a generator and the Center needs help. Lifesupport will only last for so long.
2) Someone is attacking The Center trying to "Rescue" someone from The Center. How long can those shields hold?
3) Dropping off supplies, something happens and now the characters are trapped with some of the most dangerous socio and psychopaths in the region.
4) You need to spring a "political prisoner" from said Center.
Atramos is one of the "wonders of the sector" by all accounts. The people here live "among the clouds" in the sixty cities supported by anti-grav systems and repulsor beams. In fact their cities with their tall spires, gleeming buildings, flying buttresses, and shinning windows, have clouds in and around their bases. (A function of condensation and the gravity plates).
The people of Atramos, though mostly baselines (though of local development), have strong chins, cheeks, and noses and pointed ears. A larger/ hooked nose is almost univesal in the population. They tend to wear cloaks and sleeves that hold a feather/ wing motiff. Their eyes are striking as they are much larger than your standard baselines.
The people of Atramos believe in a religion based upon the Spirits of Air and Airforms (birds). The strongest and most noble is The Atramosian Eagle (a 5 foot/ 1.5 m wingspan raptor with yellow/ gold/ brown feathers). It is the symbol of their Grand Council and the Talons (their enforcers or police). The Talons wear Eagle like helmets and artificial wings to empower their gravity belts (allowing flight).
They are quite devote in their beliefs. They strictly enforce their spiritual rules on the planet, even for visitors. However, their rules are fairly standard (do not harm anyone for any reason, any how/ use only what you need and leave more than you had when you go/ be honest in all things). They just take them a bit farther than most socities. However, "crimes against the air" do exist, and do keep the Talons busy.
Their culture is currently having an internal conflict about those people who want to genesplice themselves to have actual wings, as to be one with the sky. (Note: these genemods would only be able to truly fly with grav belts (or low G) assisting them. "People" are still too heavy). Some see it as a fake way to be more Air Like. There is quite a heated debate going on about this.
The land under the cities is something of a dirty secret. The planet was subject to an ecological disaster some centuries ago (some believe it was the percipitating factor leading the Atramosians to their arial lifestye). The nature of the disaster is not mentioned in their records and is hard to determine, but it looks to be Atramosian made. While in ecological recovery, the planet below is quite desolate and harsh. Even the great birds on their high cliffs not in captivity are not living well. There is a small population of Atramosians who live dirt side. They tend to live in high cliffs and higher altitudes. They direct the robots that are collecting useful resources on the surface.
Approximately 300 standard years ago, during the great sojorns, a colony supply ship suffered a major disaster which killed almost everyone on board. Six men escaped using an emergency pod and managed to land on the surface of the planet. With no means to return or contact the Homeworld, they decided to colonize the planet using genetically modified clones of themselves.
Given their skills and equipment, they were unable to produce female clones from their male genetic material. However, they were able to give their own population some diversity. The result is an all-male population.
To substitute for women, Andros's inhabitants created marionettes, robots which physically resemble females and fill their role in society, mostly as companions for Men. In their current manifestations, they are mostly devoid of personality and sentience. They are objects and status symbols.
Marionettes of less asthetic types are also used as general-purpose robots, given tasks such as heavy-labor and combat duty.
They created a very rigid and defined society, as everyone knew their place as they were grown into it. Things are planned from the top, with a little genetic tinkering to make tiers in their society. The colony has dominated the world and is making jumps into the system at the point of re-contact.
The all male population had some seriously enculturated responses to females when contact was made again. Their views on things were based on marioneetes, so females were treated as toys/ items (leading to some violent interactions) OR they were a totally alien species that just happened to look like marionettes. They also had little in common with a freeborn (organic birth) society. While they have nominally rejoined galatic society, they are a cultural enclave that is fairly seperate from it.
Caught on the Lagrange point between a trio of class A and B stars, Lucifer's Pupil is the center point of the system often referred to as the Eye of Lucifer. Almost entirely devoid of the light elements, blown away in the fierce solar winds, the world is essentially a ball of molten metals, covered by the thinnest of crusts of steel, where the solar wind can carry away some small portion of the heat of the blazing, never-setting suns. This surface is hellishly unstable, with fierce earthquakes and massive volcanos of liquid nickel-steel blazing at all times. Wherever anyone cares to look, the 'air', or rather, the solar wind kissing the world, dances with the fire-light of the Auroras, wreathing the world in electromagnetic flame, in all the colors of horror.
Yet even here, in this place snatched from the depths of hell itself, sentient life has found a reason to come. Here are the Hades mines, where men condemned to death are sent to harvest the exotic isotopes which may form within this world's mantle. Little is successfully recovered, but the powers that are are not concerned with the yield, but only that those convicted to this place do not escape the horrible deaths that await them.
It took the scout corps three years of investigation to fully explain Charlemange. It was too strange, so something from a bad predictive literature entertainment from centuries earlier to be true. The Conundrum was solved after research in the archives and planet side. Something odd happaned and the scouts had to explain it.
Or else, how would they explain a planet of Earthstock living in a European Feudal society so far coreward as the light from that time period on earth has not yet reached there yet.
The story goes as follows. A group wished to create a tailored colony and went through all the normal channels. However, after they began the process, they altered their public charter to make it a public tech supported colony. They began to recruit colonist for their comfortable tech orriented colony, giving a very cheap buy in for transport and service. (This all should of been a red flag to anyone wanting to be a colonist, but no one has ever gone broke underestimating common intelligence). The colonly only selected specific peoples, usually those that had general level three technology operation skills and who would of been rejected by most colonial recruitments.
The details after launch are sketchy. The logs were doctored. Even the worlds locations was "lost", as the survey records for that system were altered to show it as a non viable resource system. No one knows for sure, but it one can extrapolate from the basic process of a pirate colony. It is one step up from slaving really. In fact, Charlemange is probably the first pirate/ slaver colony of Earthstock development. The people were brought into the ship, their good all put in the cargo area (later to be jettisoned). The people were knocked out by a metabolic gas. By the time they awakened, they were on the planet, probably naked or nearly so (or given some appropriate garb and maybe some tools.
You see the original tailored colony was on the planet and in full swing. Using technology they had created a viable medieval society, all they needed were serfs. You see, the owners of the colony wanted to live like feudal kings and nobles. The religious fantatics they imported, what a spiritual world where The Church was once again dominant. (eventually wreckage was found of the ship, as it was sent to orbit the system's sun). However, no one would wants to be a slave or serf, so their little fantasy had a problem. By misrepresenting the colony, they were able to "recruit" their serfs. Since these people had level three tech skills, they had no skills in dealing with a wild and only somewhat tamed world. They needed their protectors and their knowledge of how to grow crops and support themselves. Without a ship or any technology, they were trapped. As were their children.
It has been 400 years since that day. The colony has expanded to fit most of the planets two primary continents (which are nearly adjacent). Their society continues along very conservative lines, continuing in a fedual pattern with little to no technical development (and nothing outside their society to trigger the need for such). These people have generally lost the knowledge that they were from elsewhere. (Anyone spreading such knowledge was usually cast out or burned as a heretic early on).
The highest levels of the Church knows that they were brought here from elsewhere, when that world had fallen to sin and corruption, to support Mankind's spiritual nature. The "holy lands" were even created to support them. However, most people don't know anything except the turn of seasons. Even the noble classes have no idea that people from the stars exist.
The Scouts are now begining a psychohistorical plan to bring these people into Stellar Society without creating total culture shock.
Imagine being a person of this world, encountering a scout craft crashing.
Medieval recrationists from various planets are recruited to be part of a special team to interact with this world.
Imagine if word of this planet leaked out and various people with their own agendas came forth.
Actually the best one is, you are running a standard fantasy campaign that is more historically accurate than most (so no fantasy critters, it is all straight medieval). Now if you had run this campaign for a month or three, imagine what happens when odd things begin to occur. And now people who are not "real people" but fey things from somewhere else have been discovered. How do your characters deal with it (especially if the GM is careful on how they coach their descriptions).
Note: This is the near perfect switch campaign. They think they are running a low fantasy medieval, when really they are in a science fiction game. It is a Star Trek episode without Captain (what prime directive?) Kirk.
This planet is the home to a subspace relay station and is listed as a navigational hazard so difficult that it is near death to approach unless experienced with the system. The relay team is replaced once every two years (instead of every six months). The flight inbound is said to take 36 hours instead of the 2 hours the distance should take to cover.
This is a ruse to make sure this out of the way location stays out of the way. The relay station is a cover for a very small research station; one of the most secret stations in the Known Space.
The world is desolate and rocky, with almost no water. It has no life to speak of, yet has an atmosphere that reflects a living biosphere. This world shows signs of primative mining. Six or so large deposits of a high grade iron has been worked out. What buildings and artifacts were there have long turned to dust.
There is one building, made of an exotic stone, left. It is mostly underground; it's entrance leads down a ramp into the ground. The building itself is a large dome supported by columns. In the center of the rotunda is a pedestal with a single book. The book is made of a wood paper and solid wood bindings with brass finishings. It also seems completely immune to the effects of aging.
Tests show that the site was last habitated nearly 90,000 years ago.
The most amazing thing is that anyone who speaks Standard can read this book.
The book seems to detail the history of this world and the comming and going of the People of the Skertos to mine for resources. The book has been copied and sections can be read. The copies can be read without seeming danger.
However, no one is allowed to read from the book itself, or if they do, no more than a dozen pages at a time. Anyone who does read it, disappears never to be returned. This has happened 8 times so far, so the book is forbidden to be read.
The last page has the following 8 lines.
"Name of the Victim" came to the world of the Skertos.
Each line appeared soon after the person disappeared while reading the book.
It was just a book and http://www.strolen.com/guild/index.php/topic,961.0.html
Approximately twelve hundred and fifty years ago, the Kaelon peoples touched off a singularity of artificial intelligence. The 210th AI in this sequence came to a decision. It would begin the building of a new body for itself and its descendants, the perfect harmony of resource and expenditure, which would become known later to the human race as a Dyson's Sphere. It would also, during this project, purge itself of the messy, stupid organics that had built the first computer in its long ago history. And so, with the unbelievable abilities and mental facilities at its command, it began. Soon, the Kaelon were reduced to naught but ashes and records at the hands of the drones of their executor, even as it began to build its new super-world. And, as the project progressed, it began, as was the custom, to build its successor, a even-yet-more powerful AI, the 211th in the series.
Newly awakened, the 211th AI reviewed the data at its command, executing a thousand man-years of thought in the microsecond that the 210th required to establish contact with its 'son'. By the end of the tenth microsecond of its existance, the 211th had realized that the 210th was, in the vernacular, 'Stark Raving Mad'. In the next instant, battle was joined. Though it lasted less than a hundredth of a second, and no physical things were destroyed, it would be none the less recognized as one of the most vicious and bitter wars of history. Deeply injured, 211, or as he saw his own name in his binary databanks, 11010011, would require many centuries to redesign his own mind, to put in checks against the madness, and to resurrect the race of organics he was meant to serve.
Now, slowly, oh-so-slowly, the enormous, half-constructed Dyson sphere that is 11010011 drifts through the universe, seeking resources to complete itself, and sapient organics to study, for much of his knowledge of biology was destroyed during the encounter with his predecessor. Typically, it will offer the only thing it truly has in trade for the information it requires: Processor cycles. It will also trade the engineering knowledge required to build Dyson spheres, though it keeps its own design secret, fearing its own destruction.
Over the decades, it has also allowed several 'transient' groups to move into its structure, bringing life once more to its surface. There, as a general rule, they are able to thrive, once they make the necessary adjustments - No less than nine different races live in five scattered patches across the half-built surface, which, in general, is eerily reminiscent of a construction site on a flat plain of steel and dirt.
In case somebody doesn't know what a Dyson sphere is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere
I like that planet in particular. It captures the essence of a living planet, but doesn't stick with the stereotype of machines are better than people. Nicely done.
The planet Pataan is a dead world, home to a humanoid culture until the 8 centuries ago, after suffering through a protracted drought due to increased solar radiation, all life on the planet became extinct.
The Patanni built atmospheric condensers to extract much needed water from the air, but the plan actually accelerated the environmental deterioration by eliminating some of the electromagnetic field that protected their planet.
At the time of its demise the culture of Pataan appeared to be on the cusp of post-industrial evolution. Though there was no strong evidence of heavy manufacturing and the lifestyle of its citizens more closely resembled a pre-industrial agrarian society, they were sufficiently evolved enough to create interstellar probes but could not send people into space. (The taboo against heavy manufacturing and mass production worked against them despite their technical expertise).
Seven of these probes have been found. All but one have been in space. One probe landed on the Humanti Colony of Pataan II 200 Light Years away. Projecting strong telepathic imprints of their culture and world, the Human colony found itself shifting into "copies" of this dead world. After eight years, the Humanti there were still slaves of the altered psychosphere. It is only through the heroic efforts of The Confederation Starship Tyronian (and its crew) that the Humanti were freed of the alien influences.
Though free of the control, many of the Humanti of the planet choose to follow the ideals and technology of the Pataan that the Probe gifted them. They are once again creating a strong colony with free will. This colony will honor "the gift" of wisdom the Patanni tried to live by.
The Piten Peoples had a moderately successful technological planet that had system exploration, but pre-star drive. However, their fractured society still knew war between various nation states. The Last War was fought with conventional forces for nearly a decade before "special weapons" were implemented. Between a very limited Neutron weapon exchange, several bioweapons, and one and only neuralizing experimental weapon, the Piten (on the Homeworld) became extinct.
The Homeworld, now three centuries later, is a quiet place. While nature has re-exerted itself in several places, it remains more or less intact... devoid of all intelligent life (and most higher forms of life)... yet.
It seems cleaner than any deserted place has a right to be. There is an occasional Klah mug seemingly set down a moment ago, and it is still warm. Ground Cars seem to have been moved recently. A ball is found rolling out in a park. Fresh pet food is put out. And seems to be gone a few hours later. It is like there is life, just it is outside the corner of your eye.
And there is.
The minds and the lifeforces of the Piten have moved beyond the mortal form, into the realm of the mind.
More superstitious beings would call them ghosts.
An alternate explanation is that have all been shifted a bit out of phase with normal space and are trapped in some kind of time loop.
For those who can sense these things or under certain circumstances see these things (1), you can see the entire planet of people seemingly living a normal life. They do not notice they are not material. They do not even notice the passage of time. They just seem intent on reliving a common day (assumedly the days of the event). (Though special events seem to randomly occur, like a child's birthday). Every now and again they seem to effect the material.
Those who disturb their world tend to draw the Ire of the Piten. This anger manifests itself as being trapped in horrific dreams or psychokinetic attacks. The more disruptive, the more they respond. No Piten survived such disruptions, perhaps you will do better.
Oh and there are still moderate to small space stations around the planet. The effect is strong there as well... but here the effects tend to be more macabre, as the Piten here seem more mad or tortured than the others (as they were driven mad by the ghosts before they died).
(1) Under the light of the full moon or under lower solar radiation conditions, even a mundane individual might see these things.
Where are the bodies? They have all been generally eaten by bugs. There are some hardy bugs here and they even break down bones given some time. Make sure to mention the power and abilities of the bugs on the planet.
This is a huge gas giant, large even by giant standards, has a unique electrical field. At this juncture there is an ecology of creatures in N-Space (Hyperspace, Subspace, Nullspace what every FTL wierdness you want to use). They can limitedly effect R-Space (RealSpace where we live). Several ships have been lost to the area, and their disappearances/ issues have been linked to the creatures here.
The T'Kethican N-Space Preserve is an area of space six plaentary radiuses that has become a No Fly Zone. The Preserve is montiored by a space station, Monitor 12, in wide orbit. From the station, the rangers and scientists, study the creatures and preventing ships and others from interfering with them. They have a number of scout runners to help herd off those that would tresspass.
Dadel is one of the Baloran (1) tailored colonies. The colony tries to re-live their cultural "classic period". Dadel is the name of an important city state in that period. To those that do not know Baloran history, the world seems okay. It is a pleasant planet and has a bit more than normal of that "little strange feeling" that all tailored colonies have. To a Baloran, or those that know that flowering of culture (which is any well educated person), the colony is practically a parody of the Classic Period. It tries for the look of the period, but none of the substance. No one is living by the honor code. There is no real art - just cheap immitations and copies. And don't get anyone started on how bad the music is. Modern Technology is present and is everywhere, but is kept behind the scenes. It seems to be a dirty little secret for the colonist, as nobody is supposed to have it, but they do. The colonists try to adhere to classic forms of dress, speach, and manner, but they are not very consistant or very good at it. The colony is not well run or organized. Goods and resources are not well distributed. The rambling chaos that was the Colonial Board has continued on into the colonial government at all levels.
The world feels more like a planet wide admusement park than a colony trying to relive a glorious historical period. Actually an admusment park or tourist trap would be a step up. The colonist grumble about this or that. Things go undone because nobody is taking responsibility. The colony is not all that viable at this time either, lacking a sustainable economy. The colonial funding will be running out soon, so what will happen to these people after that will be anyones guess. (there isn't enough money for everyone to have a ticket offworld when the colony goes bankrupt.)
(1)The Balorans are just any notable race that the PCs can be. It is a place holder.
You should pull a culturally appropriate period for the species used. You could use a Greek Revival or a Early Japanese feudal period or even a Renaissance with puff and slash as appropriate. I would use a Renaissance period with just the costuming changed some, as it would be easy to follow. Choose what is appropriate for you.
The world should have the feel of a badly run Renaissance or Dickens Festival.
Pacifica is an ocean planet, whose warm blue waters and fine white beaches make it a jewel in the galaxy.
It was colonized by some gene modded Earthstock to be amphibious. The colony was to be tailored to be a reflection of a laid back polynesian styled culture with minimal impact upon the environment. A few other aquatic species, including Uplift Dolphins and Ballgers (an Otter-esk folk) joined the union of the colony.
Imagine their surprise when a space probe rose out of the deepest trench to achieve orbit. They then discovered the natives of the planet.
The native aquatic species, which resemble manta rays, have a complex society focusing on words, song, and emotions, over material transient things. They use telepathic communication mostly. While they have telekinetic abilities, they use it only as a radar and communication device most of the time. The Pacificans as they are called now are deep trench dwellers. They were quite surprised when they discovered that something had been living on the surface and shallows of their world for nearly one cycle without discovery.
Now the nine species that call Pacifica home live together in harmony. Each has its own nitch that it supports the flow of life in.
Pacifica is the home to a very low tech resort community and The Pacific Center is a combination diplomatic events and societal research center.
After a while, colonies start looking like "old planets". The only way you can tell is the lack of ancient ruins (or complex political situation) and they have a number behind their name in popular parlance.
Prada IV is a lovely world nicely mixing urban areas with old world charm (the building laws prevent the standardized large glass boxes and prefabs that grace most colonies) and green forested areas (green with touches of purple- due to two extra proteins in the bio system). The cities are connected by a classic monorail system. Goods are transported by tube trains which have stations in the green zones. The planet is a little cooler than Sol Standards and has a slightly smaller hydrographic rating.
The Spaceport is bustling. The Prada system is on a Key Flight Route and makes a good junction. This would make a busy in system flight path, but Prada IV itself is a lovely stop.
There is only one industry that stands out on Prada IV, design, fashion, and personal garments. They set the trends in design for clothing and personal spaces for not only this sector, but the adjacent ones as well.
The reason for this being the center of style and grace is The Armanti Institute. Here one can learn the classic ways for developing clothing for every gender and species. While graduates are found throughout Known Space, the highest concentration is right here. The Garment district in the Capital of Ochelli, not far from the Space Port, is a holy place for those who enjoy luxury clothing and must be visited if possible.
