Worlds of Vhodan Subsector

Laaru (Vland 1007)

While Laaru is a waterworld, it has many archipelagoes and a submerged continent that provides shallow seas across a great swath of the planet. The temperate climate drew in the initial settlers, and over the centuries they've kept coming. The first generation of cities were built on the archipelagoes. The second generation was built above the waves while footings drilled into the submerged continent. Third generation cities floated on the seas themselves with the aid of contra grav technology like ships of yore. The first orbital cities weren't built until about the year 600 when industrial pollution began to taint the world's air and seas, thus diminishing the allure of this once pristine place.

It was in the early years of the Third Imperium that long dormant seismic activity led to undersea volcanic eruptions. There was a realization that Laaru had untapped mineral reserves. Combined with the nickel-iron abundance in the system's two asteroid belts, Laaru suddenly became a hot spot for ore refining. An attempt to unionize various factions of the labor force met with resistance. Laws were passed banning not only labor unions but gatherings of groups of 10 or more. And in the interest of preserving order, all electronic communications are monitored. Still, despite these draconian measures, the government enjoys the confidence of the citizenry.

During the Second Imperial Civil War, Vargr corsair activity intensified. Someone finally realized that there was an enormous amount of money to be made from re-selling stolen refined metals and alloys. While the Vilani Navy increased their patrols, their effectiveness proved lacking.

When the Collapse came, the inhabitants of Laaru reverted back to the tried and true traditions of their Vilani ancestors, particularly with respect to cooking, healing, and technology. They also began to worship the Ancients, but treated them as though they were natural spirits, roaming the seas of this waterworld. Aquaculture is very important to them, and it is a primary livelihood of the Laaru people. A practical approach to technology has proven useful and has ensured that some measures of civilization have endured, even if star-faring is out of reach. Education remains important to the Laaru and has ensured their survival. -by DED

Sikilar (Vland 1107)

Based on library data that appears in Vilani & Vargr

Colonized during the First Imperium with a dome ecology, Sikilar was a popular retirement world, because of its low gravity. As the Long Night deepened, it was cut off completely from interstellar contact. Technology became the province of a social class. The domes were maintained by rote knowledge, but their atmosphere became thinner over the centuries. The population physically adapted to this change.

Then an ambitious adventurer by the name of Dhusa (the only name now remembered) arrived from a higher tech world awed the populace with his "magic" and set up a religious dictatorship. Dhusa's legacy was one of the most draconian governments ever to blight the face of the Imperium. This highly insular, xenophobic culture died out during the early months of the Collapse. -by CG

Liwar (Vland 1110)

Based on library data that appears in Vilani & Vargr

In the Pre-Collapse era, an automated refuelling station serves travellers at Liwar in an otherwise useless system. The machines of the system were serviced by a hermit, who avoided any contact with outsiders. Most vessels would stay at the refueling station no longer than necessary. Vampire fleets made frequent stops at Liwar in the early days of Virus. The resources of the base were eventually depleted and as far as anyone knows, the station remains a desolate, unvisited hulk for some six decades now. -by CG

Erim (Vland 1201)

Erim was an unwanted backwater world before the Rebellion. The inhabitants, a mix of Vilani and Vargr, eke out their existence in the twilight band of this tidelocked world where even there it is 57°C. This former First Imperium world was heavily dependent upon offworld trade and the technology it brought in when Vargr raids during the Long Night sent it back to the Dark Ages. But the Vilani descendents have maintained the old ways of order and thus prevented the populace's extinction. Even the old starport is functional, albeit in poor shape.

When Vargr settlers moved in four hundred years ago, there was little the locals could do to stop them. They welcomed the Vargr, hoping that they could peacefully coexist. When the Ngath Confederation set their sights on the world, it was the local Vargr who intervened on behalf of the Vilani, asking that their lives be spared. With advocates such as these, the Confederation agreed and has left the existing social order in place. -by DED

Anghurr (Vland 1202)

After the initial Vilani colony died out during the Long Night, Vargr settlers moved in. They hoped that their proximity to the Third Imperium would do them some economic good by acting as a commerce conduit. Early success faded over the centuries as wars built up mutual animosity between the two races.

Anghurr, the wolf, ran a campaign on building prosperity by aligning the world with the Ngath Confederation. He won in a landslide and renamed the world after himself (an accepted custom). While he has carried through on his campaign promise, the president-for-life has enacted stringent laws and has the corsair base to back him up. He still enjoys the support of the people and will continue to do so as long as the economy holds up. -by DED

Vhodan (Vland 1208)

Based on library data that appears in The Flaming Eye.

One of the earliest Vilani colonies, Vhodan is said to be more Vilani than Vland itself. When the Ziru Sirka fell, Vhodan turned isolationist, shunning contact with the Second Imperium and preparing to go it alone. It proved a prudent course of action when the Long Night ground interstellar commerce down. Even so, when the Third Imperium arose, they were slow to re-enter interstellar society. In fact, Vhodan has been "stuck" at tech level 12 for over 500 years.

