Auroran System- Ain't Much, But It's Home

Drev- Inner world of the Auroran System. Drev is a dense, mineral-rich planet with a thin atmosphere. The majority of the surface is a volcanic wasteland and uninhabitable. The only area capable of supporting life is the Drev Valley, a valley along the equator. The Valley has the Drev River that flows from west to east, as does the weather. Over fifty mines eke out a profit by burrowing into the cliffs of the Valley. Hundreds of small freeholders mine slim veins of gold, platinum, kemotite and quantium. Drev City is the only true city on Drev and home to three hundred thousand miserable souls. Its founders abandoned the City during the War of Unification and no one actually owns it. The infrastructure is crumbling, gangs rule the population and now one person is emerging to control the gangs through alliances and his band of Regulators. The Regulators carry laser pistols and take out any gang that doesn’t submit to their leader, Gizmo. The only safe area is around the bar/market/hotel ‘Darkwater’, owned by Killian Darkwater.


Changdao- The capital of the Auroran system. Changdao is an ocean world (93% water) and almost exclusively ethnic Chinese. The majority of the seventy million inhabitants live a low-tech life centered around tropical atolls or small groups of sailing ships. Fish and trade goods are the primary exports of Changdao.


  • Changdao City- a sprawling complex of islands, floating platforms, water craft of all types (from sail to fusion), cable cars and hover cars is home to thirty-one million people. Most people live in a hodgepodge of slab plastcrete buildings and narrow lanes, rarely leaving their neighborhood. The City is home to tens of thousand small factories producing almost everything imaginable. The west part of the City is home to the financial and government centers as well as the Alliance Naval HQ, Auroran System. A squadron of frigates is based in the orbital complex above the City and the cruiser ‘Coventry’ is undergoing extensive refitting after a reactor breach.
  • Processing Platform #47- a huge floating platform (twelve square kilometers) on the opposite side of the planet from the City. Forty-Seven was left behind from the initial terraforming and was bought by Blue Sun. The platform serves as a fish-processing plant, spaceport and home to seventy thousand inhabitants. Most of the platform’s income comes from the twice-yearly spawning of the Changdao Devilfish that return to nearby lava tidal pools.


Akron- easily the most pleasant world. Akron is a planet of wooded mountain ranges, river valleys and small lakes. The planet was settled by a group of industrialists that wanted to create a modern Utopia. Each city on Akron is between thirty and fifty miles from the next one and connected by monorail ‘trolleys’. By law, no building can be over five stories or hold more than one hundred residents, no factory can employ more than one thousand workers and no company can have more than three factories in each city. Companies collaborate to form industrial parks and communities around them pleasant enough to get new workers to move to. Almost all residents belong to one or more clubs, whether country clubs, hunting clubs or Victorian-style gentlemen’s clubs.


The Alliance only recently started mass emigrations to Akron and the planet so far has managed to assimilate the majority of the ‘new-bees’. The ones that assimilate are ‘good-bees’ and the ones that do not are ‘don’t-bees’ and find themselves forced into the wilderness. Many make the best of it and farm or log until they feel the need to assimilate. Some are forming gangs and preying on the trolleys.



Asteroid Belt- The Auroran system has an unusually rich asteroid belt, especially in quantium, and is mined by both corporations and small collectives of miners. There are several dozen habs throughout the belt, used for trading, resupply and relaxation.



Zig- One of a pair of tidal-locked planets (both rotate around central gravity point as they revolve around the sun). Zig is a small and volcanic world with frequent quakes and eruptions. It is a moist world and the majority of structures are built on pylons. This planet had its own plant life and was only minimally terraformed. The planet is sparsely settled and most is still unexplored. Scientists have discovered over three hundred medicinal plants, some of extreme value. The major predator is the swamp shark, an amphibian carnivore able to travel short distances on land. Swamp sharks are territorial and hunt in packs; the second colony, Mobile, had to be abandoned due to constant attack.


  • Lafayette- main spaceport and home to ten thousand settlers. The economy is based on rice and wild medicinal plants. Governor Wainwright rules the town with an iron fist and holds grudges.
  • Chopin- trading post centered in the Bear Delta. Thousands of small farms navigate the river/swamp in order to trade food and herbs for whatever they need. Extremely rowdy town with five overworked Alliance lawmen.
  • Chaff- only Zig town built on solid ground. A center for the gem trade, Chaff is a rough town where fortunes can be made or lost. There are thirteen casinos along Shark Street, most owned by the town constable, Nancy Muller. Gem dealers that do not donate to the Town Fund are significantly more likely to be robbed.