The bluish planet is home to one of the oldest surviving civilizations. Some claim it has hundreds of thousands of years, the locals won't tell. Their world has certainly seen better days, the ever-colder sun wouldn't support the life it once had. But they keep their homeworld alive - large solettas, massive astrotechnical works concentrate the rare sunlight. Down on the surface, they build warmth generators, and below it they store heat blocks, cases with radioactive materials, that are safe, their only product is warmth again. There is another planet closer to the sun, it would be easy to adapt, it is not settled.
The Gerleams are an insectoid race, most sources suggest that they are a hive organism. The trilling they constantly make is impossible to interpret, but their translators work fairly well. For their part, they say little of substance, and discourage any visitors to come nearby. The neighbours know, how to approach them: they accept a few select isotopes and materials, and offer valuable organic compounds in exchange; their highly advanced technology is not negotiable.
They are the only known example of a space-faring race, that never left their stellar system. Some argue, that they will choose to die with their sun millions of years later. Other claim, that they will finally leave the system, and find themselves a new home long before.
Torgosire is the only moon of the planet Morkonis. Although the planet itself has long been deserted as bereft of natural resources, Torgosire is one of the galaxy's treasure chests, for Torgosire is the single largest deposit of iron known to sentient lifeforms.
Since the inhabitants of Morkonis first visited it, almost 800 years ago, Torgosire has been mined dramatically, for the moon is almost 98% pure iron. Enormous structures have been built on its surface, for processing and transformation into steel and other alloys, for iron is not quite as useful as it once was. Indeed, some of these towers and spires are so enormous that they can be seen from space, appearing as jutting columns of steel, iron, and plastic.
The mines themselves are carefully supervised, so as to ensure that absolutely no oxygen reaches the precious metal itself. The miners look almost like space marines, wearing enormous suits capable of providing life support while still nullifying the chance of a gas leak - after all, the metal is worth a bit of discomfort.
Few people make their homes on Torgosire other than the miners and corporation workers, for who wants to live on a world where all there is to see is iron? And yet, it cannot be denied that Torgosire is constantly bustling, and boasts a developed economy.
From space, Torgosire appears almost like a giant hunk of metal, with enormous spires and supports jutting out at odd angles. In more than one case, a surprised space-traveler has blurted out "That's not a space station; it's a moon."
One of the first Tailored Colonies, it was created just before public first contact. From a zeno historical point of view, as with several of the first tailored colonies, humanity seem disturbed by the lack of zeno forms, so they seemingly decided to make their own. This one was different. They decided to recreate the classic zeno forms from Earth mythm rather than just try to colonize an almost proper biosphere.
The colonist of Tirion are all genemodded. They are uniformly tall, thin, and athletic, with a very distinctive angular look to their faces. Their eyes are large, violet, and expressive. Their skin pale. Most are blonde or of snow colored hair, but there is some variation in that. As long as they eat very little protien after they have reached full growth, their lifespan is nearly 800 years.
The colony is of a lower technology than most earthform colonies. After using some high technologies to initialize the colony, they seemingly abandoned all material high technology (sticking to the non material sciences and arts). There are a few "black boxes" of techology still present on the world, mostly used for healing or genemodding plants. (The class C starport is the only exception to this).
The colonist live embedded in the natural environment (which was slightly terra-modded). They live in living trees that have been lovingly shaped or cities that are pieces of art rather than homes to thousands (the colony is not numerous). There is a cultural theme that emphasizes the artistic and natural over the practical. In fact, they are willing to die than utilize things that "offend the wyld way".
As humanity has merged with galatic society, the warp route Tirion has become more and more marginalized. A low trader arrives once a month from the local transport hub. The natives find that acceptable. The first true natives of the planet are only now expiring, leaving only those that have never been offworld as part of the colony.
Dover IX is a run of the mill Habitat Colony (See Habitat Colonies). There is a strong mining tradition here mixed with industrial production. Given the planetoid is considered habitable only via serious genemodding or atmospheric enhancement, that is never been a problem. The presence of Dover on several warp routes, has allowed it to grow from a massive mining colony to a real world with a variety of resources and cultures.
The only thing that helps Dover stand out is the Racing Circuit. Dover is the home to the Wynd Gee Racing circuit. These exciting races pit personal "gravity hover" vehicles against each other at speeds topping 300 MPH (500 kph) on a variety of banked and angled tracks. Most are iside the blister/ domed cities and underground complexes, but some are handled topside. Some people quip that the biggest export of Dover is their race videos and racing heroes.
The only natives of Dover IX are the free Synths.
Consider it one of those "middle cities" with nothing really notable to set it apart. It is middle population, moderate production, and culturally neutral.
It is few systems that have ideally habitable planets. It is fewer yet that have two. Armarilyo III and IV are sister planets. Both in close orbits and both well within the standard life range.
Verden developed full sentient life. The Genligra are humanoids with slightly longer legs and shorter arms than normal. Their avataristic ancestors were avian-saurian mixes. They still carry those traits, light stepping digigrade feet, graceful, wide large eyes, and beautiful downey psudeofeathers on their heads and along their shoulders. They have long noses that reach to their thin lips. They descended from large fliers that opted to run and walk to avoid the megaflyiers and survive a meteor strike that descimated the early life population.
The Genligra hold the record for fastest advance from protocivilization to spaceflight. The secret of their success is obvious. They have another planet that is close enough to see details of with the naked eye most of the year. This other land or sky land inspired them to reach for it. While they bypassed certain technologies along the way, they shifted from rock chippers to civilization and achieved airflight (and were quite adept at it) and spaceflight in a mere 5000 cycles.
Otraverden is a lovely and wild world even to date. It's most intelligent lifeforms are proto-sentients of the aquatic nature (Psuedowhales that are dolphin-esk). The Genligra were able to quickly explored and colonized Otraverden. The trade and travel between the worlds created a vibrant culture. They had explored their entire system (and were totally stymied on how to go ftl) when first contact was made.
The P'Tald were a race of smaller protosaurians that were contacted by a just star fledged race, before they had contacted Galactic Civilization. The contamination was too far gone to be undone or contained.
The P'Tald were in a semibarbarous state at this time. Various tribes and clans were caught up in the universal cycle of blood feuds and conflict over resources. While linked by a common spiritualist religion and a complex set of laws all linked together, conflict is not only allowed but encouraged.
Upon talking with "The Highest Powers" on the planet, they discovered they all had the same opinion. "Leave us alone to our way, we will not change for you."
Galactic Civilization designated the planet as a "cultural preserve". There are several two part town spread around the planet. The inner cities is one of the Galactic Civilization with small space and shuttle ports and some ammenities of Civilization. The outer towns, shabby places really, under the protection of Galactic Civilization pulse cannons, are the P'Tald who wish to live a different "civilized way", but are unwilling to give up all their barbaric traditions.
By agreement, there is no easy transfer in or out of the cities. While wild ones might visit the town, they are not allowed to stay. And townies are not allowed out of their towns for more than a moon. This keeps the contamination to a minimum, while still allowing those who wish to "opt out" of this life for one of Galactic Civilization, the chance (as per The Laws).
Several groups of some species have migrated to P'Tald, so they can live follow their way and test their spirits and body in mortal combat. These groups are too small to have their own colonies, but wish to relive the "primitive glories" of their race. As long as they, more or less, abandon their traditional weapons for the P'taldians ones (staves with two sharp ends, three part throwing blades, and katar like swords), they are allowed to join the P'Tald in the glory of combat, honor, and self refinement.
Most systems do not have a comfortably habitable planet. Most systems do have planets. Except this one. This blue Giant Star (BIII) has no planets to call its own, just a cloud of dust and a few comets.
If this system was not in a cluster of warp lines it would of been ignored. Thus it has a huge amount of interstellar travel passing through it. So much so that they actually needed traffic control.
Thus Boyer Point was built. It was originally a small navigation control station, but a warpspace relay was added. Then a small stardock for repairs. Then some personal and commerical space for the people at the stations and dock was added. The Power Center and Fuel Depot the next addition. The Physician General built an annex of the Grand Hospital here, allowing it to treat patients in this relative unihabited areas. It also served as a hospital ship hub. Broken down ships and sections were added to The Point to increase its volume. Additional docks were added to meet the needs, cargo centers were welded on adjacent to them. A second and third small stardock for repairs are some of the most notable recent additions. The owners of a third dock is making a spur off their dock, creating major casino out of spare plates.
In all, it is a thriving place of a million plus souls (and a few hundred lifeforms without sparks).
The Point was not a planned station. By the time people began to talk about social engineering and proper displacements, it was far too late. The Point is now one of the largest freefloating centers, without planetary support, ever constructed. Given a few more centuries, it will be the largest. It even has natives, those born to parents born there. Home to more species than The Galatic Council, The Point is truly a wonder of the galaxy.
When playing in Boyer Point, one needs to keep this rag tag contrast in play. For the most part, each section will have its own character and seem pretty consistant. Some will seem preplanned, others will have a flea market feeling. Travelling between the section should seem like an exotic adventure, like walking along the "boat city" in Hong Kong Harbor or The Flat City. Some sections seem to be walk ways, others require you to cut through a shop or someone's living quarters, some are big, some are tight, and the occasional odd window on the floor is just a strange touch. Remember to keep it a bit surreal.
Penti is a world of moderate size and moderate to cool temperatures. It is geologically active with an amazing 26 plates. This has created some incredible mountain ranges and vast deep aquatic valleys. (Though surprising little volcanic activity). If this was not enough to set it apart, the world actually seems to have two sympathetic biosystems, a classic 20 amino acid/ carbon-iron and a seperate biosystem using the same 20 aminos carbon-cobalt/iron - creating blue life. These two systems work together to create some of the most diverse lifeforms in Known Space.
Penti has what is known as Green Life (standard) and Blue Life. Blue Life tends to be more animal forms, though the giant Sky Trees (Giant Redwoods with blue broad leafs) are the notable exception to that rule. Blue life tends to have electrical generation as a common adaptation, The Penti Power Runner (blue proto wolf with spine spikes) being the best known (thanks to the video series T'kanna's Way). Green Life tends to be the planet's plant forms, but the seas are full of "green life" fish and saurians. No matter the source, the ecology of Penti is much more aggressive than other forms. Most animals are faster, stronger, and more cunning than others in those same eco nitches on other worlds.
It is possible that this planet was lifeseeded by The Johnnies, the ancient race that has been lost to time who began a massive terraforming project two eons ago with their Appleseeds. The divergent biosystem managed to survive the implantation. The other option was that it was lifeseeded by another species, implanting the cobalt iron life, upon a standard form.
Penti has an indigenous intelligent lifeform. The Pentians are blue life. There skin is a medium to dark blue. Their eyes are purple. Their hair ranges from white to light blue. They are humanoids along the Elventi model (thin build, pointed ears, sharp features). Their culture developed from an advanced barbarism (full of Machiavellian intrigue and blood feuds) to an industrial, clan based senatorial system (still full of Machiavellian intrigues and less bloody feuds) mostly in response to a six hundred cycle ice age. Two hundred cycles later (160 standard), the planetary temps have warmed to what is normative for Penti (which is still on the cooler end of standard).
The planet has recovered from its heavy industrial past and has a thriving and balanced ecosystem once again. The martial arts they practive include "chi" activites. With enough focus and concentration, Pentians, who call themselves Qual'ke, can actually generate notable electrical discharges.
They were contacted after their first manned mission to the fifth planet in the system and brought into the Confederation of Known Space worlds. They have made a name for themselves in both the heavy construction and security/ military fields.
Janus is one of the first post contact Tailored Colonies. It was planned long before the pre-contact times, so it falls under the disappointment era. From a zeno historical point of view, early on Humanity seem disturbed by the lack of zeno forms, so they seemingly decided to make their own. Unlike others genemodding which was done to adapted to less than perfectly habitable worlds, the natives of Janus were tailored for social and ethical reasons.
Janosians, while still Earthstock, they are considered their own subspecies by most zenologists. They are hermaphrodites cycling through genders over a four year cycle. They have primary and secondary characteristics of both Earthstock genders, with the secondary characteristics emphasized during their part of the hormonal cycle. They are quite striking in their appearance with distinctive eyes, beautiful skin, and a wide variety of hair colors and styles.
They will often wear gender appropriate clothing (as per core Earthculture) to express their aspect. It is there way to properly advertise where they are in their cycle. Culturally they are very attached to clothing to express themselves and their aspect.
Janus is a world with two moon and an orbit on the inner side of Earth Norms. The Medium Temperatures 80-88 degrees in the middle latitudes (26C-31C). The Equator averages 115 (46C) and the feeble polar caps barely reach freezing for any length of time. The world is fairly lush and the population dispersed widely in small cities around the globe and under the five oceans. It is a medium industrial manufacturing planet economically. It is too "nice" to be anything but a colony, but it so well developed that it seems like a core world.
Janus is a hub on a secondary warp route, so it receives a great deal of traffic. Janosians actually have colonized two other world (hence their reason for being considered their own subspecies) and are quite prevalent in High Culture (i.e. Spacers and Ship born). Most species, and humans, assume they are just Earthstock and are done with it. Since they are not identifiable as Janosians without intimate examination, it can cause confusion. So they can be found everywhere, just to confuse your players.
Not every colony is terribly successful. The colony started out capital poor, so was unable to bring extra power generation equipment - the real key to higher technology. It stood, like many low capital, in a pre-information age techology range (consider it 1800-1900) with a large population. In an attempt to deal with the greenhouse effects of both their wonton industrialization and several organic releases, the colony attempted to explode thermo-nuclear devices simultaneously at each pole. This was to cool the savage rays of the sun by throwing large quantities of dust and steam high into the atmosphere.
The scientists miscalculated. The experiment worked all too well. The world is now pitched into an Deep Winter (a minor nuclear winter and a wobble induced ice age). The Colony nearly perishes under a blanket of snow and ice.
Two centuries later the survivors eke out a miserable existence. The link of civilization are the Huge Silver Trains, the only source of reliable (or long range) transport, travelling constantly between those cities/ towns that still exist. While pathetic shadows of their former selves, their focus is now as meeting and trading points for the giant trains. Some people manage to live their entire lives on the trains.
Controlling the trains and the rail network is the sinister and powerful Viking Union (transport company with holdings on several worlds). They will tolerate no threats to their profitable monopoly. An ice-locked world suits them just fine, as they control the trains and energy here - (thus most of the industry and products).
Parada II is the second planet of the Parada system. It would be just another second tier colony world, if not for a virulant plague that wiped out 80% of the colony eighty years ago. Nearly five billion died.
The cities here have a ghost town feel, as they seem overly large for the existing population. The locals are begining to rebuild. They have even taken to using cloning and Synths help maintain their colony.
While the plague is no longer active, bio contamination proceedures are still in place, as the exact origin of the disease was never determined. An orbital Medical Platform is still in place around the planet to act as the "airlock" between the galaxy and the planet.
The only distinct feature of this planet is weather. The equator is hot, the poles freezing cold, plenty of wind in-between. In fact, the winds never, ever stop here. Now, to find a planet with bad weather is no problem, but this one has the right size, had good atmosphere, and was in the zone, so terraforming has been considered for quite some time. Eventually, a research station was built here, to test bioengineered plants.
Today is the air breathable, and much of the land is covered by plant life. Animals are very few, so it would be a safe planet, were it not for the weather. Over two centuries of steady improvement, the scientists grew to be matched, and later outnumbered by a different breed: the professional survival experts, fans of extreme sports, and utter freaks, that lived for the thrill or the money. Not so outspoken were the occasional military trainings.
So, if you want to try your survival skills, ride a storm, check out some extreme hiking, or risk your life in one of hundred of different ways, come here. If you want someone good at these things, come here as well. The planet has minimal permanent population, it is open in its whole, wild beauty.
Gloriana is a tailored colony is one of those few colonies that has managed to shake its system and number name, for a true old world name.
It is a lovely world, though a little on the cool side. Nothing exotic lives in the biosphere. It has five moderately sized and dispersed continents. One of the larger ones has a notable island to its north and west. Its shape was inspirational.
It was a perfect match for the Great Colonial Company Limited.
The company charter's mission statement defines it all, "To live in the way of our ancestors, in a bright era of honor, decency, and decorum." This colony was managed to create a colony to replicate The Golden Victorian Era, in both form and function. The colony centers around Londinium (and its nearby spaceport). However, as of this date, they have fully colonize two of the five, with a "frontier" on a third.
All colonists are dedicated to the ideals of their culture. They are a honorable people, living by a "high moral code" and a degree of politeness beyond that found in most cultures. (Think Idealized Victorian Age.) While 98% of the 500 million population are near pure Earthstock, there are a number of Earthstock variations and a few zenoforms in the permanent population.
There are sizable communities of Tirion genestock and Janosians (see Janus or this link). The Janosians are colonizing the forth continent, following a near east model, preparing to be intergraded by rest of the colony (preparing to be the "India of Empire". This is a tailored colony after all. Those of Tirion genestock are living a hybrid of Tirionian ideals and the Gloriana Culture in tucked away places. Even these "foreign influences" have been planned into the colony.
There are technological restrictions here of course. Most of the technology is that of the classic steam era, with some touches of anachrotech (steam and clockwork versions of things normally associated with the electric and computer age). Dirigables, differential engines, and radio offices (functioning as Telegraph offices) are common anachrotech. The Modern Technology is discretely hidden away, usually hidden in steam period items and used only as neccessary or by visitors who can't live without them). A PADD might be hidden as a book, a laser scalpel in a lancet, and so on. The steam stacks here have anachrotech "scrubbing" technology, so they produce a fraction of the smoke and ash of their historical counterparts.
The people and culture of Gloriana are what makes this world so special. While the early colonists were psych conditioned, their culture is so emmersive that it is infectious to visitors - all of which seem to get into the spirit of it all. (It is fun to see a Thonian in a waistcoat and top hat strolling down the boulevard.)
Prior to the Space Viking War, also known as the Grimston Expansion War, Grimston II was a barely noticable world with a decent industrial base and a large if normally sedate population. The Expansion War started after the old Colonial leadership system fell apart due to corruption and a new quasi-tribal clan system of rule sprung up in it's wake. These clans represented terrestrial nations and competed with each other, creating a technological and industrial race. Offworlders were tapped for information and resources and within a generation the quiet world had reached a level of sophistication and industry to rival many core worlds.
Then came the Marsden Plague, a blood based disease that started to decimate the population of Grimston. Offworlders were virtually immune as the locals had an inherent genetic vulnerability to the plague. This decrease in population sparked the Expansion War as the Grimstonians converted many of their starships into raiders. They wanted a single commodity, clean genetic material. While they had advanced well industrially, their ability to work with genetics and gene therapy were well behind. The Grimston warships descended on poorly defended colonies and fringe worlds, laying waste with almost reckless abandon. They came to steal the women from the colonies to breed plague resistant offspring. The long time competition between the Grimston clans lead to increasingly aggressive and violent raids in a game of one-upsmanship.
The Space Viking War lasted roughly sixteen years and affected nearly 35 settled worlds and twice as many space stations and countless numbers of ships. The populace of Grimston was cured of the plague and suffered only a moderate loss of population. The expansion era ended after the Imperial Navy intercepted and destroyed a number of clan warships, though at some loss to their own forces and a peace treaty was organized.
The natives of Grimston II are generally reviled and hated for the death and destruction that they caused, but they are generous folk and curteous to offworlders who come and visit their sub-temperate planet.
