Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Psi-Wars Atlas III - The Glorian Rim

Before I dive into the post proper, a note on the navigational traits of galactic arms:
 
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30,0000 parsecs (100,000 lightyears); curved. It takes about 5 months to go from the point where the galactic arm meets the galactic core, to the very end of it with a rating 1 drive. Crossing the galaxy from the tip of one arm to the tip of another arm typically takes 1 year with a rating 1 drive.

The Glorian Rim

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The Glorain Rim gave birth to the galaxy’s current rulers: humanity. Its worlds nurtured their rise and today, houses the last remnants of the Galactic Federation: the Alliance. Thus, its occupants are primarily human. The Glorian Rim’s ancient traditions date back to the dawn of human space travel, and the most prestigious of aristocratic houses trace their roots to its worlds. It houses one of the few major powers in the Galaxy that can pose a reasonable threats to the Empire in the form of its alliance of psychic aristocracy and free worlds, which means it faces the constant threat of invasion from the Valorian Empire.

The Glorian Constellations include:
  • The Maelstrom: the swirling hyperspatial storm churned by a pulsar that guards the entrance of the Arm
  • The Ancestral Spur: The homeworlds of humanity
  • The Golden Belt: The most fertile worlds of the Glorian Rim
  • The Rogue Stars: Scattered stars on the edge of the rim; a hive of scum and villany.

A Note on Labyrinthine Worlds

Some worlds in the Glorian and Sylvan Rim are “labyrinthine,” which means their cores died millennia ago and some ancient race riddled the world with endless tunnels and passageways. Persephone is the most famous of labyrinthine worlds; the symbolic caverns of the Akashic Mysteries imitate the labyrinthine passages beneath Persephone, where the first oracles of the Akashic Mysteries first encountered the Devils of Persephone and mastered the art of peering through deep time. However, other such labyrinthine worlds exist, scattered throughout space and, some say, are fundamentally connected to one another somehow. Those who navigate the labyrinths can, according to this legend, travel from one labyrinthine world to another without ever leaving the labyrinth. Navigating a labyrinth is perilous; beyond the danger of becoming lost in its endless passages, traps protect secret chambers and monstrous creatures (like the devils of Persephone) roam their depths.

Other Labyrnthine worlds include:
  • Perspehone (Glorian Rim)
  • Caliban (Glorian Rim)
  • Exile (Glorian Rim)
  • Nehud (Sylvan Spiral)
  • Jotan (Sylvan Spiral)
  • Verdant (Sylvan Spiral)
  • Tho-Tan (Pheonix Super-Cluster)

The Glorian Constellations

The Maelstrom

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Between the galactic core and the rest of the Glorian Rim lies “the Eye,” a massive and brilliantly bright pulsar whose rapid spin and violent magnetic field sends hyperspatial storms and electro-magnetic shockwaves throughout this region of space. This star’s storms squeezes the channel between the arm and the core, which prevented ancient alien empires from invading humanity’s, but also prevented humanity from conquering the rest of the galaxy until they mastered the Caliban system and thus gained passage to their destiny. Unlucky starships that fail to properly navigate the Malestrom find themselves scattered to strange stars or, worse, stranded in the Eye system itself, where the pulsar’s surging magnetic fields destroy their electrical systems before they can escape. House Kain shares the Maelstrom with House Sabine.

  • Caliban: Default Navigational Modifier: +1. This one star system offers reasonable passage through the Maelstrom. An ancient and mysterious alien citadel, the Hammer of Caliban, orbits the planet Caliban, and its presence seems to stabilize local hyperspatial storms and the influence of the Eye. The master of Caliban, the Archbaron Kain, wields some mastery over the Hammer’s inner workings and can activate its defense systems and a cannon sufficiently powerful to vaporize a dreadnought in a single shot. The world itself is labyrinthine, riddled with passages through its crust and core, and monstrous creatures stalk these passageways. The nobility of Caliban protect the planet’s inhabitants from its inner monsters, and journey into the depths of the planet as their right of passage.

