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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
the central city in the 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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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’.
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).
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.
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.
small moon of Volon. Tropical, massive storms, pharm
plantations and raw materials for drugs including Flashback.
Plantation- large complex of pharm producers run by Dort
family and their indentured servants. Evaner Dort rumored to hunt
- Gao Ye- valley protected from most storms. Third
largest producer of Immunisium, an antiviral of extreme potency.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
small and forested world. Cool temperate, much snow. Good timber, great
fur, some gold dust.
gold dust, rustic, 5k in area. The population is 80% male and the
backwoodsmen frequently kidnap ‘brides’.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Blue Sun mine. Company is attempting to automate mine and receives
frequent shipments from Volon.