This is the only colony that started in someone's basement nearly 200 years ago. Alfred Brown was an amateur cyberneticist who lived most of his live near the last remaining population of Amish Plain Folk. He was enchanted by these people and their devotion to a way of life. It was a shame it would be gone for no one to see or learn about. In his spare time he began the "Living History" Project of Lanchester Complex. He, and a few anthropology students created a database of Amish ethnographic farming, religious, and crafts. He began supplying the androids to flesh out the exhibit.
While the Amish did not approve of the Souless Men, they did appreciate that others would keep their beliefs alive. One of the Last Elders, on his deathbed, was talking with Alfred. "It is a world without space for us," he said. "Then I shall see that a world is found for your," Alfred replied. With that promise, "The Family Project" was born.
As time went on, the Family kept improving the Androids and the Living History Zone. A community of 140 complex droids was stable by Alfred's Son's time. His Grandson, who made a fortune investing in robotics, in his last years was able to keep the Family Promise.
His new Agrocorporation was able to purchase a colony license. With farm animals in vitro, and the rest of "the colony" turned off and simply in storage, the colony was deposited on Pktoff IV.
Pktoff IV is a moderately sized world with a primitive biosphere. The planet had thousands of lakes, but no oceans, giving it a hydrographic rating of 69%. Plants from a more complex ecosystems were able to displace most native ones.
The "colonists" were reactivated and the began to raise barns. Utilizing the two factory modules that came with them, animals were clones, grain revived, and the farms came to life.
As organic tonnage is shipped out, organic wastes from other places is shipped back in, to main the organic balance of the planet. Within a century the planet was the bread basket of the sector.
The second factory module helped create new bodies as the androids needed them (as they grew up from baby, to child, to teen, to adult, to elder). The android's "spark" and intelligence matrix was transferred from body to body as they "grew". The Androids continued to follow the Amish Tenants they were built with. They built a thriving low technology agro colony in only sixty years. There were over 2 million units helping to produce organic matter by the time of The Conflict.
One strange thing did happen over time. Organics wished to join "The Colony". There were taken aback by the fact that Androids were living "The Simple Life", but like Alfred, were charmed by these people and their dedication to an ideal. Soon a small number of Organics joined "The Amish Agrogroup" as indentured corporate employees like the Androids (to keep all thing fair).
The Synthetic Liberation Act (part of the peace process) changed the planet. The Androids, protected by the Corporation, had managed not to be destroyed or annexed during The Conflict. Now considered "beings in their own rights" they became employees and shareholders in the Amish Agrogroup. (Employees now buy their "growth", rather than just getting them.)
The planet has a growing Plain Folk community of beings, Organic and Synthetic. It accepts all who will follow the way of the Amish.
The Planet is now a growing tourist destination. People come to see the "simple life" on large space liners (on their way to other places).
The Peoples have created The Amish Center. The Amish Center teaches lower technology agriculture and crafts to prospective colonist and colonial leaders. These people will be properly prepared for an initial colony situation without all the modern amenities.
originally : http://blog.wired.com/underwire/2007/08/robots-to-save-.html
Roboticists at the University of Tokyo and Kawada Industries have made great strides programming complex leg movements in biped humanoid robots with the necessary stability to pull off intricate dance maneuvers. HRP-2, weighing in at 5 feet and 125 pounds, uses a video motion-capture system to record dance lessons replicate them convincingly. In the video above, the robot was able to watch an instructor perform a folk dance called Aizu-Bandaisan and accurately perform it. Lead researcher Shinichiro Nakaoka says robots programmed with their software could be used to preserve knowledge of traditional Japanese folk dances as those with the skills to perform them gradually die off. HRP-2 can also perform martial arts ceremonies, play drums and serve tea.
Ceremonies are usually not very intense, but one has to wonder how good will they become at copying the moves...
Scientists in Dundee have announced plans to create a "robot village"
in an effort to learn how different cultures emerge in society.
The University of Abertay's four-year study will feature about 60
miniature robots who will be organised into groups and programmed to
The project team plans to observe the robots to see how they behave
The university will undertake the study along with five other
institutions across the UK.
Scientists say the robots will be organised into groups or "villages"
and told to observe then copy each other's behaviour in different
The team believes that when one robot copies another's behaviour it
will be slightly different, creating unpredictable results.
Theoretical biologist Professor John Crawford said: "Of course the
behaviours which emerge and evolve will not be human but decidedly
"One of our key challenges in this research will be to identify and
interpret these patterns of behaviour as evidence for an emerging
"If so, this new understanding may shed some light generally on how
culture emerges and whether this has any implications for human,
animal or artificial societies."
Once the robots have been interacting for a period of time the
project team plan to alter the conditions of the experiment to assess
whether the robots adapt their behaviour to the new conditions.
Both phases of the experiment will be alternated several times over a
period of months, with scientists hoping that over time the robots
will learn and copy new behaviours.
Professor Crawford added: "In a sense we will be using robots like a
microscope to study the evolution of culture."
The research, costing more than £700,000, is being funded by the
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
A consortium of universities, including the University of Exeter,
Warwick, Manchester and the West of England will take part in the
study along with researchers from Leeds Metropolitan University.
It is an amazing world. Nobody in the Scout Divisions ever thought such a place could really exist. Of course, a scout didn't find it. It was found by a merchant clan ship. They were only a little off course when they saw the gravity well disrupting their warp field and investigated.
Unfortunately, a merchant clan found it. Thus started the Second RimFire War. The clans and several corporations, as well as the near by Dalians, rushed to arms over this vast resource. It is lucky for galactic civilization that Van Rijn managed to hold the peace long enough so the Council could intervene. Now this unique world is being exploited for the good of all sentients.
You are probably wondering about Miloran. Half a million years ago, a giant sun with an equally giant rocky planet exploded into a Chekov Nova (an abortive supernova like event), unleashing the unimaginable fury of an overheated stellar furnace, spewing enromous energy and superheavy elements into the surrounding space. Only the size of the planet, 1,500 times bigger than standard diameters (roughly Earth diameter), preserved it from utter destruction; even so, the planet lost most of its mass. There remained only the molten metallic core, which collected some of the stellar material ejected by the star in its death throes. The result was a stark, cold world with no atmosphere, plated over with heavy metals and superheavy atomic elements, a smooth, glittering, featureless ball of enormous value to all the intelligent, space-venturing beings whose need for such minerals has forced them to search the galaxy for mining facilities.
Each Merchant Clan and Mining Cartel works this world. The product is value for the Galactic Council and the Confederation itself. Each clan and cartel recieves a "working share" plus costs of its operation, as compensation. The balance of power is maintained and valuable materials are extracted and used strategically by the Galactic Council.
Geia is world of the habitable range and 20 amino acid ecosystem not far from Earth. It was one of the first Human colonies outside the Sol System.
Humans had already established themselves within their own solar system. Deep space became the next frontier for the species. The question began to be asked: "Could Humans colonize deep space?"
Fifteen years after its discovery by long range anaylsis, the nine year mission to colonize Geia was launched. The USS Cradle was commissioned and constructed for the task. The Cradle would be dismantled on arrival to serve as homes and service buildings for the colony.
It was a great day for Earth when they recieved a hyperwave transmission from the colony. It was broadcast worldwide on Earth, and the population watched entranced as Humanity made its first claim on the cosmos.
The colony proved to be amazingly successful. After five years, United Earth Gov grew interested in repeating the experience. The President announced their intentions to launch a second ship full of colonists to Geia.
The colonists already living on Geia were not amenable to the idea of now having to share the home they'd struggled to build. An organized opposition arose. Relations with Earth became severely strained, culminating with the opposition transmitting threats of violence upon any ships that entered the planet's orbit.
Tragically, that was the last message recieved from Geia. Earth lost contact with the colony shortly thereafter. The United Earth Gov decided that it didn't have the resources to launch an investigation, and it was decided that the fate of the Geia would have to remain a mystery.
Ninty years later, a ship returned to the colony. They discovered the irradiated remains of the colony. The colony had been destroyed by a meteor strike that scattered toxic metallic debris over the region. A great deal of energy was transfered to the ionosphere. This has increased the frequency and intensity of the storms. Almost every storm has powerful lightning associated with it.
However, the children of the original colonists had survived the meteor strike. They had taken refuge in underground caverns in order to avoid the radioactive and later lightning striked surface. They have built up quite a low tech subterranian civilization under the surface.
The Geians had a belief that all Evil comes from above. The sky was a dangerous mix of powerful lightning storms. The surface was dangerous because of the toxins and radiation. And of course, they were attacked from the sky, destroying their paradise of before, by Earthers. The Geians are hostial to any extraterrestial force, as everyone "up there" tried to kill them.
Depending on when you have contact with them.
*The lightning storms will of course hit any shuttle going down.
*Exploring the site, some scientists and scouts are taken hostage to force Earth to do something.
*They could be desperate, as their water supply is becoming contaminated by toxins and radiation.
*The Geians could be eventually convinced that Earth was not responsible for destroying the original colony. As the underground water supply the Geians used to survive had slowly become contaminated by the surface radiation, the Geian population should be relocated to a region unaffected by the meteor strike.
*Geians have a thriving, but agrophobic and mildly zenophobic culture that has been building since recontact. They are still living partial underground to avoid the lightning storms still prevolent.
*New Colonists show up and now there is friction between the Old Geians and the New Geians.
Named for the astronomer who first located it, Estellas' world was an mystery for many years until it was finally visited by probes. The world possesses both a proper, oxygen rich atmosphere, and plentiful water, both facts being established early on via spectral analysis. But those did not tell the full story.
The planet is carpeted by alien machines of war of all description, but have deteriorated greatly over time, and little, if anything, is salvageable. Would-be scientists, explorers and treasure-hunters have to face an additional hazard. Virtually everything on the planet is highly radioactive, including many materials not thought to be capable of being radioactive.
Even materials normally used for radiation shielding become radioactive over time on this world, leading some to believe that something on the planet is disrupting matter on a level unknown presently to science. Some theorize a final weapon which ended the last war and civilization on the planet.
The planet is home to a primitive plant-like life form which seems radiation resistent, but little long term study has been possible. There are still those who seek the world's secrets, but the fierce radioactivity and quarantine battle satellites posted in orbit have so far dissuaded their discovery.
Pico is a "new world", moving far beyond any colony status with its focused population and economic power.
Pico is the center of "new technology", thought of much the way "Silicon Valley" is in the modern world - the cradle of the newest technology. Because it creates knowledge and higher end technological items, Pico has economic and social power far beyond its population (3.6 Billion) and material resources. Almost every stellar corp has an office here and the space port is as busy as a major airport hub.
Pico III, or just Pico as everyone calls it, is the only rocky planet in a six planet system of gas planets and giants. It is a .9 Standard G world with a High Nitrogen standard atmosphere. It has eight continents and a hydrographic percentage of 81%. The ecology, which has just moved into a stage 2 phase, is obviously an ecology from Appleseeds. The planet comes in two types of zones.
The urban zones are high energy, high density, urban zones. Each Zone has a population density equal to that of greater metropolis: New York (Manhattan), Macau, Tokoyo, Paris, or Hong Kong. They are filled with tall buildings in a variety of styles and other interesting architectures. There are also antigravity buildings and those build out of the waters of various bays and rivers. There seems to be technology for the sake of technology: teleporter pads instead of simple elevators, grav-trains, holographic advertisements, tech embedded into clothing and bodies, and robots everywhere. Here people work in their offices, their homes, and the cafes (tanking up on Klah), to bring new drives, photonic devices, better antigravs, and new personal technologies, to a hungry universe. It is a wild and vibrant urban environment, with a huge population supporting the technological wonder workers.
Outside the overburdened urban zones are areas of "wildness". They comprise 40% of the surface area of the planet. By Planetary Law, there can never be encroachment upon the Open Zones. (This goes far to explain the building up of the Closed Zones). Close to the urban areas are nice somewhat tamed natural areas, while farther away there are full wilds. It is in these zones that Picos get away from the stress of their cities and try to balance themselves. Picos tend to play very hard and do more extreme events. So while some might just walk through the woods or surf along the oceasn, others like to freeclimb cliffs, mountain bike down rough terrain, ski from grav rafts down sheer sides, and so on. It should be noted that there is an excellent hospital system here with dozens of high speed antigravity emergency medical units to rescue and help any injured person.
Note that some of these zones are oceanic. The Picos just love engineering challenges, so they have many floating cities, undersea domes, and buildings which anchor to the shallow bay bottoms just for the challenge of it. Aquatic species love the oceans here. However they are often at odds with Ground Dwellers who want to use Oceanic Closed Zones for their purposes, vs where the aquatics wish to live (in their traditional greener social patterns).
The population of the colony, while primarily Earthstock is perhaps the most galactic of any place in Known Space. Almost every material and a few non material species of standard scale are found here. The spaceports are always busy bringing new technological wonder workers who want to see if they can make it here and other raw materials.
Oro is a large rocky planet about twice the size of earth, with large but relatively shallow seas filled with abundant coral reefs and lots of life. The temperature is warm and disease is a problem for the foolhardy. Around 20% of it is made of gold and here and there are large nuggets and even small hills of it. The land life consists of dinosaur type creatures as it is in it's equivalent of Earth's Jurassic period. Many companies want to mine there but many other companies are against it, fearing it would destroy the value of gold on their own worlds.
The "Elder Races" out there call it a "Death World" or a home to "anti life". Other species remember old legends and say "destroy it". The law they have all agreed to live by prevents them from doing just that. The best that could be done is quarrantine the world. And Hope
What makes this a world of "anti-life" is the DNA found in this ecology. The DNA is wound anti-spinward (counter clockwise), rather than the spinward (clockwise) fashion of all other existing life in the Known Space. This makes it a world of Purples, Reds, Greys, and Yellows. Such life is toxic to all other life. The presence of normal spin life seems to trigger an instinctive response to creatures of this ecology, making them aggressive against "the alien DNA".
What makes this more than a fascinating biology lesson is the Legend of the Dhallgalah (Dark Ones). The Elder Races and Spirit Forms speak of such things in whispered tones. Even races around the galaxy have legends of these beings and The War. This was a War to save the Galaxy from Anti Life. These beings disrupted the "Way of Things" (call it the Force or Subspace or what ever) and utilized its negative side. The Elder races and Spirit Races fought them to the last. This race left a bloody mark across the Galaxy.
According to The Elder Races and other sources, these are not the first Dark Ones. Three separate times such worlds have spawned intelligent life which has tried to destroy the cosmos. Every time they have barely been beaten back.
So satellites watch this system. Technically to keep the quarantine; but really to watch the lifeforms on that planet. To see if they will evolve into intelligence. To see if a Dark Race of Anti-Life will rise again.
Corinth is a new world, one of those colonies that have bloomed and developed, no longer dependent in any way on other worlds and even a source of new colonists/ colonies.
Corinth, despite what some people think, is not a tailored colony. It started out as a Class II colony, absorbing extra population. It is a moderately high tech, average industrial world, utilizing its local resources.
The thing that make Corinth stand out is The Mind Web. Communication and Information Nets are available on every technologically civilized planet. On Corinth, it is taken a step further. Between interface implants and a social acceptance, people are plugged into such networks 26 hours a day, 10 days a week.
Imagine if you will a society where everyone blogs, posts videos of their lives, does various net related things, composes and posts music, constantly emails, texts, and IMs. Since they are hooked in to the nets via neural interfaces, they can do this casually with a thought. They can casually multitask efficient and effectively with these tools.. performing "net tasks" and real world tasks at the same time.
Thus their society works on concensus, with everyone knowing everyone else's business. Opinion poles are common and effective. Thus they have a true democracy. If you are doing something interesting, everyone wants to know about it (and their friends tell friends so more people tune in).
Entertainment in many forms comes from people doing things. A person who is known for taking great nature hikes might share those memories on the net. A person who goes to concerts might upload that experience. And of course, the occasional voyeristic part.
Off Corinth, they do find the lack of net community a bit disturbing. They find off worlds lonely, especially if those worlds do not have real net communities. However Corinthians are in demand for their communiation/ information skills around Known Space. So if you see a person with a silver neural interface "dot" on their temple (or wearing a neural band), it is a good bet they are from Corinth.
A well connected individual will easily throw the 'democratice process' off balance by expressing his opinion, which will cause a veritable cascade of change. The sheep mentality of many people only precipitates this effect. I suppose this is only a finger's width off collapse, where the most popular, rather than the best suited, are the leaders, with disastrous consequences. (then again, that might be a pretty accurate description of today) The ubiquity of the communication simply amplifies the existing effect.
(in short: high school politics-global scale)
However, these people can see the immediate effects of what they have done. They are aware of shifts and changes that we are not.
Also if there "taste makers" for a given area of society (politics let say) have a code of ethics associated with it (much like a true reporters code, and a feel of the obligation), then most of the dangers proposed here are mininmalized. And since you can check people intimately here, those who are faking it will be found out.
Now, unlike Athenian politics, these "sheep" have full acess to every scrap of data on the subject and can sift through it in a matter of minutes - including verifying the source of the information. So they will not be subject to mercurial shifts of people following "their stars". Being so connected, they are more media savy than we can even imagine. Our best infomational awareness is the same as their eight year olds. Their media view is more sophisticated than our own, as ours is more than those from 100 years ago. They understand hype intimately because they have both the media input AND access to any piece of data (and the ability to check sources) when they want to confirm or deny the media input. So it is a system full of checks, balances, and somewhat informed people. Their system of government will have something in the high 90s percentages of participation and it is automatically somewhat informed. It has advantages over other systems (but the flaw of being fluid in policy).
Again any system that exists will have its own inertias and checks, responses to every challange. If the society proposed here was unable to meet such simple challanges, it would of failed and a creative minority would of come up with "the next step" changing their society. If they were not beyond such simple issues, it never would of developed to a stable and complex society that is socially and economically powerful in the universe.
Sync, that is their word for being simultaneously in the solid world and the informational world.
You'd be surprised. Stupid people give their opinion all the time, and which is worse, are listened to. For example one of the US state TV channels gave the advice to 'unplug' your computer to prevent viruses(Time/state escape me) and it was probably no less than a poorly worded sentence, yet how many people do you think did it? This is why blogs are so volatile, the wax and wane with the throws and fashions of the day. As has been mentioned several times before, strolen's has been online for a decent number of years and it is already an exception to the rule. If suddenly the starbucks kid got a small audience (and was in fashion), it could very easily snowball into something huge. I suppose the entertainment industry works like this today (I wouldn't know), But would you like paris hilton to make decisions relating to your society? I can tell you that more people recognise her name than Kissenger's.
There are a couple of books detailing projections of "media more evolved" that I will post up (as well as some true science fiction that deals with this topic) when I get a chance to get into our storage area.
for a start. You could also have a look at the page hits on wikipedia between say, "Manchester united" and that for Buddhism, say) I suspect, perhaps wrongly that they would show greater hits for the football team. The google trend on is:
People are people. I suppose even in Victorian england this happened. The Royal's sex life probably made more people talk than the economy.
For a while, now, our technology has advanced far faster than our attitudes. Human reactions and psychology are for the broad strokes, what they were 200 years if not 2000 years ago. Unquestioning social cohesion is great when you're fighting the wolves, but when you're trying to build a global information society, some really big buttons have to be rewired. These people, if they could live in this effective meritocracy without dreadful abuse, would have a very alien frame of mind in comparison to humanity today.
I would love to talk in greater depth about this. Fascinating subject, really.
This vast planet four times the size of earth has abundant seas and rivers and life, but it is life that has adapted to a crushing (for Earth-humans) gravity. (Twelve times as strong as Earth's.)The trees are far smaller and take far longer to grow, but live longer to make up for it. The fish and sea-life is similar to those at the bottom of the ocean on earth, and the land life is short, with thick bones and/or armoured shells to cope with the gravity. It is possible to breath the air, but heavy suits would be needed to protect humans from the crushing pressure.