While not hostile to outsiders, visitors would be wise to brush up on Vilani culture before arriving here if they expect to successfully accomplish their trading objectives.

Deraan (Vland 1403)

Like Dannar (Vland 1606), Deraan was isolated for millenia as not only is it two parsecs away from all of its neighbors, but it doesn't have any gas giants to provide for initial refuelling operations. With the easy pickings along the Vilani Main, it wasn't until the Third Imperium that anyone was willing to make the investment in developing the system.

Sternmetal Horizons (SH) was the company that made that investment. Fortunately, the ice-capped oceans provided enough hydrogen for fuel and oxygen for life support. The cost of fuel still runs high (500 cr/ton), but that's to encourage efficient use.

Due to their relative isolation, residents have maintained an independent streak; preferring to remain non-aligned rather than join the Imperium. They resisted the invading corsairs from the Ngath Confederation but in the end they were outgunned and chose cooperation rather than risk destruction. Although the law level remains high, the Deraanians are allowed a modicum of autonomy, provided they continue to mine the asteroid belt and don't step out of line. -by DED

Diiron (Vland 1405)

Based on library data that appears in The Flaming Eye

Diiron's extensive mineralogical wealth was heavily exploited during the First Imperium. Unfortunately, this zealous approach, coupled with a lack of any environmental safeguards, led to such high levels of pollution that the inhabitants were succumbing to its effects. An ecologically minded leader, spurred on by public support, shut down mining operations until conditions improved. Centuries later, mining resumed albeit at a much more moderate rate. The taint remains but is easily handled by filter masks. Before the war started, the locals were hoping that the IISS would back their plan to carry out some terraforming experiments to remove the last vestiges of pollution. -by DED

Timat (Vland 1406)

Based on library data that appears in The Flaming Eye

Timat's population is balkanized into three nations. Fortunately, they all get along as there's plenty of mineralogical wealth to go around. The differences are philosophical and cultural, but no one's views are extreme enough to incite the population into violence.

The world's wealth is safe guarded by Scout and Naval bases as well as private security firms. Timat is a moon of the gas giant, Deah, the only one in the system. As such, many of the other moons are fortified as well. -by DED

TNE Update by CG: Timat has independently achieved interstellar flight. Largely left alone by the initial onslaught of Virus, the residents of Timat have gradually built their industrial base. They have successfully refurbished six free traders and three subsidized merchants, arming and equipping them by cannibalizing starships that were either stranded on Timat during the Collapse or crashlanded there in subsequent years. The trader fleet would actually be larger, but on two occasions refurbished starships were accidentally equipped with Virus-infected salvaged parts. The ships were immediately reinfected by Virus once they were made operational and proceeded to attack the Timati. Fortunately, the Timati were defended successfully by other ships in their trader fleet. The trader fleet has reestablished trade ties with Diiron and Maran and provides freight service and trade interface between the two worlds and Timat itself. In 1188, a small Vampire Fleet invaded the system, much to the consternation of its inhabitants. In a stroke of diplomatic genius, Timat's leaders managed to strike a deal with the benign Hobbyist/Empire Builder-strain Vampire ships to avoid a confrontation. Timat's leaders fear the day when a more belligerant Virus enters their system.

Guusimka (Vland 1407)

Based on library data that appears in The Flaming Eye

Guusimka's primary, Simka, goes through phases where it undergoes high electromagnetic activity for 150 years and returns to normal for another 2400 years. Astrophysicists have been studying the phenomenon from a research facility on Guusimka since the early days of the First Imperium.

Early in the Third Imperium, a new survey of the world uncovered vast cobalt deposits. An agreement was brokered between the scientists and Ling Standard Products (LSP), who wanted to mine the metal. The most important aspect of the deal was that no starport be built save for landing pads to haul away the ore.

The arrangement worked for centuries but as operations have expanded so to has the size of the populace. Although LSP spun off the enterprise, the operation shows no sign of abating. The new mining corporation, along with a sizable chunk of the population, has advocated building a real starport. However, every time construction gets under way, traditionalists attack the site and destroy it. -by DED

Maran (Vland 1408)

Based on library data that appears in The Flaming Eye

As a moon of a gas giant, Maran was initially overlooked by the Vilani. As the Consolidation Wars wound down, further study of the system revealed that the asteroid belts were flush with metals. Maran, although cold and dry, proved to be habitable and a sound base of operations for ore processing facilities.

As time wore on, the world prospered. However, contact with the Solomani, and their subsequent rule, sharply divided the world. Pro and con arguments were made regarding Solomani rule. Ultimately, the world government fractured into vehemently opposed camps. A strong Imperial naval presence kept violence to a minimum. The Long Night rendered their differences moot, though reconciliation never came.