Zag- the twin of Zig and home to several extensive industrial complexes. Zag is a swampland with entire cities floating on mats to counter the constant quakes. The original settlers were displaced thirty years ago when the industrial parks began to be built and referred to as ‘swamp rats’. Swamp rats are blamed for constant sabotage and attacks on corporate assets and a significant number of Alliance troops are garrisoned in the cities. They sweep the outlying areas for swamp rats but are usually unsuccessful.


  • Azure- industrial park owned by Blue Sun. Azure produces chemicals, fertilizer, power cells and process medicinal plants from Zig. Currently suffering from a wave of terrorism by swamp rats, Azure is considering the hire of mercenaries to ‘clean out the swamps’. The Alliance garrison is unpopular due to their tendency to shoot anyone in dark alleys, even workers on their way to work.
  • Decker- industrial park owned by Hufflemeyer Corporation. Decker produces hand tools, swamp craft, pre-fab housing and mining equipment. The forty-five thousand residents are divided into several gangs and the Alliance garrison mainly stays inside their compound.
  • Taupe- industrial park run by MSL Corp. Painfully cheerful company town full of seventy thousand disgruntled workers. Taupe produces clothing, small appliances, kitsch and prepackaged foodstuffs. Swamp rats are attacking the power grid to shut down the factories.


Sierra- mountainous planet, mostly small herders. Wheat, cattle, sheep, emu. No significant Alliance presence. Sierra was the first of the system’s terraformed worlds to be settled fifty years ago. The first wave of settlers, the so-called ‘Founders’, are much wealthier than the waves that arrived twenty years ago and the most recent wave which started after Unification and is still continuing. There is increasing tension between the Founders and the Tumblers (newer settlers) over water rights, the new Alliance policy encouraging small ranches and farms, a demand by the Tumblers for better education and whether a planetary road network should be created.


  • Shirer- the central city in the Montana Valley. Montana Valley was settled first and is quite fertile and has excellent grazing land. Montana Valley has large numbers of ranches (200% increase since Unification), several light rails leading to the city, three major ranchers competing for control and numerous meat-packing plants and food processors in Shirer. Duels are common among the upper crust and landowners while freeholders and farmhands settle problems through ‘vendettas’ (sawed-off shotguns).
  • Chango Drift- a network of canyons and river valleys. The Drift has thirty thousand settlers divided into small farms and ranches with a band of raiders nearby. The raiders (Cowboys) have several shuttles and raid throughout the Chango/Red Rock area. The central town, Red Rock, has a small spaceport and the only decent medical facility on the planet. By unspoken agreement, the hospital is untouchable by any side.
  • Mongo- a large area with hot springs and good mud. Run by a co-op of former Indie rebels and their families. The town of four thousand makes adobe bricks containing ceramic compounds useful in shipbuilding and other applications and also has a small junkyard and shipyard (shuttles and lighters). Mongo is trying to build a geothermal power plant to provide power for some light industry and pottery kilns.
  • Lazlo- a region of high mountains in the southern continent. The region is full of alpine meadows and game animals as well as the largest population of wolves in known space. Lazloans are expert hunters and good shots who smuggle and rustle each other’s herds constantly. The small freeholds often have small gold or platinum mines and the Cowboys visit them frequently. Lazlo has hundreds of gunsmiths that produce several kinds of high-quality rifles and revolvers, some for export and many for keeping the wolves at bay.



Volon- manufacturing world, small, volcanic. Mostly mountain ranges, mines and a few cities. Polluted, violent, run by industrialists and the gangs they sponsor. Little food can be grown here, mostly potatoes, peanuts and other root vegetables. Kangaroo rats and lizards are common and get into most sealed buildings and food containers. The Alliance does not have a presence on Volon and the owners don’t care about the gangs as long as production stays high.


  • Nezzer- makers of engines, shop machinery and small ships (shuttles, lighters, featherboats). Nezzer is in a deep valley and mostly built on sheer cliffs connected by walkways. The wealthier live higher up and the lowest levels are barely livable. Instead of gangs, employees of the factories and machine shops fight to control territory and market share as well as to steal raw materials or sabotage machinery. While such activity is epidemic, it is rarely fatal and considered ‘good Nezzer neighborliness’.
  • Talia- engines, construction materials/habs, sheet metal and ingots. Talia is built on a mesa and is cold and constantly swept by wind. The gangs have openly divided the city into sections and identify each other by their hats. Guns are disdained and knives are used to settle issues. Talia exports bodkins, a double switchblade, as well as the bondo (knife capable of shooting the blade 3-5 meters).
  • Nover- ingots, construction material. Small city run by the Dort family. Five thousand, mainly indentured servants, live in dorms and are highly regulated. Drugs are extremely inexpensive in Nover. A company town, the Dort family owns every store in Nover and the prices are exceedingly high.
  • Gunda- electronics, mining equipment, power generators and weapons. Guns are ugly and cheap but good. Gunda is named after a small derringer made out of ceramics that fire clouds of needles. It isn’t so much deadly as painful and distracting. Gunda is built in a canyon complex with frequent dust storms and Gundars usually wear goggles and a filter mask.