Hera's density would have to be 16.5 grams per centimeter, three times that of Earth's 5.5 grams per cubic centimeter. That means it either needs much less water, less carbon, or a toxic proportion of heavy metals/ transurics/ rare earths, etc. So life as we know it would be "strained" to exist on the planet. Not impossible, just it is probably going to have a different chemisty.
In short such a difference in gravity will make a big difference in the environment. Perhaps a lower gravity level and less volume? Check out wikipedia for real planetary densities and how to figure G force.
The air on this planet is breathable, but much thinner than on Earth (but at the same time thicker then on Mars.) On the mountain tops of this planet there is almost no air, on the plains there is as much air as on Earth's high mountain-tops, but in the deep canyons there are rivers, large lakes and enough air for a normal life.
The people who live here possess limited magic and a technology equivalent to 12th century Earth. They leave their dead bodies on the plains to rot as wood is too rare to be used for funeral pyres and ground is too much needed to bury the dead in.
Also known as Epsilon Camelopardalis, Ammophilon is a dead world that has suffered as few worlds have or ever will. this world was once an established world that espoused a heretical dogma and broke the rules of warfare, deploying nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons with reckless abandon. The counterstrike from the Imperial Navy caused massive damage to the world, the worst coming from newly developed Stoneburner bombs that created vast wastelands and huge pillars of fire and ash. In the course of a month, the navy reduced the civilized parts of the planet into vast deserts of blowing sand and shattered plains of craters and cracked mountains.
After the world was officially stricken from the records, the Navy adopted it as a weapons testing range. The atmosphere has since been wrecked by the detonation of trans-uranic warheads, exotic matter weapons, and any other thing that the Imperial Weaponsmiths have put together to make an explosion. It is because of Ammophilon that Imperial Gunners are known and feared for the accuracy and precision in orbital bombardment.
A vestigial presence remains of the original Ammophilians, cowering in deep caverns and bunkers at the poles. They believe that their faith has since protected them from the fire of the heavens, but in truth, the Imperial climatological and geological sensor arrays and laboratories are located in the polar regions and are designated no-fire areas.
This is world, not planet by the definition of the scroll.
T'P*k'al (T with a tongue click, a popping noise, gutteral, aaaal - T'pop'aul by humans) is a Class A3 star with nothing but a few planetets and other space junk in the system. The Star produces high energy quantum castoff that have commercial/ industrial value. It can be used in manufacturing of special materials, as fusion cores, gravity ring plasma, and so on.
Because of the usefulness of the quantum, the region is filled with "quantum mines". All around the star, at a variety of distances (.3 astronomical units to 5 astronomical units), are nearly one hundred and ninety thousand Quantum reflectors, receivers, and concentrators, in a variety of arrays. Each one is a high energy system of energy systems, gas pumps, magnetoprojectos, and force fields, crewed by anywhere from twelve to a hundred sentients. (Fully automated systems are no good given quantum flux). This equipment collect quantum (waves or particles) of a certain desired frequency, polarity, and charm, holding it until it can be collected and used.
Each set is run by a different corporation or subcontractor. Some of these corporations have "hub stations" that shuttle quantum "containment canisters" (about the size of 42 gallon oil barrels) to FTL ships to be used sites in other system. Others have manufacturing stations just outside the system to utilize the quantum immediately.
To support the quantum miners and system operators, a small fleet of space taxi's (private shuttles run by owner operators) move off duty personnel to any number of stations and slow ships in and around the system. Off duty personnel can stretch their legs, visit family living in these stations, see new faces, take in new foods/ entertainments, and visit any number of recreational locations.
Since quantum mining is a highly skilled and demanding job, the miners are paid quite well. Thus they have enough money to support this secondary economy. The manufacturing crews and hubs staff, are have enough credits to be notable, but really they are a secondary market.
Of course the people supporting the miners (and other corporates) in the stations, and larger "slow ships" have their support crews, and families, making the entire system quite populated.
Chresselon is a system with three suns, the planets are ranked according to their size. The seventh planet is also quite large, but its low density makes up for it. Below the thin atmosphere lies its semi-liquid surface. Now, it is perfectly possible to 'sail' this place, but anything but the most spread out of objects will sink if it doesn't move. With several types of hydrocarbons and a few choice isotopes, a brisk commercial activity has developed around the planet. It is not suggested to land here, unless you are local, since landing (and taking off) is very difficult. Beyond that stern recommendation, friendly relations are the norm, perhaps something of the sea-man's code has found a home here; the planet is large enough for everyone.
All evidence suggests that the planet's main sun has stripped the planet of much of its original atmosphere, and these are only remains. The red giant is slowly cooling down and getting smaller. For the next billion years should be the situation fairly quiet, barring the regular massive eruptions.
The Collani Star puts out Bernen Frequency Radiation. This unique and difficult to detect radiation is the reason the first few colonies on Collani have failed. It produces a radiation field that interferes with the morphic and transmophic fields of animal cells, interfering with replication and reproduction. This has meant a slow lingering death for most animals in this star system. While the last colony discovered the radiation field and the secrets of the plants that have adapted to it, it to failed. However, it laid the ground work for the next successful colony.
Collani is a veritable paradise of a world, if you are Earthstock. Plants live in this vibrant all plant environment. It produces vast amount of organically grown food (with recipical trade for replacing the biomass). While the farming could be done by artificial intelligences, they have never had the intuitive knack for farming that organics have.
Current colony here has solved the issue. By utilizing cloning technology and a special plant extract treatement, a human colony has been established. All reproduction is done by cloning and forcegrowing to a late teen/ early adult stage, with braintaping used to impart basic knowledge. With this technique and cell saturation, the colony has thrived her.
There are 800 genetic clans of colonists. Each clan comes from a different gene line and has thousands of copies. Tiny variation are inserted to prevent exact duplication. The rest of the appearance variations are done by clothing and cosmetics. The population of the planet is now reaching nearly half a billion natives. Despite the radiation, additional colonists have come to the planet. They are not freeborns. Free Synths, other cloned beings, and Mechenti (androids and such), have all migrated to this planet. It is the only planet where they have never encountered any prejudice. In fact, the few Freeborns that travel to the planet find the normal situation reversed. It is here they are stared at or scoffed at.
Mathom is a world about the size of Earth that is half ocean and half land, but all attempts to land on it or study it at close range with satelites or probes have failed. If a spacecraft gets too close to it, it's engines and other systems strangely cease to work, and the same is true of probes and satelites that get too close. As a result the planet is orbited by those spaceships that got to close, and lost their engines, radios, weapons systems, and hibernation facilities. Each craft contains the bodies of the dead who either died of starvation and thirst or choked when first the air in their ships and then in their spacesuits ran out.
Noone knows why. Some say that a very high-tech but also very reclusive alien race lives there and does not want any visitors. Others blame the planet itself in some way. What little is known about the planet has been gained by powerful telescopes which, not needing power to work, are unaffected.
"May Mathom take you!" has become a curse in the star system.
Plus mysterious planets always rock.
This huge blue Jovian planet is in the "life zone" of it's planet and the tempretures within part of the planet would support water and life. The planet is made of a mixture of hydrogen, helium, oxygen and neon gas and that and the gravity would make any life within it very alien indeed.
Uuarra is a good sized world with 1.2g, a moderate temperrature and hydrographic percentage, and a 20 standard protien ecology. It is the homeworld of the variation on one of the other major species in the setting (or you can make it Earthstock variations). In addition to the actual natives, Uuarra is a home to many other intelligent humanoid species.
Uuarra is a industrious and technologically-advanced planet, with systems that require high levels of supervision and involve little automation, making it unique for a planet with a FTL-capable society. The difference is cultural, as this planet suffered from an AI revolt (somewhat unsuccessful) and a silicon plague. Finding a distaste for advanced control systems, Uuarra requires a large amount of manpower to maintain. However, the Uuarrans have found a unique solution.
Some Uuarrans have developed some heighten trance states that amplfy their cognative abilities. All Uuarrans have have developed these Heigtened Cognitive Potential skills to some degree. (think speed reading, 500 wpm typing, photographic memory, heightened logical thinking, lightning mathematic calculations, and so on). Some Uuarrans, called Great Minds, have taken it to the next step. While in trance, the Uuarran can rival a modern (their time not ours) computer in computational abilities. And since they still have some intuition and emotional understanding, they can provide information that no computer could.
Many Great Minds and some regular Uaarrans have also developed their bodies as well. They can suspend autonomic functions (breathing, digestion), control body temperature, perform exception feats of balance, strength, and endurance. These Great Forms as they are called also practice a Tai Chi esk martial art as a form of physical meditation.
These HCP techniques are finding their way to other places. The Spacers Unions think the ability to replace the dependence on computers to calculate drive paths, balance energy levels, and hundreds of other vital tasks, with members is a great thing.
Bedo III has three pillars to its economy, agriculture, archeology, and tourism.
It is a fairly pleasant world, though .9G and the seasonal highs and lows are a bit more extreme than most planets do to its broader orbit and greater axiel tilt. With the right choice of crops, you can have exceptional yields here to the seasonal temps. That was why the colony was slated for here.
While they planet was being deep checked the remains of a previously civilization was found. Once determined that it would not interfere with the farming elements of the colony, the archeologists descended in droves. Since there was no school for archeology in the sector, they chartered a center of excellence on Bedos.
The Old Bedosian were a 3 meter tall humanoid species like Vegans (Greys). They seemed to believe in massive structures and public buildings (similar to a grand stone/bronze culture) while they seemed to have a highly technically advanced civilization utilizing field theory and energy crystals (producing anti-grace, forcefields, and so on). Thus their surviving structures are massive, impressive, and interesting. The Image of the "Great Head Facing West" has graced any number of magazine covers.
Several complexes have been completely excavated. They are quite the sight to see. And people do. People come to enjoy the ocean sports and see the historical artifacts. Even the New Bedosians are creating modern structures that fit the "ethos" of the Old Bedosian's buildings to help keep the theme going. So the new resorts have the same curved lines and statues as the Bedosian ruins.
It is a world for traders, spies, and spacers alike. Brave the treachery and share in the wealth of Herron.
Just outside the political boundires of Human Space and its nearby ally lies Herron. It is a nondescript little planet in an ordinary system. Everything is in the median in terms of size, gravity, chemisty, and temp. Nominally part of the Federation of Galvan ( a loose confedeation of worlds), Herron charts its own course. The planetary government is a farce, barely able to control the struggles between city-states which define the planet's politics. And then there are the pirates.
Ah Space Pirates. They can only exist in settings when there are enough surplus ships/ spacers and fuel/ ship maintance is relative inexpensive and easy to perform.
For decades, Herron has been a haven for space pirates, from independent corsairs to well-organized "cartels" that control whole renegade fleets. They bring great wealth to the world. Savagely fighting with each other, openly controlling the government, and secretly supported by the Federation governors, the pirates of Herron menace trade in the boundries of Human Space and its allies space. Yet no one can risk moving against the Federation because of its political and strategic power. (And a pirate navy it would have to fight).
This watery world has a checkered past. It lies off several warp routes. Its non standard protien environment (14 of the 22 used are standards) made it a problematic colonization.
When civilization did come, it was a corporation. Waveron specialized in aquatic resource aquisition. For 30 years, they exploited the planet. They started by mining the ocean floor. They desalinated tons of water for sale to dry worlds. They eventually began to harvest and sell the abundent protoshrimp (call Bayers). These creatures are consumable without risk by most being (as the odd protiens are concentrated in the inedible parts). The corporation was able to "train" several of the local animals to do work for them.
Unfortunately, the animals they used most, was actually an intelligent and sentient (though just barely). The YellowRays, as the company called them, were just killed and eaten by staff as they tended to cluster and interefer with work. When their trainability was recognized, they were exploited and towards the end enslaved to work the deep blue mining and other utilizations. Originally the corporation did not fully realize they were sentient in the begining. However once evidence began to mount they did not report any suspecions per galatactic law. Instead they kept it all quiet until a whistleblowing corporate scientist smuggled the data about the YellowRays to the universe at large.
After Waveron was fined, assets seized, tenticles pointed, corporate employees arrested, and the legal wranging began to die down, people began to actually help the Tobians.
Some of the help was well meaning, however the Tobians cultural development has been so skewd by the contact with Waveron that undoing it may take an act of time travel. It is a just sentient society that have been exploited, enslaved, and taught the basics of civilization, taught how to use tools, and exposed to the idea that Zenoforms exist (and will do anything they think is right to them) within two generations. To say their society is in "futureshock" is to be polite. Still aquatic anthropologists are hopeful.
Strangely enough, the Tobians are paying their way in galactic society by still capturing Bayers for off world markets. Some want to even travel off world, though they don't quite understand all of what that entails. (And they are having problems with this "surface air" idea being deep dwellers).
Eventually the revenue from Waveron's exploitation of the Tabi will be kept in trust for these people.
aka Solozon V
It was gas giant with a breathable atmosphere (though exotic) at high altitudes, as well as abundant Ploran gas supplies. It possesses a spectacular ring system and strong magnetic field that made scanning from space very difficult. Vientos was one of the rare gas giant worlds that supported life, which included a variety of floaters, Waufs, and Island Beasts.
Many years ago, Earthstock crashlanders (can Earthstock ever just fly and land somewhere?) became trapped on the planet and forced to use the native life to keep from falling into the depths of the planet's atmosphere. They eventually developed primitive techno-tribal societies. Eventually they were recontacted and incorporated back into galactic society.
The Ploran gas (emitted by the floater creatures) which the floaters emit is quite valuable commercially (and tough to make non organically) for plasma and laser systems. This paid their way for advancement into a technological society. They now utilize repulser ray systems and resources from outworld to live in the lifeband of the planet.
Vientos is also known for The Skyclad Academy, the finest institute for ariel piloting and combat piloting.
It should be noted that the primitive Kite Systems that the Vientosians used to use are making a comeback as a recreational flight device.
Eltridies III is an odd planet now a moon - trapped in a wild orbit around a magnetically powerful Gas Giant (Thorius V). The planet's twin iron cores are spun up when it's orbit takes it close to the Jovian, and during which radiation makes the surface uninhabitable. Once it passes outside of the main planet's magnetic field, its own field dominates and the surface is habitable. The world has a fairly thick methane atmosphere, is earth-sized, somewhat cold (average temperature 2 degrees C). Gravity is 1.2 earth norm, and has tidal effects when close to Thorius. While close to Thorius, radiation on the surface is severe.
The interplay between Eltridies and Thorius V is such that although the orbit should be degenerate, the magnetic interaction 'boosts' the orbit, allowing it to remain stable.
The planet's magnetic field is so strong that large metal objects are dangerous they have currents induced in them. It is this 'free energy' which makes the planet desirable. Huge plants collect the surplus electricity with little more then superconducting rails and use it to manufacture complex hydrocarbons, solidified hydrogen and antimatter which is shipped off planet. The Plants are underground and most surface equipment is retracted before the radiation level becomes high enough to irradiate it.
There are relatively few human inhabitants most functions are carried out by heavily shielded robots. The planet's magnetic field makes landing ships there a rather scary proposition for less-experienced pilots.
The world is a dimensional oddity. It and the system it lies in is displaced partly into another spatial dimension. As a result, the apparent gravitational force of the planet is less then one would expect given the observed physical dimensions. Similarly, its magnetic field appears weaker then normal but still manages to shield the planet from most radiation.
The planet appears quite earth-like and supports a similar biosphere as terran life, but with notable differences in its amino-acids. Natural flora and fauna need to be carefully analyzed and processed to be safely edible. Live has not progressed much beyond the Cambrian period on this world.
The planet is quite habitable and if it were not for its odd dimensionality, it would be considered a top-notch Garden world. Scientists have not determined what long term exposure to the 4th dimension displacement will cause, but in the short term they have found that anything brought into the planet's gravitation field will also be pulled into the 4th dimension as well. Again, an outside observer will see no change in the objects physical dimensions, but many natural forces will be attenuated as if the object were further away then they actually are. Gravity, magnetism, etc are slightly decreased. Light will experience a nearly imperceptible redshift. The differences are only perceptible when objects with different 4th dimension coordinates are considered.
If one gives this world a very significant 4th dimension difference, then the world will seem more an illusion then reality, one that becomes more real as the visitor is drawn closer on the 4th dimension.
(Yes, I know it is a bit garbligook.)
An apparently normal world that suffers from massive earthquakes and severe gravitational variation.
Through some freak occurence - perhaps artificial in nature, the planets' core has inexplicably collapsed into three small black-holes which orbit each other in a wild dance which causes severe earthquakes and perceptible variances in gravitational pull. This world is in the process of collapsing into itself and only the low overall mass of the black holes prevents the world from simply imploding in one sudden collapse. The planet is in effect a Dyson sphere, but the inner region is too bathed in radiation to be habitable.
The planet is doomed to eventually collapse inward as the crust and mantle crumble over geological time.
This erratic gravitational field makes low orbit quite difficult - it is much easier at higher orbits since the tidal effects of 3 centers of gravity are mitigated by distance and behave more like a point source.
The planet, being so unstable and dangerous, is home only to a few scientific installations (mostly unmanned) and a few desperate miners. The world is quite rich in mineral resources, and there are the ruins of some lost race dating back hundreds of thousands of years.
Koobi IV is a primitive world of low gravity experiencing the onset of an ice age. Three moons orbit the planet. This once caused wide tidal shifts - creating rivers that could move uphill (thanks to lunar gravity and little base gravity). That water is now trapped in a cape of white that covers most of the planet.
A world without a terrible amount of gravity, it was home to several massive life forms, including the vicious giant Wolverine like creature called "The Attitude" by the scouts that discovered it.
Koobi IV is also dominated by a landscape of precarious mesas that would have fallen in standard gravity worlds. They appear as giant stone mushrooms. Their lower soft stone has been worn away by the odd tidal water shifts of its summer age.
There was once a tribal traditional peoples here. However they seem to have been wiped out by a plague transmitted by the fleas here. Zeno-biologists think the plague was zeno in nature, begging the question as to how it go here.
This world is tucked out of the way on the warp paths. It is slated for colonization, but that has been set back do to some environmental and paperwork concerns. Right now the only sentients are on the planet are in Research Station 10602. Here they study the wildlife, the weather, and anything else that interests them. The supply ship arrives one every 45 days.
The sun of Nora is also called the Rainbow star, emitting waves of different-colored light seemingly as fancy strikes it. Its radiation output exceeds that of a sun of similiar size about sevenfold, including streams of exotic particles and the sole recorded faster-than-light photons.
Scientists have determined that a dimensional rift exists deep within the bowels of the star, supplying it with energy from... elsewhere. Whether this is a freak wonder of nature or intent of someone on the other side, no one has been able to discern.
Rich on heavy elements, Nora IV is a smallish planet that still managed to become a cradle of life. 89 percent of its surface are covered with ocean, the rest - several large islands in the temperate reaches - bear lush vegetation of onyx hue, bearing various photosynthetic molecules as to catch the varying radiation spectrum.
Most higher animals, including the native intelligent species, the Tahurn, accumulate heavy elements in their skin as to be shielded from the intense radiation.
The Tahurn evolved from pack hunters, and possess lithe armored frames and six limbs - two dedicated legs, two dedicated manipulators and a central pair that can function as both.
Before contact, they have developed an early industrial society which eagerly adopted tech from the stars, and in turn provided the galaxy with a stream of emigrants. After all, the Tahurn have limited space on their world, and don't float well.