  • Persephone: Default Navigational Modifier: (From within the Glorian Rim) +1; (From beyond the Glorian Rim) -2. This storm-swept, sacred world was among the first colonized by the Maradonian people. They settled its islands and mountains unaware of the devils that lurked in its labyrinthine depths. Their struggle to tame the world led to their psychic mastery of precognition and deep time and the creation of the Akashic Mysteries. Today, the planet serves as the heart of the Akashic Mysteries and the seat of the royal house Sabine.

The Ancestral Spur

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Humanity originated somewhere on a spur of stars between the Glorian Rim and the Arkhaian Spiral. The oldest human-occupied worlds known to the Galaxy, thus, lie just within the Glorian Rim on a small collection of stars. An aura of history and importance surround these worlds, as every human in the galaxy traces their origin to at least one. Which of the worlds is the true origin of humanity remains a mystery. House Grimshaw and Daijin rule the worlds of the Ancestral Spur.

  • Maradon and Atrium: Default Navigational Modifier: +3. The the homeworld of the Maradon people and their Alexian dynasty. The war that led to its consolidation behind Alexus Rex left the world war-scarred and irradiated. In the long millennia since, most of the Maradonian people have since migrated away from their homeworld and to the stars they conquered. Desertification turned the once lush planet into a barren waste. The Maradoni Aristocracy does what it can to maintain the world, but today, they bury their dead in its necropoli and study its ruins to glean lost secrets. Its terraformed moon, Atrium, houses the Alliance Senate, and is the last remaining domain of House Daijin.

  • Denjuku: Default Navigational Modifier: +3. The home of the Shinjurai people still serves as the seat for the Shinjurai royal family, the ostensible rulers of the Shinjurai people. In fact, the planet was long ago conquered by the Alexian Dynasty and remains today under the thumb of House Grimshaw. The planet itself is a vibrant ecumenopolis, with every square meter of the world industrialized and tamed to the will of its science-minded populace. The result is endless sprawl of corporate skyscrapers, neon-lit shopping distracts, vast, industrial machinery and crime-riddled, gang-ruled slums.

  • Westerly: Default Navigational Modifier: +0. The traditional home of the Westerly people, the Westerly system is positively ancient. The prime colony seems to have been a world that, through over industrialization, created catastrophic global warming that melted its polar ice and sank the world beneath water. The three terraformed moons of Westerly remain heavily populated, and despite millennia of rule by Maradon aristocrats, remain a fractious and independent lot. Most archaeologists consider Westerly the origin point of all humanity.

  • Centaurus: Default Navigational Modifier: -1. This strange world orbits binary stars, and is home to a strange, alien fungus and psychic alien worms. The human colonization of the strange world seems positively ancient and, according to some studies, predates the colonization of even the Westerly system, but cannot possibly be the home of humanity, as the native fauna are genetically incompatible with humanity. This leads fringe archaeologists to speculate that human-kind’s true origin is on some even more remote star, perhaps nearly impossible to reach with hyperspace travel!

The Golden Belt

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Alternate Name: The Midian Veil

This constellation of stars is newly formed and young yet, filled with verdant worlds lit by yellow stars and lush with greenery and fertile farmland. It serves as the “breadbasket” for the Glorian Rim and its farmers and craftsman rarely leave their beautiful homeworlds; when they do, they carry a reputation as naive bumpkins who have seen little in the galaxy beyond their own backyard.

The cluster lies in a thin nebula, the so named Midian Veil, and at its heart lies Midas, a yellow, super-giant proto-star still in the process of forming. Midas is the brightest star visible in the night sky of any of the worlds of the Golden Stars, and it lights up the whole of the Midian Veil, giving the night skies of its many worlds their famous golden auroras.