Sturm- small moon of Volon. Tropical, massive storms, pharm plantations and raw materials for drugs including Flashback.


  • Dort Plantation- large complex of pharm producers run by Dort family and their indentured servants. Evaner Dort rumored to hunt runaways.
  • Gao Ye- valley protected from most storms. Third largest producer of Immunisium, an antiviral of extreme potency.
  • Zulda- cliff dweller city that uses terraces on the top of Zul plateau to grow Brelm vine, an ingredient for Flashback. Mostly indentured servants turned into zombies. Violent, run by Lars Tanner, no medical system.



Drang- tiny moon of Volon. Barely inhabitable, sulfurous atmosphere, dry and ugly. Drang produces both Angel Bells (geodes that hum with great beauty) and Fire Beads (crystals that glow when exposed to biomagnetic field). No permanent settlers, no agriculture other than hydroponics in the habs, the only people on Drang are there to hide out or make money.


  • Golum- hab built in large crater. Only place on planet that has a decent spaceport, home to about 20k miners at a given time, there is a reason for the phrase ‘as grungy and godless as Golum’. Two groups of slavers operate out of Golum.
  • Sutter’s Hab- hab in the Hesphus mountain range that is center to an extremely rich fire bead field. Set up by Blue Sun; they control 40% of total fire bead market. Sutter’s Hab is tacky but more and more miners are operating out of it.
  • Mortensen- hab built in lava tubes (fifty yards in diameter). Huge hydroponics facility, provides most of Drang food, some fire beads in area, some iron and lead mined as well. Run by a collective of engineers and botanists. Growing problem with violent miners and several hydroponics beds have been vandalized or wrecked.



Saskewen- small and forested world. Cool temperate, much snow. Good timber, great fur, some gold dust.


  • Dermott- gold dust, rustic, 5k in area. The population is 80% male and the backwoodsmen frequently kidnap ‘brides’.
  • Dillon- fur, mining, timber, small industry (metalwork, boats). Ten thousand inhabitants are clustered in the Greater Dillon Crater. Most buildings are set up above or connected to hot springs and are quite comfortable. When the system was colonized, a string of bad code caused all the bears allotted for the entire system to be released in the Crater. Guns are extremely common, but many residents keep them as pets.
  • Marsden- amber, timber, art, set up by Cult of the Fifth Earth. Three thousand disciples worship the Lost Creator and hope to return humanity to paradise through prayer and cheap trade goods. Traders are confined to small compound and see almost no one.
  • Olek- only major mining operation. 7 mines and many small claims and gold dust in rivers. Dirty and run by merchants. Thirteen thousand in the area.



Meij- tiny ice moon. Under the kilometer-thick ice lie deposits of Helium-4, fuel for fusion reactors and the only source for it in the Auroran system. Formerly owned by the Blue Sun Corporation, it was taken away as part of a settlement for price gouging during the Unification War. The Alliance leases mining contracts and collects a percentage of the Helium-4. The temperature varies between –10 and –40 Celsius and the only vegetation on the surface is a genetically engineered form of algae that can survive the cold enough to provide some oxygen.

  • Tannerhaus- Indentured servants mine this deposit. Owned by Ulrich Tanner, the miners are given Flashback to keep them docile and Burn to increase productivity. Accidents are extremely common and many miners find that, at the end of their servitude, they either OD or else reupped during a celebratory binge.
  • Hell- Converted penal colony. The deposits here are rich but the ice is unstable. The miners sign up for three-year tours and come away with enough to set themselves up on a good ranch or farm. The death rate is 23% and the clinic constantly needs supplies. Drugs are forbidden here and the last Flashback dealer was drenched in water and thrown outside where she froze to death on the edge of the landing pad.
  • Desolation- Small mine on the edge of the Great Rift (5km cliff). Desolation is pretty much a mystery; no one knows who owns it or where the miners come from or go to afterwards.
  • Sungsim- Blue Sun mine. Company is attempting to automate mine and receives frequent shipments from Volon.

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