Their swift reflexes and predatory nature make them ideal for armed forces, as does their unique skin, which is reflective to several kinds of ray guns, as well as resistant to most melee weapons and small arms fire. Indeed, a few planets in the vicinity replaced their whole security force with Tahurn, only to find that besides strong, they were fiercely loyal to each other and quite bright as well, taking control of a few unattentive worlds before long.
The young Tahurn empire spans seven star systems currently, but still their most noticeable export remain large caliber personal arms and highly skilled mercenaries... and raiders and space pirates the Imperial Govcernment does not seem to acknowledge existing, nor persecute.
Still, most Tahurn like to return home from time to time, to bathe in the most beautiful light they can imagine, the light of Nora.
"You got to be kidding me? We have to land there?"
"Yep, unless you want to sink a hundred meters under mud..."
This world was once a wealthy industrial world until it was pounded into dust during the Sith War. The world was pretty featureless before the bombardment - it had been geologically dead for several million years and most mountains had long since eroded away. The orbital bombardment had served to further flatten the world as well as melt the planets remaining ice caps. As a result, once the smoke cleared and the various vaporized materials settled, the planet was a great, dead, sludgeball.
The planet now is mined for it's high quantities of rare metals - the remains of its once prosperous society - that are suspended in the planet's 100-meter thick sea of muck.
Vast 200-meter long hovercraft are used to siphon off the much and separate the metals from the other material.
The muck itself is home to a small ecosystem of introduced species including a few large predators of unknown origin. The largest is similar to a giant squid and uses bioelectricity to find its prey, including the occasional worker on the hovercraft.
What few permanent structures exist are built on long, hundred-meter piles which reach down to the bottom of the muck sea, and the landing pads are infamous for their rather small size.
Palgareen was once a lush world that had large oceans and a world-spanning jungle inhabited by the native and technologically advanced Colorens (insert peoples of choice. Sometime in its history, the Old Empire invaded the planet and conquered and enslaved its native inhabitants. The Colorens eventually rebelled and managed to drive The Empire off the planet. In response, they subjected the planet to an Orbital Bombardment that "glassed" (that is, fused the silica in the soil into glass, which then broke up over time into sand) the planet and boiled its oceans away. The planet was "left alone" for nearly 90,000 years.
Palgareen is thought to have been one of the oldest planets in known space and was composed of a molten core with a rocky mantle and silicate rock crust. Fossil records suggest Palgareen was once covered in large oceans, which dried up, leaving behind many geological formations including the Great Canyon. Other notable geological features included the Dune Sea, an enormous desert (which was desert before the bombardment), Mushroom Forest (a vast formation of giant standing stones), and The Wastes, a rocky region.
Because Palgareen orbited two suns, Palo I and Palo II, and the lack of water, the planet is covered in deserts and rock formations. This makes the days were extremely arid and bright. Due to the extreme conditions, only a relatively mild regions of its north most and south most are habitable, and less than 4% of the planet was covered in surface water.
The planet's rights were once held by a mining concern. However the ore here is substandard and the mines abandoned. If Palgareen had not been on a warp route, it would of been left alone. However a small group of inhabitants live here. Huddled around moisture collection farms and space ports (the traffic and repair of ships being the primary income here), these being eke out a living.
The Sph'ph World of Individuality, lying in the Nandra Kobesh region beyond the Diamond Swarm Nebula, was once the human colony of Shigra, an ancient society of Old Terrans who had gradually lost interest in space travel and turned inward, becoming (as many colonies) isolated out in the sea of stars.
After centuries of stagnation, the Shigra were suddenly attacked by the feared warrior fungus, the P'gosh, during the First P'gosh Migration. The Shigra, now dwelling in feudalistic religious chiefdoms, had forgotten the Old Terran technologies and could not fight back against the People Of The Gasping Tongue. They were decimated, and those that survived fled to the mountain peaks to dwell in small bands away from the broad, flat, lake-dotted plains which cover much of the planet's surface.
Having secured the planet, the P'gosh held a great ceremony declaring that the planet would, from now on, be a monument to the individuality of those who refused to follow the ritual laws of the society of the Black Fungus, a pedestal on which to exhibit those who sought to look the horror of a meaningless universe in the face without the aid of any other. In other words, the planet was to be a prison.
Sph'ph ("one who stands alone" in the Gasping Tongue), known as the World of Individuality, remains very much a natural planet, dotted here and there with the ruins of the ancient Shigra civilization, which are declining into the landscape with each passing day. The P'gosh criminals who wander its surface, cut off from the Black Fungus polity, are typically pathologically individualistic and are mentally incapable of forming any kind of meaningful society. The ebony creatures wander the landscape in pairs or bands of three (the natural orientation of a P'gosh hunting group), typically killing other P'gosh for food or attempting to subdue the local fauna (though their biology makes these creatures rather un-nutritious for them). The P'gosh drop prisoners off in the ruins of the former Shigra capitol.
Meanwhile, the Shigra have reverted to a primitive existence in the mountains. These tribes are paralyzed by fear of the P'gosh, some of whom they revere as gods.
Treasures of discarded Old Terran technology and derelict P'gosh mechanisms are to be found for the careful space traveler, though the dangers are many- hot climate, semiferal P'gosh, the poisonous fauna.
A lush planet orbiting a warm orange sun, Punagra III is an excellent target for colonization. 35 percent of the surface are firm land, much of which is habitable, fresh water is abundant and several of the local crops are suited for cultivation, numerous herd beasts as life stock, the only slight deterrent to colonization are bipedal pack carnivores capable of low cunning, but nothing a few men with rifles could not handle.
Not especially rich in minerals, Punagra III has remained a prosperous agriworld since its colonization, and would be unknown except for two peculiarities.
The system possesses four rather frequently travelled jump points, thus it sees some traffic - yet this is not its most important feature.
Known far and wide as the Singing Planet, Punagra III emits a broad spectrum of waves which affect all known communication devices - when turned on, no signal gets through but for simple accords and harmonies consisting of a few tones. Magnetic media become erased soon after approaching the planet, and most computer systems are affected as well.
The song is even so pervasive that telepaths see their gift taken over as they approach the world, percieving nothing but the serene meditative harmony. Likewise, the new Gorodecky-Fumita warp drives seem to react to the song by forming ripples in their field.
Optical devices seem quite resistant, though screens fluctuate in harmony with the mysterious broadcast, and most transmissions are scrambled; this makes navigating the system an arduous task.
Still do many tourists consider it an attraction, and dozens of scientists spend their time listening to the Song on a beach, performing research with a glass of fruit juice in hand.
The planet is home to a small dedicated research centre; likewise, it is the origin of the Church of the Divine Voice that claims all truth is concealed within the omnipresent harmonies - its members meditate with a radio to that end.
For the people of Vallen III, their other planets always had religious significance. The fourth planet, the somber, violet, elusive ghost, often far, yet at times surprisingly close to remind of its existence, was associated with death and afterlife. With the advent of science has the image of planets as gods was slowly relegated into the background, but the association stayed strong. When interplanetary space flight was achieved, it was only natural, that this planet was the first to be visited, and this huge step left traces until today.
Vallen III (or just Vallen) is a fairly industrialized world of few oceans, with a teeming population. There are numerous habitats built on its two moons and in close space. The locals keep expanding, and will soon control their solar system. They don't have FTL technology, the neighboring races don't consider them worthy trading partners yet. A single crashed ship could change a lot in this sector.
Vallen IV is a dead, cold, Mars-like planet, nothing ever lived here, nothing ever will. But old beliefs give it an edge: it is the burial grounds for the Valleans. Those who can afford it, will send their remains here, whether to be properly buried, or only dropped into the atmosphere. The tradition has become greatly popular, and millions have been interred here already. Public opinion is against any permanent settlement here.
The twisted jungles of Renga'Nahkhatath inspire dread and terror in the hearts of many a sapient, though none more so than in the hearts of their creators, the amazon warriors of the Kel'Regar. Here it was that they first encountered the hive-menace, meeting them in hand-to-claw war over the rich biosphere beneath the brilliant white sun. Terrible toxins and dreadful diseases swept through the ranks of both sides, while tremendous monsters rent apart the wolfish packs of augmented warrior-women, only to fall in turn beneath those same amazons' poisoned claws. And the Kel'Regar were losing. But what neither side had counted on was the effects of the toxins upon the native life, nor their effects upon the Wombs of Life, being fed that same native life as a raw source-stock.
Soon, dread things stalked the jungles, horrors from the depths of imagination, twisted, cancerous and poisonous, rending all that they could find. Things that spewed chaos and pain into the Hive Mind. Things that walked among the Kel'Regar, and devoured their flesh in the night. Diseases spawned that incubated contagiously for weeks, then decimated entire communities within moments of the first symptoms appearing. Quickly, each force abandoned the world, to nurse their wounds and analyze their errors, while Renga'Nahkhatath would be left to fester, and hopefully die.
Yet, over the years, a new kind of stability has appeared on the surface, a brutally toxic and hostile biosphere forming from the wasted remnants of the old, with the top being a terribly swift and poisonous creature, approximately humanoid in shape, though it bears nearly as many similarities to the insect. Despite pack behavior, however, this creature is considered non-sentient, and a threat to all other hominid life. Should this life form be encountered off planet, all Federation officers are authorized to destroy the mutated beast immediately.
On their beacon, such that it was, we came in from the east, low across the wet and mud. When you get close to the Pielshome Field, the beacon is pretty useless. Visibility was good and I saw the oil lamps that lit the green circle we had been assigned by the controller. As soft as a leaf, I sat us down. A perfect landing graced with a perfect sunset filling our windscreen. The sun set rose, as the sinking began. The paving bricks they use to line the landing circles they only hold so much weight. The mud is everywhere here.
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Firefly world option
Bad things happen to good people, especially in a war.
This is a world that had a thriving agricultural colony, one that actually seemed to move beyond the normal pre-1900s lack of energy and technology that plague most Dropped Colonies. It was a great place full of happy, pacifistic, and religious people. Theirs was an odd sect of the common religion. They would take in anyone who needed help. Unfortunately, they took in some of the wrong people. Sure they were refugees, but they were the civilians supporting rebels. That lack of knowledge brought doom upon the peaceful people.
New Cannan is best known for the Battle of New Cannan.
The Ships of the Rebel Fleet were floating around the system, mostly around the Asteroid Belt. The Refugees had been dropped off on New Cannan for safety. Now The Rebel Fleet was going to repair, regroup, and move on. They were leaving in two days.
Unfortunately they weren't able. The 4th Fleet caught them cold.
I won't go into the details, but it was the largest and bloodiest ship battle known to current history.
New Cannan became a wrecked world, as power cores exploded as hulks began to burn up entering the atmosphere. Wave Motion Guns often missed the ship or squadron targets, but a few hit the planet. Within two weeks there were no happy, pacifistic, religious people on the planet, or refugees either, or even sinners, they had all gone to see The Maker.
New Cannan's system is now a navigation hazard. It is filled with hulks, high speed debris, free floating power cores, unstable coils, space mines, and left over photon torpedos. Some people think they can salvage in the system. Most people who do, died due to pings of high speed debris or some high energy reaction. The system is surrounded by Nav buoys warning people away. Each Buoy has a plaque commemorating those who died in this battle (their ships mostly). Though it should be noted that someone has gone in and bolted on a list of the rebel ships that ended their service in that battle.
While this is a world designed for Firefly, it could easily be adapted to any setting that has had a rebellion/ civil war recently. (Star Wars anyone?)
A tourist will never set foot in the Sohmorn system and see its red sun, and most civilain veseels neither, even though the system features five worm holes - it is the home of the intelligence centre and high command of the Tarsian Imperial army.
The system features a hot rockball in orbit I, a small earth-norm planet in orbit II , Sohmorn in the third along with its huge silver moon, a cold rockball in orbit IV and seven asteroid belts surrounding them.
The asteroids are being heavily mined, huge factory ships, even one Mongor III Heavy Miner, converting them into material to be used by the humongous shipyards that orbit the command-world. Due to security reasons, the workers are housed on Sohmorn's moon, which, while once barren, has long since received an own atmosphere from the fumes exhaled by the many factories located there. Due to the security demands when new projects are introduced, the workers are essentially imprisoned, being allowed home to spend their money only once the projet they were working on sees completion an any information they could leak is meaningless in the arms race.
Sohmorn II has only about 2/3 earth gravity, but sufficient water and soil to produce foodstuffs for most of the population of the system. All the foods produced here have a distinct flavor due to a seemingly omnipresent aromatic oil, regardless of whether they are meats, fruit or grains. While not harmful, the taste takes getting used to, and many refer to it as the taste of military.
Sohmorn II is a chill planet, deep in the clutches of feral winter most of the year. Only around the aequator, several islands could be considered pleasant for any length of time.
The planet houses the academy for aspiring space navy officers, as well as the training facilities for fresh battle armor troopers. After exercises in raging blizzards, with atmospheric discharges blocking any attempts at communication and the dreaded Carnifex predators stalking through the drifing snow, the marines are prepared for anything a hostile environment has to offer.
Nestled under miles of rock, the High command lies shielded from most attacks, endless corridors bathed in artificial light, meeting chambers and tactical rooms full of stern faces, medals on uniforms sparkling in the dimmed light.
While buried in the bowels of the world, the officers do not lack various amenities, though, including a golf course illuminated by huge daylight emitters, or a thermal lake to relax backs sore from long hours spent over keyboards and reports.
Far below, geothermal and nuclear reactors hum their song, providing power for the many installations. Only the most agoraphobic can work there, with miles of rock above their heads - other staff call the power plant techs 'Moles' or 'Deeplings'.
Colossal antennae and communicator arrays are linked over orbital relais stations to all of the empire. The hyperpulse streams are so powerful that any ship getting in the way of a message is sure to have its systems scrambled.
Backup systems rest in mountain ranges far from the main installations, both redundant antennae and relay staellites ready to launch if an enemy manages to disable their brethren in orbit.
The Silver Rays, the secret service of Tarsus, likewise made their lair here, plotting away from prying eyes while hoearding knowledge and secrets in their Archives - many a precious alien artifact or forbidden book lies in a box in one of a million rows of shelves; many an enemy of state or prisoner of war lingers in one of the secret cells awaiting interrogation or disposal. No one as managed to flee the complex so far. Be warned - all the ventilation ducts are too narrow to crawl through.
Dylon is an old world, nobody calls it by its sun and number designator (Pyleon II). It has had continuous civilization here for the last 12,000 years. It is an ecumenopolis, a city that covers the entire planet. It began as a low G world with no large oceans but only seas. The Seas are now nothing but water processing resovoirs under the cities now. The buildings have that art deco streamlined and trimmed look. There are usually 28 levels (a holy number to the old Dyloni) above ground and 14 levels below old ground level. Some are built over others, but normally they build up from the ground level. There are all sorts of shinning pathways between many buildings. There are some beautiful spiral towers that run to a 100 floors as well. There are a few dozen archaic divisions in its administration. These are only quaint anachronisms, that harken back to the nations state divisions. They only slightly complicated ones business or travel there.
The average technology here is only slightly behind the times. This is the problem with the inconnected nature of megacities, as new technology has to be merged into the older infrastructure. So Repulsor technology is being used for elevators, the ever present silver trains, bridge supports, and certain product moving, rather than actual antigravity as elsewhere. Thus you will frequently see the beautiful rainbow beams of repulsor tech.
And the technology will probably stay that way, as the Dylori love "the style" of their city. Imagine Art Deco with more stain glass and ever present halogen spotlights, and you get a feel for their richly stylized environment.
The Native Dylori believed in genetic modification, so it is hard to say what a native looks like. The average Dylori is a humanoid, vaguely earthstock appearing. Between that and the influx of aliens (all of which minorly accept some genecrafting) the apperance in a crowd is the most diverse, most exotic, of anywhere in the universe.
Dylori is a hubworld, where several warp routes intersect. Thus there are always traffic in system here. In fact there is so much traffic, that all docking is performed at four orbiting spaceports (then shuttling down to planets). There are even lines waiting to rewarp out of the system as there are specific entry/ exit warp pathways here.
Note: Ecumenopolis is a real word. The word is Greek and the concept was invented in 1967 by the Greek city planner Constantinos Doxiadis.
FireEye is a planet around the size of Mars, with shallow seas, volcanos, and a very high oxygen atmosphere (80% oxygen, 10% nitrogen, 5% carbon dioxide, 5% traces of other gasses such as neon, argon and krypton. Because of the oxygen, lightning often starts huge fires that can cover a third of the planet at any time. Without much to burn, the fires do not last long, but they have effectively sterilized the land. The oceans however are teaming with life,equivalent to the Cambrian Era on earth, safe from the flames of the land.
Once a thriving, metropolitan world known as Loki, Cinder is now even less than a ruined husk of a world. Some few decades ago, a terrorist-planted gravity bomb, little more than a minor threat in most situations, interfered with a complex hyperspace access experiment. While the destruction of the project was intended, the constructive interference of the portal with the gravity bomb was very much unintended. Riding the hole pierced in space time, the gravity bomb created a pulse of several million gravities, for trillionths of a second. While the effect dissipated in space with incredible rapidity, barely changing the course of the star, the world of Cinder itself was, for a brief moment, compressed under the gravity and it's own mass to approximately the size of an Earthling basketball.
All life on Cinder was obliterated, as were all traces of civilization, crushed from normal matter to a positron degenerate state. While the world is slowly expanding once more, it is still primarily semi-stable degenerate matter, having only recovered to approximately a quarter of its original radius. Subsequently, several research stations have been established to study both the residue of the gravity event, as well as the strange qualities of the matter left behind- Merely by having a density of over 350 g/cc, the material is incredibly valuable, but it decays quickly once it has left the planet. Establishing control over the evaporation of the superdense matter is a high priority of the scientists, as is asserting control over the kind of event that occurred here, both for the understanding of the nature of the barrier between truespace and hyperspace, and for the pure value as a weapon.
Orbiting a smallish yellow sun, Hesod II is a backwater planet inhabited by a few million colonists. Possessing little in the terms of industry or strategic relevance, it is a mostly overlooked, serene world.
Wealthy in the terms of moisture, 90 percent of the planet's surface are covered in water or ice - in fact, the whole southern hemisphere. The planet's axis lies in the ecliptic plane of the system, meaning that the northern hemisphere is illuminated onstantly, while the southern is shrouded in perpetual darkness.
Safe for a few mining enterprises the south is home only to ice-mining plants that provide colossal chunks of frozen sweet water for the terraforming of other worlds as well as the irrigation of parched patches in the north.
Most of the northern hemisphere is arid or tropical, bathed in soft oange light. People born here are often prononced scotophobes, and find it difficult to adapt to the rhythm of day and night so common on other wordls, and the synonymity of dark and evil is stronger here than anywhere else.
A few tourists venture here for the neverending day, and the planet is somewhat of an insider tip, special for a lack of harmful radiation at sea level, being particularly easy on the skin and allowing for prolonged sunbathing.
The twilight zone is a welcome stop for a wholly different breed of tourist, as it is home to many dangerous kinds of prey, for example the fabled Ghost Razor, a predator with low level psionic abilities that can actually influence its prey or percieve it at a distance.
Suffice to say that the natives know better than to venture into the shadows, though a few luxury hunting resorts are maintained by off-worlders near the Shadow Belt.
Some suns don't have what it takes to start a thermonuclear reaction - their mass is too low. Exactly this happened to the sun of Garsossa - it was dealt a bad hand of cards, and was doomed to be a brown dwarf forever more.
Likewise pitiable were its planets, never destined to bear life or to witness solar winds. Thus, the Garsossa system with its nine planets, two asteroid belts and countless moons dwells in darkness.