Numerous noble houses lay claim to the domains of the Golden Belt, but none more than House Sabine.

  • Arcadius: Default Navigational Modifier: -1. The vegetation of this world favor hues of gold and crimson, giving the world an appearance of eternal autumn. A great moon hangs in its night sky. A peculiar psychic presence lingers on the planet. Many locals report hauntings or strange dreams, and the children of Arcadius have a higher incidence of natural psychic ability ability than any other world in the Glorian Rim.

  • Sequoia: Default Navigational Modifier: +0. While no world can be truly said to be a “forest world,” Sequoia comes close! Enormous trees dominate its landscape creating vast and varied forests, from sun-lit and romantic glades to the deep terrors of the darkest, thorn-hedged thickets. It produces some of the finest survivalists of the Glorian Rim, and the Rangers of Sequoia often serve the alliance as commandos.

The Rogue Stars

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Running along the edge of the Glorian Rim, near the Arkhaian Spiral or bordering the Galactic Fringe lie the most troublesome stars of the Glorian Rim. Here, the distance between stars grows great and resources become tight. Far from the centers of government in Atrium and the more civilized worlds of the Glorian Rim, asteroid miners, pirates and savage Westerly run amuk. Those worlds that bend knee to the Alliance still have a feral quality to them, for they know that if a band of marauders descend on their world, the Alliance will be unable to mount a reasonable defense until weeks have passed. Worse, those who let corporations or aristocrats onto their world soon find that the lack of Alliance oversight cuts both ways, and their new overlords can easily prove as tyrannical as the Empire that the Alliance claims to stand against, and their distance from the capitals of the Alliance mean that their cries for help often go unheard.

Only minor houses, such as House Harrow, rule the Rogue Stars, and rarely rise above the rank of Baron.

  • Sirocco: Default Navigational Modifier: -1. The badlands and harsh deserts of Sirocco make life for its inhabitants difficult. Those inhabitants break down into two broad groups. The Maradonian pioneers struggle to farm and mine the planet, and struggle under the brutal taxes imposed upon them by aristocratic overlords; those who manage to get ahead fear the raids of the planet’s other inhabitants, the Westerly natives who predate the arrival of the Maradonian interlopers, who have made their peace with the desert and learned to hide themselves out among the wilds. They hate House Harrow and all of the settlers he brought with him and wage a campaign of terror against those who would despoil its wilds.

  • Exile: Default Navigational Modifier: -3. This strange star is a hypervelocity star. Some event, perhaps the creation of the Eye of the Maelstrom, slung it from its original position in the galaxy at a breakneck speed, and in the thousands of years from that cataclysmic event, it has moved tens of thousands of lightyears towards the galactic fringe; in another millennium, it may find itself outside of the Galaxy itself. Ancient ruins similar in architecture and design to the Hammer of Caliban litter its surface, and strange monsters stalk its labyrinthine depths. It has but a tenuous connection to the rest of the Rogue Stars, but it also the beginnings of hyperspatial ties to the Pheonix super-cluster just beyond the rim of the Galaxy, making it an ideal stepping stone to the space beyond the stars. Pirates and smugglers brave enough to settle its surface use it as a base of operations to trade with both the Glorian Rim and the Pheonix super-cluster, but most don’t stay long, and claim that the planet can drive you mad. They point to the reaver tribes that lurk in its labyrinths and raid nearby systems as proof of this.

  • Bellatrix: Default Navigational Modifier: -1. The seat of House Harrow, the most powerful house of the Rogue Stars, and ruled by Count Vladimir Harrow himself. The dense fogs, tall mountain crags and thick, bramble-filled forests of the planet make it a most unwelcoming place, but the Count takes a very lax approach on law enforcement, provided he receives his cut. As such, Bellatrix has proven something of a capital for the Glorian’s rim criminal underbelly. It also serves as one of the few “back door” passage routes to the Arkhaian Spiral via a smuggler route to the star Altair.

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