With Vland's secession from the Third Imperium, old tensions have resurfaced. The orbital city/starport of Meliva is officially neutral, but espionage is prevalent as several nations have attempted to bring it under their control. The Igsiirdi are displeased that this valuable world is coming unraveled. -by DED

Odinaga (Vland 1505)

Based on library data that appears in The Flaming Eye

Odinaga is a moon of the gas giant, Fatooh, which orbits outside the habitable zone. It's a mixture of ice (water and volatiles) and rock. Early in its formation it absorbed several smaller cousins, resulting in large deposits of ore. Cities have been constructed atop each of these deposits.

Sixty years ago the world was balkanized, and prone to skirmishes over resources. One of the local lords united the people under his rule through fairness and strength. Unfortunately, he has no heirs. The world's history has been a veritable soap opera and has been successfully dramatized by the entertainment division of Makhidkarun.

With the Ngath Confederation right on their doorstep, tensions are high as is the construction of system defense boats. -by DED

Audhumla (Vland 1509)

During the First Imperium, the Vilani saw little value in the world and thus never developed it. However, the Solomani governor assigned to the world during the Second Imperium saw things differently. Being of Scandinavian descent, the ice-cloaked islands reminded him of his ancestral lands, at least how they were fabled to be in primitive Terran times. With free reign to do as he saw fit, he named the world Audhumla after the mythological cow that uncovered the first giants from the primordial ice and fed them with her milk.

With the demise of the Second Imperium, all pretense at maintaining either Vilani or Imperial culture was abandoned. The formality of government was discarded in favor of tribal groups. Immigrants are welcome, provided they conform to or at least respect Scandinavian culture, or what the locals have interpreted that to mean thousands of years removed.

Despite their return to an older culture, the Audhumlans have not regressed technologically. They've integrated those elements that best suit their society and use the wealth they've accumulated from exports to keep themselves educated and equipped. Corsairs or privateers looking for an easy haul would best steer clear of Audhumla. Weapons training starts at an early age for both sexes. A mutual defense pact among the tribes ensures that incursions upon their space are met with immediate reprisal. -by DED

Gamgilebo (Vland 1604)

Based on library data that appears in The Flaming Eye and Vilani & Vargr

The asteroid belts of Gamgilebo have been mined since the early days of the First Imperium. While production all but ceased during the Long Night, it picked up again during the Third Imperium. Sharurshid was forced to sell off its stake once the First Imperium fell, but it began purchasing the ore from the local mining consortium once the interstellar economy was revitalized.

The Gamgilebo system is home to three stars with one of its gas giants showing signs of possibly becoming a fourth. A research team sent to investigate the phenomenon disappeared as Vargr corsairs overran the system. A rescue team sent to follow up also vanished. And Sharurshid reports that it is no longer receiving ore shipments. -by DED

TNE Update by CG: Gamgliebo was under intense study from a team of IISS astrophysicists before the Collapse came. Although listed as a trinary with asteroids and a gas giant, the gas giant is a supergiant with a fairly large amount of internal fusion. Studies had indicated that over the last four centuries it has reached a critical size, and may be on the verge of becoming a fourth star.

Dannar (Vland 1606)

Dannar is yet another mining world in Vhodan Subsector's trailing cluster of such worlds. The world lay isolated for millenia as not only is it two parsecs away from all of its neighbors, but it doesn't have any gas giants to provide for initial refuelling operations. With the easy pickings along the Vilani Main, it wasn't until the Third Imperium that anyone was willing to make the investment in developing the system.

Sternmetal Horizons was the company that made that investment, though it took some time before the operation became profitable. Fuel costs remain high. Water-ice and volatiles are primarily used by the populace so there is little left over for fuel, thus much of it has to be imported. Unrefined fuel runs 1000 cr/ton.

There are rumors that belters and miners have found mysterious artifacts indicative of a pre-Ancient culture in the system. Unfortunately, the war and Dannar's proximity to the Ngath Confederation border have kept archaeologists from investigating further. -by DED

Riinel (Vland 1608)

Riinel's atmosphere isn't so much as tainted as suffering from low partial pressure of oxygen. Combustion engines do not function properly and those that are tuned to handle low oxygen are expensive. The thin atmosphere and sharp axial tilt (37°) made for extreme seasonal variances. Lacking any significant mineral deposits, the world was passed over for colonization for millennia.

Eventually, a wealthy adventurer named Miguel Riinel purchased the world from the Ministry of Colonization in 896. He saw the world as a challenge and dedicated the rest of his life to bending it to his will. He was successful to an extent. While farming was made possible, it took some time before there was sufficient abundance for export. Quality of life was modest.

No proper starport was ever built. Riinel felt that building one would spoil the nature of the community. While a landing pad was established for very limited commerce, Riinel forbid anything more. Life on Riinel was intended to be an adventure, soft people need not apply.

After his death, his philosophy continued for another generation. The grandchildren of the original colony saw things differently. They felt that there was a way to preserve the essence of Riinel's way of life without being total Luddites. Several communities splintered off to research how they might advance the human condition without compromising the global environment. The IISS perceived this societal change as feudal technocracy, but there is debate as to whether or not this is accurate.

While there has been some technological advancement, the starport development ban remains in effect. Visitors will note that the locals are not xenophobic nor backwards, just following a different path. -by DED