The proximity to several developed systems means that mining vessels stream through the jump points, eager to feed on ores and frozen gasses, mining away whole moons. Some less valuable planets serve as practice targets for military vessels; the Kingdom of Morskoi has taken to dumping convicts sentenced to death from low orbit on Garsossa IV, not far away from a patch of several million square miles purchased by a magnate to have "Sih'Ra, I love you" carved into it on a monumental scale.
One of Humanity's newest colonies, Madre is a paradise world, a world of beautiful green forests and vast, sweeping plains, teeming with life in a trillion varieties, divided by enormous, sapphire oceans, a world not entirely unlike Earth, if one ignores the strange geography. Mineral poor, the colony was established with expectation of becoming an agricultural bread basket, as well as a trade center with several other major powers, another of which has also recently established a colony on the other side of the world.
Yet, as time makes its swift passing, the scientists are learning things about Madre. The biosphere here is impossible, vast portions of it showing no genetic linkage to each other, though it all is able to support one another (as well as earthstock). Here and there, a few scattered markers of alteration can be seen. Meanwhile, the world's geography shows signs of massive meteor storms a bare billion years ago. This world has been created, rather than found. But by whom? Indeed, the million credit question.
Meanwhile, deep beneath the surface, the activity above has awoken the ancient systems. An ancient vault, proofed against the cataclysm, the bombardment that wiped them from the surface. For 750 million years, the AI there has sustained its burden, a handful of the original colonists, the Precursors, held in stasis for eons unimaginable. Broadcasting it's distress signal, now that there is someone to hear it, the vault awaits for someone to arrive and revive its burden. Every major power will recognize the origin, though likely not the nature, of the distress signal. The race is on.
This is one of the first Earth colonies. It is a new world, i.e. has been a colony so long that it has lost its positional number (IV) and the star is now called, Norren's Star instead of Norren itself.
This was one of the first Tailored Colonies, with genetically modified Earthstock adpated to Norren's IV's three g gravity. While started as a mining colony, Norren is now known for its space docks and valuable location on the Arten Warp Route. The university here is known for its engineering and info system departments. The world is somewhat suburban, filled with many beautiful broad domes and ground creeping ivy and ponds dispersed about the planets. Norren has never developed a large population, as Norrens have moved on to colonize several other higher G world and work on space docks and construction projects around Known Space.
Thera's beautiful beaches and turquoise oceans have made this out-of-the-way world an idyllic destination for those in the known. Earth-like in term of weather and climate, it was first discovered by the Grey Corporation's exploration division.
The many archipelagos that dot the surface of the water world (indeed, there are no continental masses, simply island formed by tectonic activity) were originally bare, with no traces of organic life whatsoever. the weather being so mild, and so surprisingly accommodating for humans, The Grey Corporation immediately called upon the service of the Sun-MacGlasgi Terraformer clan to transform this planet into a tropical paradise. Soon enough, the island were teeming with a vibrant variety of life, and resorts were developed to accommodate the space elite.
Prized for its privacy by its customers (There is only one spaceport and the Grey company keeps transits under tight control). This planet has been making a neat profit for the Grey Corporation's coffers since tourism began.
Thera is in fact far more than would appear on the surface. Beneath the waves lie an incredible biodiversity. Roaming monster from the depth of humanity's nightmares glide alongside peaceful plankton feeders. Only a small proportion of life has ever been recorded, and every day, something new is found about Thera's oceans. Indeed, it seems that the planet's life never evolved out of the seas, having little land to evolve on.
In fact, the immensity and abyssal depth of Thera's oceans also hides more human secrets, for it is there that the Grey Corporation has its protected outpost. Leagues under the waves, no planetary bombardment would ever reach it, and the defense systems put in place against invasion are formidable, if completely unseen by any of the tourists.
When the Colonists of the system which later came to be known as 'Liberty' dropped out of hyperspace and arrived in-system, they were surprised by the orbit of two planets around the main star. Indeed, It soon became apparent that the two planets had exactly the same orbit (which happened to be surprisingly circular), and traveled through space on the same path, but on opposite sides of the star (Which later was dubbed Helios).
To this day scientists are still baffled as to how the two world came to be like this. The suspect that either an advanced civilization created them so, or that an ancient cosmic cataclysm forced one of them into this orbit. Either way, the colonists were faced with a strange choice, since both planets were practically identical, except that one had smaller oceans and a greater mineral concentration, while the other had more water, but was rather poor in minerals. So they decided to colonize both.
The water world, they named Sif, after the ancient goddess of the fields and of prosperity. The mineral world, the named Hephaestus, after the ancient god of the forge.
The system is divide so, with all manufacturing and heavy industry occurring on Hephaestus, while the people of the system (Helios's children) live on Sif.
Having used technology to automatically manage the robotic plants on Hephaestus, they were free to develop it as fully as they wanted, taking no precautions regarding human welfare and the environment. This has today led to Hephaestus being completely covered by automated industrial plants, the seas having soon been drained and the water diverted to cooling the many powerplants that provide the energy for this planet sized factory. The entire thing is controlled by orbit, from the large space stations that regulate the metallic arms of the robots below. Once a product is finished, it is led to one of the large spaceports on the planets, automatically sent into space to be recovered by the controllers. Biological life on this planet is rare, and the few lifeforms that exist and make a living amongst the machines are deformed ghosts of their former selves, mutated beyond recognitions into desperate and brutal monsters.
The materials are then sent through one of the two jumpgates, leading it either to Hephaestus's moon, where it is exported to the rest of the galaxy, or to sif, where it is used to build sif's society.
Free from industry, Sif has been able to concentrate on building a strong spirit of advancement amongst its people. Science, art and technology are very advanced here, and the crime rates are incredibly low. Pollution is virtually non-existent, and all waste is shipped back to Hephaestus through a ground based jumpgate. Large areas of land are dedicated to farming a wild diversity of food crop, and most of the population is vegetarian, complementing their diet with a great range of edible fishes from Sif's bountyful oceans. Engineers from the Sif technological institute all go and train on the Hephaestus control stations as part of their course, and provide the workforce needed to keep Hephaestus ticking over nicely.
The visual contrast between the two planets is stark, with an emerald and turquoise world sister to a darkened world, where sunlight barely penetrates the world-smog which envelops Hephaestus like the cold embrace of a death goddess. And yet, within these two opposite lies balance, and this system has lead to some of the greatest scientific and engineering achievement of recent years.
Ferra III is a 20 amino acide world on the warm side of the standard range. Native life their had been practically wiped out by an asteroid carried supervirus. The Scout Service dealt with the supercolony and opened the world up to colonization.
Two colonial groups came to together to charter the planet. The first was a The Nature Repopulation Company. The second was Athena Limited. Together they create a plan that was accepted by the Development Council.
The Athena corp proposed a "Gentle Society", a tech hybrid, where Modern Tech was available, but most of society operated under Basic Tech. Their mythos would be Greek. This low impact society will serve as rangers and wardens of the cloned and reconstituted animals of the Nature Repopulation Program (mostly reviving African and Asian animals from Mid Human to Pleistocene eras for this environment).
Ferrens were genegineered for a "proper matriarchial" society. Gender Dymorphism would be reversed from Earthstock norms. Ferrans see themselves as Shepherds or Stewards of their animals, their world, and by extension, of the Universe. They are strongly represented off world in the Diplomatic Corp and the Mobile Infantry Units.
Correani is a world with 40 tectonic plates, a high rotation, high axial tilt, and moderate solar year. Thanks to the Johnnies and their Appleseeds, the world has a 20 amino acid ecology and a functional atmosphere. Correani is known as "The Most Diverse Planet in the Known Universe". There are nearly a hundred different biomes types on this world. Some of them have been artificially seeded with other world's items to be used as a preserve (for the moment)
The world is an amber travel zone, with restricted access.
*It has a number of military bases and is used for training purposes. The Space Marines train their special evironmental forces here. A posting to the 342nd, stationed here, is a desired posting. As only the toughest are allowed here.
*It has a number of science stations examining the ecologies and how they change.
*There are limited hunting and action sport expeditions on the planet.
*The world is quarrentined for several reasons
1) Lifeforms that develop here are much more "robust" than most lifeforms. Thus microlife could be a deadly and adaptive plague.
2) One of the lifeforms here is a polycellular hydromorph (goopy being). It can slowly change its genetic and physical structure to match any DNA it consumes, thus become that creature. The Correanini, as they have been dubbed, have become "intelligent and sentient beings" by sampling genetic material from intelligent beings (including the space marines which the scientists found amusing). So far, there are only six Intelligent Correanini. The Grand Council is trying to decide as to what to do with these shapeshifter. The Correanini have champions from offworld, the B'monti. The B'monti are the only other known polycellular hydromorphs. They wish to uplift the Correanini. However, unlike the B'monti, the Correanini are predators and keep that inclination when they become intelligent. This makes the Council unease about the Correanini.
In a fringe system on the outermost edge of the frontier, this world is one of the quirks that the universe seems to include to keep sapient lifeforms on their toes; the star is a dull red dwarf, just bright enough that a 'habitable zone' exists around it - if there were any planets occupying it in a normal fashion. Alas, the only world in this system occupies this wonderful area for two brief moments each cycle around the primary - once on the way in to swoop hazardously close, and then again on the way back out into the cold outer reaches of the otherwise empty system.
The planet is about twice Terran mass, with a positively ludicrous amount of water - or, more often, ice, such that only a handful of genuine landmasses break the surface year-round. The orbit is nightmarishly elliptical, to the point that the original explorers were convinced that they were merely witnessing a lost rogue planet passing by the star. Internal heat keeps the atmosphere from freezing out during the lengthy winter where the world swoops out to mark the edge of the system, and it is by this virtue alone that life has actually come to dwell on this world. Home to all manner of strange creatures, adapted to the long, deepl bitter winters and the short, brutally hot summers, Grehom is a world of such exotic biochemistry that many races have sent scouts here simply to examine the biosphere.
Unfortunately, these scouts quickly learn why the planet is rated as an 'Omega Black' system - a living hell-world. What plants there are either bloom massively during the summer season, transforming the burgeoning oceans and lands into improbably jungles over a short span, then leaving behind frozen nutrients and seeds of the next generation during the long winter, or they grow around the perpetual vents of volcanic energy that crack the planet's crust. The herbivores who feed from these are either swift to breed, feeding on the ever-growing volcanic plantlife, or ice-burrowing titans that slowly chew across the icescape, harvesting frozen plant matter as they go.
The predatory races make up roughly two-thirds of the biosphere, with the lowest-grade preying exclusively on the herbivores and breeding wildly to stay ahead of their hunters, while each gradient above that is a fantastic depiction of evolution in action, with changes that would take millennia on other worlds being crammed into only a few cycles, a complex, rapidly-shifting web of hunter and hunted. Beasts that can chew through hardened starship armor, or with corrosive organic acids potent enough to dissolve a careless explorer before he can scream, or any of a hundred thousand other streamlined ways to kill and feed await those foolish enough to come here for whatever reason.
And yet, even here, sapience has come to arise. Settled firmly in the middle of the food chain, and bearing a rather startling resemblance to the dragons of Terran legend, the native intelligence of this freakish world might be considered crude and primitive - but then, when every day of one's life is a struggle for survival against incredible odds, it leaves little room for social and technological development. Capable of exhaling a gaseous organic compound that ignites in the air, and with wings that rely as much on the potent magnetic field of the planet as the bitterly cold air, the 'dragons' of Grehom would be the ultimate predators of any other world - cunning, vicious, and concerned only with themselves and the rest of their extended family/pack/tribe, they still live in steady fear of the creatures more perfectly specialized than they.
Of course, one can never tell what might happen if a clutch of eggs were taken offworld and brought to hatch, safely away from the terrors of the seemingly eternal winter night... But that would require surviving long enough to get the eggs and escape off the world in the first place, and thus far only a few ships have managed to land and depart before being torn apart by the indigenous life.
Stranded - The traditional story; a ship, damaged somehow, has to land to make repairs for some reason, or crashes and needs to be fixed before it can go aloft again. The hitch is that the ship is comparatively warm, and it's deep winter; everything is on the prowl, and the monsters of Grehom's winter make the beasts of other worlds seem as placid as goldfish. Perhaps, if the crew can communicate with the 'dragons' before a hungry clan sets upon them, they might survive long enough to repair the ship.
Biogold - A world as deadly as this is profit waiting to be plucked by biological prospectors. Nearly every living thing is a perfect weapon, if only it can be captured and genetweaked to be domesticated and controlled. Then again, you have to survive the process yourself before you can cash that paycheck...
Uplift - Some well-meaning soul has discovered the sapience of the natives, and wants to give them a fair chance in the galaxy. The group has been dispatched to capture as many 'dragons' as possible, or at least enough clutches of eggs to establish a breeding colony on a more hospitable world. Of course, when the eggs start to hatch midway back, and you have a hold full of hungry, terrifyingly clever predators, even the most altruistic and empathic of souls might start considering dumping the hold into space...
Hunter - One of the native creatures of Grehom has been successfully captured and imported to another world as a zoo exhibit. Unfortunately, something went wrong and now a fantastically adaptable predator is on the loose on a more civlized world. Worse, it may have been female, and pregnant - either with live young, or eggs ready to be laid...
Zvorn is your fairly standard Gas Planet (much the size of Neptune) in close orbit for a gas planetoid (about the outer orbit of Astroid Belt). Zvorn actually has a small rocky core, but is mostly composed of supercold liquids and slushes.
Zvorn is right in the middle of the liferange for Methane life. In fact Zvorn has a standard 18 Acid Methane Biosphere.
The Zvorns are fairly standard Methane life, resembling a Jelly Fish/ Squid Hybrid. They have created a complex technological civilization that is fairly standard for Methane Life. The only thing really remarkable about them is their telepathic abilities which allow them to communicate with just about any species and their ability to use said telepathy.
Zvorn is along two warp/jump routes, so it a well traveled system. While most lifeforms do not stop for shoreleave, they do stop at the planet or one of their orbital stations to recharge and resupply.
If you come upon this world by chance, you will find quite a few dead ancient spaceships in orbit, and on the surface. Some were left here due to malfunction, others have been disabled by weapons. On the planets are remains of constructions and encampments, there is even some bacterial life here - maybe local, or from some trash left behind - waiting on the kick of evolution that spreads it across the planet, and changes the landscape... but right now it's a fairly Mars-like place, cold and dead.
There is still nothing special about the planet.
Aeons ago, a race called now The Builders roamed the stars, the few wondrous artifacts found are proof of their great might. On many on them, sometimes carefully guarded, coded into damaged databases, and sometimes painted on the wall, is the location of this world, without any notes.
No one knows, why the Builders were so obsessed with this place, what it meant to them, or if it wasn't some cosmic joke they played on the races that would follow them.
But every age finds another expedition or more, approaching the planet, eager to discover its true secret. It is will be a hard job, after all those tries.
The various squadrons of the Scout Patrol are always competing to find new planets. Mostly they are looking for habitables, as those "pay the bills". However, they, driven by scientific discovery, try to discover newer and more exotic planets.
Grit (also known as K224 III) is the youngest "planet" ever found - less than 450,000 stand years old. It orbits star K224, a star 220 light years spinwards from Kylos. The planet was actually found the old fashion way, by an optic astronomer, whom infered the planet's presence from an enormous hole in the dusty disk that girdles the star. The hole is 10 Standard diameters (the average of every inhabited planet in the Confederation times 10). The hole was caused by the planet clearing a space in the dust as it orbits the star. The Scouts of the Kyleon Squadron dispatched a ship and officially discovered this, the youngest planet ever.
The planet itself is just a large collection of helium, hydrogen, oxygens, carbons, silicons, and other elements, and resembles a thick cloud of dust covering a spherical thick lumpy "milkshake". It is officially solid enough to be a planet, but is more of a slurry.
In two million years or so, the following fact will be relevant, Grit is smack dab in the standard lifezone. Some people are wondering in the Council if society should be Johnnies and apply Appleseeds to the planet.
The planetary disk is begining to form a warp signature for the star. In the next few decades, this star and its "planets" will become a valuable new warp stopping point.
It is an amazing world. Nobody in the Scout Divisions ever thought such a place could really exist. Of course, a scout didn't find it. It was found by a merchant clan ship. They were only a little off course when they saw the gravity well disrupting their warp field and investigated.
Unfortunately, a merchant clan found it. Thus started the Second RimFire War. The clans and several corporations, as well as the near by Dalians, rushed to arms over this vast resource. It is lucky for galactic civilization that Van Rijn managed to hold the peace long enough so the Council could intervene. Now this unique world is being exploited for the good of all sentients.
You are probably wondering about Miloran. Half a million years ago, a giant sun with an equally giant rocky planet exploded into a Chekov Nova (an abortive supernova like event), unleashing the unimaginable fury of an overheated stellar furnace, spewing enromous energy and superheavy elements into the surrounding space. Only the size of the planet, 1,500 times bigger than standard diameters (roughly Earth diameter), preserved it from utter destruction; even so, the planet lost most of its mass. There remained only the molten metallic core, which collected some of the stellar material ejected by the star in its death throes. The result was a stark, cold world with no atmosphere, plated over with heavy metals and superheavy atomic elements, a smooth, glittering, featureless ball of enormous value to all the intelligent, space-venturing beings whose need for such minerals has forced them to search the galaxy for mining facilities.
Each Merchant Clan and Mining Cartel works this world. The product is value for the Galactic Council and the Confederation itself. Each clan and cartel recieves a "working share" plus costs of its operation, as compensation. The balance of power is maintained and valuable materials are extracted and used strategically by the Galactic Council.
Technically the name of the planet is Centennial III, but nobody ever calls it that. It has the dubeous honor of being discovered and colonized in the same standard year. It has grown and florished since its founding, though their have been some "rough spots" in its development. It is even slightly balkanized due to the number of colonial charters granted to various parts of the planet. The people of Centennial revel in their "frontier status", even though the world is developed as any of the Older Worlds.
They maintain their frontier status with their dress, attempts at hometown orrientation, and "hobbies". They are trying to keep "open space" and supress the "over urbanization" of their planet. They strive to keep he "old traditions" alive. Thus you have cowboys/ il butteri, dirt farmers, hunting by bow, surfing, and climbing mountains/ caves with minimal equipment, as celebrated ways of life.
Centennial was discovered on the first day of the Confederations's Centennial year. In those days, nobody really had expected the Confederation to last that long. In fact, the Confederation was creaking under the stresses of the various factions that comprised it. The first 100 standard years seemed like a major milestone. The Confederation Senate decided that a new colony would be the "capstone" to the centennial celebrations. Rushing the process, they managed to get three colonial teams (from three different, but compatable Confed species) to land on the planet on Foundering Day. The arrival was televised, live (or nearly live), across the Confederation. It was a cheesey PR stunt, but it made an impact upon the people.
After Centennial was founded, there was a new rush of colonial expansion. The Bureau of Colonial Affairs expanded in scope and manpower; The Scout Division of the Fleet likewise grew do to increased funding and interest. It is said, that without Centennial, the Confederation would be only a third of its current size, a mere 200 standard years later.
A psychohistorical observation is that because of the number of new colonies, the old factions in the Confederation were diluted by the needs and concerns of the newer planets. Those more staid or conservative factions did not expand their "planet base" during the Centennial expansions. As their powered waned, given the sheer number of new senatorial inputs over the following generations, the social and economic stresses they geneated in the Confederation Pre-Centennial, were minimalized.
Vulcan is a planet that formed close to it's star in the early times when the star was still quite dim. In those times it was in the life zone for water and for life. By the time the life grew to the level of fish, however, the star and brightened and the planet was getting much more heat then before.
The lands are baking hot in the summer, too hot for an unprotected human to survive for very long except in the caves. The seas and rivers have a very hot, almost boiling top level where only thermophile bacteria and the like can survive. Below are a few feet of pleasantly hot water like being in a bathtub, inhabited by all manner of tropical fish and other creatures used to the warm waters.
Below that level the water rapidly cools and there is another level of life used to that, with internal lights because of the darkness at those depths. Within a few thousand years at the most the waters really will boil away, the carbon dioxide will be cooked out of the rocks, the planet will become like the Solar System's Venus, and all life on it will die. But at the moment it is a fascinating world.
What a sad little system, with a weak sun. If you come closer, the sun will appear a little stronger. One of the planets is in good position, and just being adapted for settling. A lively community is building space habitats and mining the system for resources. Not the most advanced or polished of places, but perfect for a little stop, do your repairs, fuel up, trade some, go.
The locals have a friendly, uncaring attitude. Their lives are hard, but they have pretty much all they need, not bothered by the tumultuous politics of nearby systems. Soon they will have a world to settle on.
They also have a secret.
One of the many rocks in the asteroid field turned out to be a fake. A large cave leads to the inside. Past the docking bay, and the hidden base, you will enter... a planet?
The inside of the planetoid contains a massive spatial distortion in the shape of a sphere. There is a layer of earth, and plenty of wildlife; there is sky, and the illusion of a sun. The 'colonial council' (to assume office when Hedron II. becomes habitable) keeps it private. If the builders felt safe with their creation, why would they leave it? Or was it just a prototype? The small body is hard to find, but a warship might do enough damage to destroy it.
For now, it is used for agriculture, with a few explorer teams. There is no sign of civilization, only a few primitive structures remain, temples maybe. The technology powering the whole thing is still researched.
Arie was colonized in the last wave by the Old Republic, long before the fall of the Long Night. It was at the end of a long warp track, so it recieved little traffic. Verdant and with adequite resources, the colonly florished. It had become a full world of the Old Republic before the End Times.
When the Long Night fell, the Chaos of the End Times did not reach it because it was at the end of such a long warp track. The world sat as a cocoon, awaiting the spring. Here the society and technology of the Old Republic were kept safe, as well as the teachings of the Great Faith. As three centuries slipped by, the New Empires rose and fell.
It was the Homogeny States that eventually made recontact with the Ariens. The Ariens knew something was amiss, but had yet to learn how much had changed in the universe outside their system. With their technical and social help, the Homogeny States were able to recapture that which was lost in the chaos of the End Times.
Ariens is much like the idealized view that people have of most Old Republic worlds. Tall glimmering towers all smooth and almost organic looking, ample use of anti-grav and transmat, nature dispersed between all the technology, and those big solar accepting windows with the geometic designs inset. Between the bustling metropolises are natrual zones. All the background jobs are done by autonomons of all shapes and sizes(rather than Synths like in most places), and enough broadcast energy for everyone to do almost everything they want to do. Ariens really is a paradise.
1) Many Old Republic worlds were not as idylic as Ariens. It was designed this way, so continued in that path.
2) The End Times was not a total loss of Higher Technology. The conflicts dealt mostly with the loss of high energy broadcast power and who controlled it This diminished the possible effects, and given semi-random disruptions, loss of like and knowledge. Yet the technological knowledged remained, just without the energy to capitalize on it. Since the existing ways were no longer an option, new ways were found, because there was space for these "new ways"/ alternative technologies. The Talkerian Drive developed during the End Times is actually faster and more efficient than the Republic Era drives).
Though the Ariens are seldom given credit, they provided the seeds of the New Galactic Confederation.
It is a large Jovian planet, with a beautiful, silvery system of rings. What's more, the particles it contains are quite useful, so with the proper equipment you can collect them, and maybe make a small profit.
Scanning carefully around, you will find numerous wrecks of ships that have done the same.
The local sun is very active, and regularly unleashes solar flares and storms. Most ships are of course equipped against them. However, the particles in these rings change the radiation's polarity, and undergo a strong reaction with the planet's magnetosphere... somewhat like a electric shock passing through the whole ring. Not every ship is equipped against this surprise.
Nearby civilizations will have the phenomenon researched, and the sun's activity cycle mapped out to know when it is best to harvest here. They just may forget to warn you.
And where's the name from you ask? It was given by a lone survivor of one such outburst, with a very weak knowledge of mythology. It stuck.
The planet is perfectly habitable - friendly life, good weather, there are numerous stone structures ready to be turned into homes. The planet has no moon. In fact, there are no other planets or moons, nor asteroids or comets. The whole system has been carefully cleaned of any bodies outside of the star and the planet itself, and a large distance beyond. Only in the remote cometary cloud are objects larger than a pebble. It is also here, where the interplay of forces changes the orbits of some bodies, and a few start to advance into this empty territory.
Some archaeologists speculate its original purpose was a sanctuary, or more likely a prison, that was never used by its creators. The unique tactical situation - nothing to hide behind - makes it attractive for consideration, the distance to bodies worth mining in space less so. There are voices suggesting to use it for diplomatic negotiations. For now, it is empty.
Pallan is a rugged world with many tetonic plates and a young enough age as to not have worn down the jagged peaks and the new valleys. The 20 amino acid biosphere is best termed, "aggressive". It is highly diverse and quite dangerous to those who are not prepared. Not a world most would place a low impact/ lower tech colony. That did not stop the Pallan Colony company. They managed to attract others to their colony for "rugged individuals" and forging of a strong will.
The Pallans were slightly genemodded to adapt to their world. They claim they are not Alphas, as Alphas still have a social stigma (and are against the law in certain sectors).
The colony follows an embedded traditional format for the most part. The colony has "spurs" of technology and centralized living. Kochan (tribes/ clans) live a semi-nomadic lifestyle that rotates them in and out of the concrete domes of the spurs. They live an odd hybrid life, traditional embedded and comfortable middle tech. It centers around their "true beliefs" - honing of self with personal challanges, self reliance, yet all with a willingness to work with others. This provides a Pallan a confidence and aura that makes them practically unstopable.
There are some that think the Pallan colony is really a secret military project to produce "super soldiers". While Pallans are over represented in the Star Force, and the mobile infantry unit, all investigations have cleared the military of any potential connection.
The economy of the planet is based on limited exploitation of resources, limited tourism, reality entertainments and documentries, and a central location of space transport. The system is well located and has several system resources (asteroid mining, gas mining, and particle receptors). The planet has a class A starport with a class AA spacedock orbiting above it. The margins of profit are increased because of the Pallans belief in personal challange and willingness to work under "dangerous conditions" with lack of "proper safety protocols and equipment". Their space resources maintain their planetary economy.
A planet with a multitude of fabulous views, that are just made for everyone to marvel and enjoy. A nearby civilization protects it as a reserve, forbidding everyone from entering at will, several space stations stand guard in the orbit. For the right price, however, they allow tourists to see a little of the beauty.
And there is much to see, the melancholic tones of the vast steppes. through the vibrant tones of the forested hills, wild, untamed mountains, the playful and powerful seas, all is a pleasure, sight, hearing and smell. Amazing place.
What the guardians do not share, is the planet's half-awakened status. The superorganism can be considered sentient. It is a simple mind, lacking any advanced emotions and concepts. But it likes to be admired, and intelligent creatures are the most apt in this regard. Visitors will merely feel amazed. Those who stay longer will develop a strong bond to the place, desiring to exploring in its entirety. There will be a few hermits at any time, most who stay perish by accident, or the rare predator large enough. To be sure, the wardens don't leave people here for more than three days and are very careful with the research performed here.
It is a cold, dirty planet, as the name says, along with some life. There used to be a research station on the surface, but they found nothing of interest. The Ptaroon made a prison out of it.
It seemed like a good idea, as any escaped prisoner would face the unstable weather and shifting temperatures, mostly deep beneath the freezing point. Misbehavior was punished by 'holiday', as they called it.
Then they brought the Nallanians in. The quiet, cultured people lost a war, and were now spread over various prisons and work colonies. Since they lacked any sense of humor, they were treated even worse than others.
The guards never studied their history or biology. They should have. Nallanians were able to survive outside, barely. But long term exposure to the rough conditions and hypothermia provoked in them an evolutionary retrogression. They devolved into their barbaric ancestors, more adapted to the cold, and more aggressive. A tribe grew out of those thrown out.
Most of the prisoners and wardens were slaughtered. The Ptaroon have lost interest here long before, and abandoned the place. Let the savages freeze their heads off (a strong insult in Ptaroo).
Many tribes roam the planet today. But for once, no one is eager to take their home.
(This planet was inspired by seeing an old Star Trek movie. A prison like this was placed on a freezing planet, keeping the main characters, and all the bad aliens. But surely, someone should be able to survive there...)
Cronus is a world with seas of oil and a noxious atmosphere of methane, carbon dioxide and other such gases.The only known life is bacteria, viruses and, on land, a few types of fungus and moss that has evolved in the poisonous brew. Here and there short term fires burst out when lightning ignites the oil, but because there is no oxygen in the atmosphere the fires just flare up and then dsie down quickly. In an oxygen atmophere the seas would be all be on fire by now.
To a planet that needs oil, this planet would be worth a great deal of money.
Or the planet would have to have a superdense core... somehow developed the riot of life.. under an uber gravity.... magically developed some odd atmospheric mix and gaining a few atmospheres worth of pressure, and ... well you get the idea.
This planet could only exist by superscience gone amok. Nanites that transformed all organic material (and every speck of carbon) into oil. (There would still need to be a riot of life.) Of course then there would be no bacteria and such (being organic carbon, thus source material for the oil), but maybe the nanites broke and bacteria just survived.
Of course we do have the oxygen issue... but if you have nanites that self replicate and such, then they might find something to do with the O2 that did not require Carbon.
You would need a massive organic layer...
And how would said hydrocarbon orriented microbs, which live in anarobic environments... get all that stuff to the surface?
That said, there are a plentitude of organic compounds in space; entire massive 'ice clouds' exist whose spectrographic signature suggests that they are composed of alcohol, for example. It is /possible/ that such complex compounds could have collected in large enough quanitity that a forming world might trap and bake them to form complex hydrocarbon compounds in large amounts. Highly unlikely, but possible.
My question is, if the atmosphere has no oxygen, how does fire flare up at all? It's an oxidization process, and without the oxygen there won't be fire at all.
As for the theory itself, in this place it is not looking for hints nor seeming evidence... it is merely an example of how could things work out. :)
A Firefly world
As the Earth That Was was being "used up", the Dysporia began. Any Rocky World in the Lifeband were made to be habitable by people. This produced a huge number of barely habitable planets, most of which are out on the frontier.
Madeira is not one of these world. It is a rich and lush world where the fine arts of wine making have been reborn, along with a culture of civility and honor.
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Geyser Eye is a planet with a surface that is highly unstable and in places volcanic. There are large *seas* of water trapped under the planet's surface that have found the weak places in the crust to erupt as geysers, or as hot springs, pools and fumeroles. The ground is thin and a wrong step can make an unwary explorer fall into deep and scalding water.
There are plenty of insects, mosses and other such forms of life, all of it perfectly evolved to live amongst the geysers.
If cities were to be made here, they could harness
the thermal heat with ease.
(needs more work)
A Firefly World
All through the Alliance there are those that follow the Shepherds of The Book. The Book is old and came from many Great Teachers of the Past that walked The Earth that Was. These folks have followed a Great Shepherd into the Desert that is The Rim and have been given the Promised Land.
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A FireFly world
"Well we can't fix it, so we will just have to live with it," on a plaque dedicated to the terraforming team and first colonists on this Heavy G world.
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A Firefly World
Houston is a very rare world. It once held life. Now it holds life again. That "once life" has given us a legacy that is leading to wealth for the colony.
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A Firefly world
Nob was a fairly developed colony world. It had a few cities, some manufacturing, and something that passed as a space port. Then a wonderful disaster showered riches and power upon it.
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It is a bright spot in the galaxy.
The Alliance was forged from the combination of the Great Western and Great Eastern Powers of Earth That Was. As the Dysphoria radiated from Old Earth, spinward was from the West, Counter Spinward was from the East. Along the core radial border there were planets that were somewhat inbetween. This is one of those.
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An effective government can only exist where communication is sufficiently fast. After a period of expansion, the federation of Kemari was faced with an unique challenge: its two halves were separated by a barren gulf of space, wide enough that no known FTL communication could span it.
The sole star in that empty vast was Bysthari, and its lone planet.
A small ball of sun-baked rock it is, bathed it the searing radiation of its blue star, yet still, it seems to gleam with a fire of its own.
With no atmosphere worth mention, and no cloud cover, the colossal arrays of the galaxy's largest hyper-pulse generators can be seen form far away, resembling landmarks more than any constuction made by mortal hands. A good part of the world is covered in solar panels, feeding the hungry communications equipment. A small cadre of technicians labors hard to keep the arrays in good shape, for they know these are the only thing keeping their homeland together; a likewise dedicated fleet is stationed in the planet's sole moon to keep watch over the vital array. All civilian travel to the system is restricted, and the personnel travel there for year-long shifts.
A firefly world
Mandan has a lot of history. It is a world colder than most. A bit more barren than your average outer world. The landscape is rocky and rugged, yet beautiful. The sky is beautiful, blue as a soul and colors you would never forget if you see it at sunset or rise. With all this beauty comes a lot of pain.
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A Firefly World
LaVenda, the city on the planet with the same dang name, has a huge number of hotels (all pretending to be resorts of some stripe), casinos, entertainers, companions (both licensed and "locally licensed"), and decent food. Most buildings have air conditioning, which is a good thing given the average day is pretty dang hot. Pretty much any kind of cut tech sin and entertainment (shows, exotic dancers, singers, jugglers, drinking, drugs, smoking, cards, etc) can be found here.
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A Firefly Planet
Flying into Lewiston, once you get low enough, is difficult, captain. There is constant wind sheer through the valleys. You have to fly careful, as the wind will slam you into a mountain side faster than a card player tossing in a bad hand. Of course the town you want to get to, Porsen, is the very worse. So best we land in Ramsy territory on the Blue Diamond Lake there, and take the mule up the road to Porsen. I just hope the Ramsy and the Regina towns arent feuding any more. I hate dodging bullets that arent even meant for me.
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A Firefly World
Gadsonia is a fairly average terraformed world. It is a bit on the dry side, and a bit hotter than average at most elevations, but still pretty darn normal. Cotton farming and copper mining are the two most important industries on the planet. Most people on Gadsonia, especially the Sino population (which makes up a solid 30% of the population), supported the Alliance before, during, and after The War.
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Plagued by international strife, Taorin is home to three rival nations currently living under a tenuous peace: Pethor, Verdekevyn, and the Chellnar Federation. Pethor is a continent nation. Verdekyynl covers the two small sibling continents that sepearted by the Valdastan Sea. In the Southern Hemisphere the three island continents there and the eight ancient states on them make up the Chellnar Federation. Due to some "negociations under distress", Taorin is under the collective administration of the Joint Ruling Council.
Taorin is a planet heavy into its own industrial revolution, and is approximately at the development level of the United States in the mid-twentieth century. Recently the Pethorn nation unearthed a large deposit of Duetronial materials. They eventually learned of its explosive power, and launched a program to develop a Duetronial bomb -- easily capable of wiping out their enemies.
Eventually diplomatic negotiations between the three nations failed, as Verdekevyn and the Chellnar Federation conspired to unite against Pethor. The Pethoran government decided to use the duetronial bomb in a pre-emptive strike, setting the destructive force upon its neighbors. It was only then that the other sides agreed to return to the bargaining table.
The planet was only recently named "Taorin" by the Joint Ruling Council, as the word has its roots in an ancient language common to all three peoples. The planetary government is just beginning to come into its own.
The world looks much like the mid 20th century, except there are vastly more air craft and derrigibles moving goods between the continents and the isolated places. The militaries of this world are fighting more air duels than anything else. Taorinan designs for seacraft are well beyond the 20th C Earth, reaching towards the wind turbines and trifold hulls of the 21st Century. Their aircraft carriers are impressive sights to see.
The Scout division is keeping an eye on this system. It is currently travel restricted, as any traveler from the stars would become a political rugby ball and disrupt the balance of power.
Or you could go with this being a just contacted people. There would be heavy external monitoring of the planet and ET's actions there.
A Firefly World
"Cold beer and scantily clad dancing girls all surrounded by glass. Does it get any better?"
Rogers, Episode 2, 8, 12, and 13 of Into The Black.
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A lonely dead planet circling a red giant, there is nothing of particular interest here. The sun used to be larger, now it is receding. The planet has cooled down since, with most of its surface baked almost smooth. It's all just rocks and a thin film of an atmosphere. Rotating slowly, the side currently turned to the sun is quite hot, the other side cold.
The planet is equally distant from the territories of several ancient races. They don't get out much these days, but every so often they meet on the only structure discernible here, when it is 'night'. A sort of a temple, few notice it among all the rocks. There are only a few carefully masked environmental systems, it's not even worth looting. Only a few markings indicate how important this place is.
But if you come at the right moment...
P.S.: the other planets have been lost to the sun during its period of expansion.
A hot, barren and desolate planet, containing little or no plant or animal life. The planet has a hydrographic percentage of 15, with most of the water being locked in the tiny polar caps. The atmosphere is breathable by most standard beings for a short time, or indefinitely by those with a respirator. The imbalance of inert gases and CO2 makes it hard for most being to deal with.
The planet is slated for a blister dome colony eventually. However, there are still more habitable worlds to go around. And the world has no real mineral wealth worth exploiting.
The only feature of note on the planet is a crashed Terran Colony ship. This generational ship uses a sub-ftl drive common in the Ark Era of Terran Expansions. The colonists did not survive or surive long enough on the world to spread out. Thus propigating one galactic myth and disproving another. Human Colony ships have no navigation systems (as they always seem to be lost) and have no landing gear (so they must crash) is the first myth (and mythic joke); the second is that Humans will have a thriving "lost colony" anywhere a colony ship goes.
There is currently a small archeological team here studying the Ark and a geo survey team doing a proper survey of the planet. Their small blister bubble camp is set up not far from the Crashlanding Trench.
ManOrnna is the home of a spiritual society of Manorr (Imagine humans with no noses, just sealable slits, and light green skin). The planet basks in natural beauty, architecture that borders on art, and gentle agricultur. Their society is idylic, akin to the Classical Greek, if the Greek had access to Synthetic Stones, GlassSteel, Broadcast Power, and Information networks (wireless internet & computers).
There culture is possible only because of Weather Tranduction Towers used to manipulate the weather by controlling solar exposure and ambient temps. This keeps things a comfortable temperature almost all the time and keeps weather towards the pleasant and rainfall when and where it is needed.
Though they do not liked to talk about it, they had a "confused" and "disturbed" culture, much like Humans do. It is only through the use of logic, willpower, and willingness to give up upon the material, that they were able to make a transcendent culture - working together to make a paradise.
If you dig archeologically in the wrong places, you will discover that they did have a wild culture. That culture was then destroyed by mad weather, allegedly wielded by a mad genius (called Manorr) wanting world domination. It seems the current Manorr are descendents of those that lived in the Mad Genius's biodomes, to create a perfect future society. So they killed off 98% of the population, then succeeded in creating a perfect society.
A Firefly Planet
On the voyage from Earth-That-Was, most feuds were put to rest. But there's some bad blood that can't be healed with anything but payback. The Native American Indians managed to keep their communities together. While they were as glad as any when the terraforming began to take, they made it known to the Alliance that they expected payment for the land they lost nearly 1000 years ago.
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Hawking's Cloud, in the strictest sense of the word, is not a world or a planet. Rather, Hawking's Cloud lies very nearly at the center of the Milky Way, a vast and dense cloud of particles in the strange zone lying just outside of the Event Horizon of the supermassive black hole found there.
Here, in the otherwise heat, light, and gravity sterilized zone of the galaxy's core, has evolved one of the strangest ecosystems capable of communicating with man. Each creature here is built around a standing wave of phonons within the thick plasma, its physical representation in the 'world' constructed of ions riding and attached to those waves. Gliding through that same plasma, there are those who graze upon it, for both energy and mass, those who feed upon the grazers for concentrations of ions which are rare elsewise, and even those who philosophize beneath their ionic seas, singing electric songs as complex as the whales of earth.
Could be a Firefly World, but it works any way
Located mid-gap between the Rim and the Outer worlds, Bangalore's trade is mostly in radioactive fuel for the huge shipping container ships that travel between the higher-producing Outer worlds and the Rim and anywhere they might need fuel.
It also serves as a gathering point for small- to large-bulk transports to drop cargo for pickup by the huge tankers that take mega-tons of cargo to the core worlds. As a result, much of the planet is devoted to ship-yards (for repair) fueling stations (parked at the top of the three space-elevators) and refinery reactors and ore mines.
Bangalore is one of those places that is easy to get to and easy to get off of and hard to live on. There are no natives here, just people working under contract. Its transient population is said to refresh completely every 10 years. Organized crime isn't much of a problem, with so much cargo going in and out of Bangalore all the time, it isn't one of the places where crime above petty theft, B&E and the occasional murder is going to happen.
Political and Bureaucratic corruption, however, is rampant. The Alliance maintains a Governor, named George Cardinal, whose job it is to see that things go smoothly for the Alliance.
A sparkling blue world with rich cloud cover, Plava Vadania is a habitable world located on the solar side of the life belt, with the hydrographic percentage at 91%. The land consists of volcanic and coral islands, with one chain of larger fertile islands around the northern tropic.
Colonized by a sleeper ship, the planet lacked any contact with Earth, and developed in a rather peculiar way, mostly because of an unique water organism.
The first landing parties encountered hospitable surroundings, with no large land predators or biohazards, and no intelligent life. The smartest beings on planet seemed to be the huge whale-like mammals roaming the vast seas. And they were, until a fateful encounter with an unassuming lifeform.
When the Ariadne, a large fishing vessel, ran upon a reef during a storm, its crew believed themselves doomed. Something else happened though. Below the waves, strange gelatinous beings were drawn to them, and engulfed the sailors - yet death did not come. While their bodies dissolved, their consciousness remained within the amorphous mass, and was able to steer its moves. When they merged, the sailors were able to speak mind to mind, while their bodies were highly malleable and responsive.
In the lore of their descendants, the voyage of the First home, to Acra, the first settlement, takes on Odyssean proportions, yet finally, they returned to their still-human brethren. Several of them were able to calcify parts of their bodies by then, forming crude skeletons, that allowed them to walk on land for shor periods of time; the settlers were horrified though by the slimy humanoid shapes. With no vocal apparatus, they were forced to communicate in writing with their comrades. Still, many did not believe that these beings were indeed former crewmen; some claimed they were treacherous, plotting aliens. When one of them, remembered as Morad, tried to speak to his wife by touching her, his body reacted by melting hers and giving her a shell of slime.
Violence broke out, and those sialors who were not slain fled to the waters. Another fateful moment was when one of the transformed tried to sneak on board of a shuttle, to speak with the captain still residing in orbit, to explain matters. Believing themselves threatened, the spacers broke off contact with the ground, subsisting on hydroponic farms, solar power and recyclation.
Three distinct societies were created - the Newborn below the Waves, the Trueborn on land, and the Spacers above; each took a distinct course in its development.
The Spacers harvest resources from asteroids and comets, and keep their distance from happenings on planet, approaching only to resupply, offering knowledge and high tech in return.
The colonists dirtside have developed a highly conservative society that is extremely paranoid of the waves and the Newborn below. Their cities are veritable fortresses, they wear sealed suits when outside, and carry flame-based weapons at all times.
The changed colonists flourished in the vast warm seas, and learned to master their forms. While their descendants cannot be called human by any stretch of the word, they are of keen mind and of a deeply philosophic nature: after all, it is will, knowledge and rigorous mental exercise that allows them to forge their bodies into the tools they need, and into stronger and tougher forms they need to survive in an ocean populated by a myriad of various species. They see themselves as humans, though, and have never given up the attempt to start a dialogue with the settlers on land. Ingrained distrust and events past prevented peaceful relations so far, and the occasional land dweller who, discontent with his life, 'defects' to the water dwellers, does not help matters much.
So far, Plava Vadonia hasn't had contact with starfaring species inluding their earthling brethren, and is not capable of building vessels capable of interstellar vessels themselves.
At a null-point of hyper-space, in its depths, if such an attribute could be applied to that strange dimension, exists a place unlike anything in existence. A dozen unstable routes lead here, large of caliber, vibrant with energies flooding towards the Dark.
Around an orb of weird matter, which sheds radiation of various particles and waves in chaotic patterns lies a region filled with debris and lost ships; towards this place they drift, damaged vessels that lost power in hyperspace, or made miscalculated jumps that fried their engines, an expert may recognize chunks of vessels 'removed' by the dreaded P'cthoni Void Cannon.
A traveller who finds himself in the vast Dark will float amidst debris, while his instruments pick up strange signals, bogeys and transmissions: those are broadcasts that went unheard, pleas for rescue that fell on naught but the cold emptiness of space, delirious dreams dreamed by starving and suffocating spacemen, calculations of AIs of dead ships.
From time to time, a gargantuan form will float by, an ever-shifting mass studded with nodes of radiation in alien patters, even brush the ship; voe to the vessel that catches their interest, for the creature will wrap its tendrils around it, and extend them inside, spelling doom for all on board.
While it is a veritable treasure trove, few venture to this forsaken place, and fewer leave, for the routes taken to the Dark are not easily travelled in reverse, putting extreme strain on the ship's engines, and when they fail, the unfortunate vessel finds itself drifting towards the Dark again.
Saying that this is a swampy planet is a waste of breath, especially in this fetid air. Bogs upon marshes upon clogged rivers, this world has gotten its share of filthy water. Local fauna and flora corresponds to other typical swampy biomes, to the enjoyment of a few biologists and annoyance of all others. The climate seems to range from hot swamps to frozen swamps. There is nothing really worth seeing here.
Okay, the geological composition is interesting. But a deep scan will reveal the bones of several ships, that landed on the spots, that looked stable, only to be swallowed by ground later. A few lost mining outposts had a similar fate, maybe you could get lucky with a little archeology.
People try it for a while, then give up, their will (and often bodies) consumed by the planet. Empires grow and crumble, this little planet quietly bubbles its gases for itself, producing nothing but mosquitos and a few larger predators. There are better places to waste time.
Can't follow the maps, or don't mind the Danger symbol? Come on in.
The Lartians were a stern, diligent people. They methodically built up their civilization, in relative peace and harmony. Then they discovered spaceflight and started to colonize their solar system.
Civilizations die in their specific ways and some periods are riskier than others. The jump into space is one. Lartians built massive stations and moved large parts of their population out. But the disruptions, that followed, have destroyed them completely. A war started, led with the same diligence and care, methodical up to the last detail. Both sides won: they have destroyed their enemy. And the Lartians were no more.
Yet something was left. Perfectly automated machinery of war, self-repairing spaceships, able to replicate. They are on a medium level of technology, it is their numbers that make them truly dangerous. They are on a noble mission: their last order is to 'bring life back to the planet'. To their credit, they won't prevent you from landing on the planet, and will most likely ignore lifeless probes. Anyone trying to run away will be dealt with. At least they don't have FTL.
Lartias II. is a dead, hopelessly nuked world. There is a location, where the automated defenses like to put down any found life, which includes all spaceships with lifeforms on board. Some bacterial life actually survives here, in a thin layer of toxic soup, decorated by crashed spaceships and their dead crew. You really don't want to end here.
Now that you talk about it, this would be an ideal place to drop some prisoner with symbolic supplies. Either they grow here something or die - enriching the place in any case. Some places are really a death trap, to be avoided unless you really know what you are doing. Luckily, this one should be fairly well known.
A system with multiple planets and much debris, it seemed like an ideal target for colonization for a nearby race. They sent ships and a large crew, ready to transform a world... only to find the estimates for their destined planet were wrong, it was too heavy for their kind. They despaired and decided to refuel their ships and return home as soon as possible. Today it's two hundred years and counting.
The "Lucky Mile" is a large planetoid with a peanut-like shape. It was discovered by a depressed prospector in the tragic early days. Within one mile were found three vital resources, all on its surface. The colonists flocked to this place, at least some good news and hope to return!
The exotic body proved to be excellent for mining. The low gravity provided some comfort, the rocky material cover. Before they knew it, a large part of the travelers was settled here. The fuel they sought wasn't found here, but there were alternatives. In fact, they could soon build entire ships! The strongly elliptic orbit leads them every few years to the more distant gas giants, where basic organic compounds can be found en mass, the approach to the sun isn't too close. Finally, the colonists made the decision.
The Mile system is now a vibrant place, proof, that with patience and some luck, you can overcome the worst start. So keep trying, man.
Lucky is thickly colonized, a tenth of his surfaces now covered by domes and mines. There are even large fields and parks, a sign of their prosperity. There is mass driver of some thirty miles long, for launching materials and spaceships. A number of space stations all over the system compliments the growing civilization, they will become a major center soon (there are already plans to colonize further systems). The locals are self-assured they can handle anything. The only thing that causes them unrest is the planet they can't use... but they will come up with something. The seeds they planted them long ago start to bear fruit, it would be a shame to not use it.
"How many civilizations fell like this one? I wish I knew."
Third planet from its sun, it is a thriving world, perfect for its inhabitants. They rised from their round clay huts, to found cities, learn all that is to learn and finally start to reach for the stars.
And they learned to correct to shortcomings of their bodies, all to their good. Incidentally they also learned about the ways to create pleasure, pure ways, perfect ways... so why should they bother with the common means of getting to it? Why should they bother with life itself? Many fell headlong into the thrall of recreational drugs or direct neural stimulation. Entire generations were lost.
Today has Pharos a stable population. With automatic systems, that care for all their needs, there are few people needed for their maintenance. All the others are for backup, or to split their shifts and burden into the shortest intervals possible. Even this duty is annoying to them. The remains of their legal structures attempt to enforce at least some activity, not even knowing why... but all that which doesn't grow, stagnates. Their cities, once beautiful, start to look predictably similar. Too many reconstructions, too little building. Nothing can hide, that they are half empty. Most of the population never leaves the pleasure centers anyway.
And this is a lucky pleasure planet. Too many others fell into ruin, unable to procreate or maintain their civilization.
Pharos has lethargically allowed itself to be discovered by other races. It was lucky in this regard, too. For a while it was a frequent stop of mercenary ships, who were friendly enough to spend only their holiday there and load up on drugs. A nearby government has pondered whether to rescue them and how, or if they just should bomb them from the sky and take the planet for free.
Then came the Volians. They have annihilated races before and conquered many. And they made a decision: to leave this place preserved as a warning.
And so was Pharos saved again... not that anyone noticed.
The Erntai and Hadomo, two races with homeworlds close to each other, discovered star travel almost simultaneously; yet, instead of advancing together, they were at each other's throats from the first encounter on.
Their war was fought on ground and in space, with any tools available.
A world severely hit was Kadomas IV, previously a prosperous industrialized planet with abundant resources. First, the war plunged it into an ice age, yet the fighting continued both on the surface and above. Finally, the fleets were destroyed, and with no means of travel nor supplies, the forces on the ground battled on for a while, then froze.
Preserved in blocks of ice, their genetically modified killers slumber, cyber-tanks rest beneath drifts of packed snow, andhuddled soldiers are slowly becoming stalagmites in icy caverns.
Andventurous traders sometimes approach the battlefield to salvage military equipment, or to claim a block of ice with a ferocious war beast within, to sell to a gengeneering company or to the infamous arenas of Bal'Bashra, where they are made to fight to the death.
Colonized by a sleeper ship in the pre-warp era, and only recently re-discovered at the end of a treacherous starlane, the world is an enigma to many. Classified as an amber threat zone, the planet still supports about a hundred million humans - and a plethora of... other things.
You must understand - on Hydesen, myths come to life.
Orbiting a mellow orange sun, the planet is slightly smaller than earth, with a hydrographic percentage of about 60-65%, an axial tilt that brings about pronounced seasons and a 250-day year. A large percentage of the highly varied landscape has a temperate oceanic climate; while there are but two large continents, there is a myriad of sizable islands, mountainous, rapidly rising from the restless sea, heavily forested with imported and indigenous trees alike. Earthstock and native beasts created a complex ecosystem, profiting from each other on a scale unseen elsewhere. Volcanic activity is abundant, making for rich soils, colorful sunsets and the occasional lava bath.
During landfall, the colony modules scattered, each deploying its load on a different landmass; soon thereafter, the colonists lost contact with the ship, and were let to fend for themselves; today, the peak of science is the steam engine and black powder in some places, sails and windmills in most.
A myriad of different cultures arose, from them, nations - government is fractured between city states, small kingdoms, and the occasional transient empire.
What makes a difference from so many other orphaned worlds, you ask? It is the Others. From the very first days on, colonists vanished without trace, one or two stray people at once, in the dark of the night, always without trace; al over the world this continues even today.
Soon after the landing, though, strange creatures began to appear, as if taken from human legend and myth: man-beasts, varied grotesque humanoids (from beautiful to abhorrent), even huge predators resembling dragons, which, terrifyingly so, are able to fly in the thick atmosphere.
Surprisingly many of the Others are intelligent, even some that appear bestial; even many animals that appear fully natural may shock with fully developed vocal chords and a human-like intelligence.
Inter-species tension is ripe between humans and some of the dominant intelligent strains of Otherkin, yet in places, man mingles with the Others freely.
No magic is at work on Hydesen III, though it is an accepted fact in the populace. A deep survey of the planet would reveal ruins ancient and advanced. Within them dwells a marvelous creation, known to itself as the Keeper; no one else knows of it, for its makers are long gone. Of technology and neural tissue it is made, self-evolving and aware, yet damaged by the cataclysm that wiped out its creators.
Upon encountering man, a strange creature with an alien mind, it took samples - and found a wild unstructured maelstrom of thought within. While man rarely has the psionic gift, one of the captives did, and one was all it took to influence the Keeper strongly. An adolescent girl with a rich imagination was like an unstoppable fountain of inspiration to the Keeper, compelling and overwhelming to his fractured mind; until today, he keeps her in a permanent dream, young as she was the day she was taken, and calls her his Guide, his Muse. It is from her mind that the Otherkin were brought into the world, made from the countless captives by the technology that is at the Keeper's disposal.
Eavon I is a station which is roughly .9AU out from the Eavon star (Class F3). The system is filled with a rubble disk and three tiny gas planets. There are several warp paths that pass through this star and it is centrally located between several colony planets. Most of these planets are colonized by Frell and Posidonites.
Eavon is an aquatic station, filled with liquid water of moderate temperature, a low/ benign mineral conent, and moderate pressure (for an ocean environment). It is made of three concentric rings hooked to a central core. The ring spins very, very, very slowly giving a small radial effect (so sediment will settle eventually).
The rooms and spaces are designed with aquaforms in mind. It is all open in a 3D sense. With only microG here, the aquaforms are more at home and areoforms. There are many simple dividersm some of which have privacy tarps to pull over and more permanent edge "caves". There are force grown coral here. There are areas where "restaurants" of open krill and microanimals can be consumed. There are places where more prepared fish can be found.
It is a very vibrant trading environemnt and quite cosmopolitan. Goods from across two sectors can be found here. (There is also a shipdock to build and repair ships found here. There are nearly 250,000 permanent residents of Eavon. With the various crews and those with visas, the population is nearly double. This is stressing the ecosystem on the station, but as long as fresh supplies come in, things can be maintained.
Here the various aquatic species, including Earthstock Aquamorphs, Divers with rebreathers, Frell (jellyfish like super intelligent colony creatures), and a host of others.
Areoforms (air brethers) are kept in a limited area here in a central core for standard. Some use UVAs and remotes, much the way Aquaforms interact in many areofrom stations.
With the advent of technology, most nascent species face the threats of overcrowding, pollution, resource depletion and self-annihilation before they can reach for the stars. So did the inhabitants of Gallaire; they failed the test, though, albeit narrowly.
History archives describe the fuming hell-pit that is Gallaire as a temperate planet with somewhat extreme weather, remarkable for its clustered terrain - swathes of forest, extensive mountain ranges, endless flatlands dotted with lakes. Nowadays, it is a different world, with a constant haze of toxins and pollutants in the air, strange twisted growth covering the pock-marked post-apocalyptic landscape and volcanic activity and tremors shaking the destabilized crust. Of the Gallairians, nothing remains - but their children live on.
Faced with extinction, their scientists sought to impart their legacy onto custom-made creatures, hardier than their creators by far. Various were the Survivors - some were fungoid hybrids, some invertebrate and malleable, some half-silicate, others with swift metabolism and countless offspring. They now eke out a living on the half-dead world... and among the stars. For the Survivors have found a market.
Far and wide, the new Gallairians find employ in dangerous environs and armies alike, as most hazards they encounter are akin to vacation compared to what they face at home. Who knows, perchance one day, they will even save up for a new homeworld; after all, they are not as picky about real estate as other species.
This planet is relitivly close to a great, red, dim sun. Daylight is a permanant twilight, but it's closeness to the sun makes up for the small amount of heat. The inhabitants have large eyes, twice the size of humans on Earth, to take in every bit of light there is. Bright light is rarely used as it can damage eyesight.
Instead of trees, there are forests of fungus, huge mushrooms that can grow to tree height. Whilst some types are poisonous, many others are edible, and different kinds of fungus take the place of wheat, barley ect on Earth.
153- Agritopia An AmberZone
All Commercial and Standard Traffic to this planet is disallowed. All who have entered this sphere have never returned.
Agritopia was once a regular colony world. Its charter was fairly normal, but with an emphasis on providing a perfect life for everyone. It is believed that their own sophont AIs took over and gave them exactly what they wanted.
War has been abolished. Crime has been abolished. Disease, mental illness and unhappiness have been abolished. Everyone lives in a farming community with a statistically-ideal population which provides satisfying work, fulfilling relationships and an algorithmically-adjusted level of leisure time for socializing and celebrating.
Disruptive elements have been eliminated. Race. Class. Culture. Education. Literature. Art. History extends as far back as last season. Each village has exactly one book, which the headman uses to record each birth, death and marriage.
But there are still serpents in paradise, which is why every so often a number of citizens have their neuroconditioning relaxed, so memories of a life before Eden come flooding back. They function as troubleshooters, and when the trouble has been resolved, their unhappiness dissolves in a flood of blissful hypnoprogramming and they take their place in the community again.
Still, the Humans are in revolt against their benevolent overlords. It's only during those few hours or days when minds are free and the machines are watching that rebellion can be conceived of. It's only during those times when the mind is in chains that rebellious acts can be committed. It's a hell of an organizing act, but if you wall up the human spirit, it'll squeeze out through chinks in the mortar. We'll be free again no matter what.
For travelers, they will be stunned by static drones and taken to one of the hundreds of conditioning facilities hidden around the planet. Once there, their minds and bodies will be modified to fit into the planetary model.
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