Worlds of Theton Subsector

Khugan (Vland 2501)

In this contact binary system, Khugan lies close enough to the red dwarves that the combined heat output of the two is enough to keep the world from freezing, but it isn't anything to write home about. The planet is tectonically active enough to keep a magnetic field going and thus protect its fragile atmosphere. Life on land is limited to lichens and moss. Life in the small seas hasn't advanced past corals and plankton.

The reason this system has any activity at all is due to the extensive mining opportunities available in the system's two asteroid belts. The system lay unclaimed for centuries after the fall of the First Imperium. It served primarily as a wilderness refueling stop for corsairs. It took until the early 800s for belters to rediscover the untapped deposits in the asteroid belts. But raiders and a dearth of markets made working here a risky bet at best.

Finally, with the rise of the Izidou League just over the sector border providing markets, the belters organized themselves. Spotting an opportunity, the Gangzueghnguen moved in and offered to provide protection for a price. While critics claim that this is merely an extortion racket, the locals consider the price to be reasonable and are willing to pay. To their credit, the Gangzueghnguen have lived up to their end of the deal. To this date, they have kept out other corsair bands and even held the 17th Disjuncture at bay.

Rhodes (Vland 2502)

While Rhodes revolves around a yellow-white giant, it is so far out that almost all of its atmosphere has frozen out on the surface. There are no native lifeforms.

The world was settled during the First Imperium as a fuel stop for ships heading coreward. A naval base was established to secure the route. Development proceeded slowly once enough capital was accrued to properly assay the system's natural resources. But once the Ziru Sirka went into decline, the world became a haven for refugees retreating from the ascending vargr presence on the trailing side of Windhorn. Once the Rule of Man began, the refugee population rapidly declined as people sought out greener worlds.

The Long Night freed Rhodes from Vilani rule as well as its old monniker: Gukarkigesgalaam. Commodore Nadjia Rhodes, a Solomani-appointed military governor appointed by the Ramshackle Empire, declared the world hers and used the might of the naval base to back up her claim. Rhodes proved to be a shrewd and fair ruler. She took the "benevolent dictator" route and instilled a code of conduct for her descendents and successors, whereupon violating the terms of the contract with the people of Rhodes—who had no say in what went into the document—were grounds for rebellion. Surprisingly, the contract has been steadfastedly adhered to.

The Third Imperium offered membership, but instead, Rhodes opted for client state status. It was an arrangement that worked well for the world: an annual stipend minus Imperial indoctrination. During border wars, the world proved its worth in valuable intel. When Lucan demanded Imperial worlds send him their warships, Rhodes could legally ignore him. This proved fortuitous when the vargr incursions began along the Imperium's coreward border.

Rhodes now strictly deals with the Vilani, sending them intel on the Ngath Confederation and the 17th Disjuncture. Rhodes has fought off several of the latter's invasion attempts. Tensions are high as all of Rhodes' trailing neighbors have fallen to the Disjuncture's advances. Many feel that it is only a matter of time before the Disjuncture focuses its efforts on capturing the system and its naval base.

Akkunat (Vland 2907)

Akkunat is a former agricultural world. A massive volcanic explosion in 1095 triggered the release of sulfur and nitric-oxide compounds. Imported crops died and native flora became inconsumable. The agricorp that ran the planet, Fennelaius Farming, shut down operations and moved away. An exodus of the world's population ensued. Although contaminant levels in the air and water can be safely filtered out, fear of further volcanic activity and the world's proximity to hostile states has prevented renewed operations.

Goobsfol (Vland 2909)

The taint in Goobsfol's atmosphere is the result of persistent silicate dust contamination brought on by extensive, unregulated mining operations. Filter masks are sufficient enough to handle it.

Primary exports are: Ytterbium, Terbium, Neodymium, and other metals.

Despite the lack of any government, or any written legal code, Goobsfol is a surprisingly civilized world. When there is a dispute, typically over a mining claim, the Scout Service is called in to settle it. Otherwise, the citizens police themselves. The population listed is for permanent settlers. It is not uncommon for three times that number to be present in the system, whether searching for new claims on the planet or carving up one the system's many asteroids. However, it isn't unheard of for violence to break out, especially if one side knows it has the upper hand.

Shishaldin (Vland 3008)

Shishaldin is a mining world. Its atmospheric taint is the result of heavy metal laced dust ejected during operations coupled with the occasional volcanic eruption. Respirators with filter masks are required.

Primary exports are: molybdenum, cadmium, zinc, palladium, and other metals.

Several lords dominate the planet. Each has several vassals who swear their allegiance based on economic prosperity. One might expect espionage or open warfare to be commonplace, but it is rare. The last outbreak of global violence was in 853, but once a scout base was established in 913, there have only been minor skirmishes. The scout base commander acts as arbitrator during disputes. The IISS conducts cold, desert training exercises here.

Theton (Vland 3107)

Adapted from The Flaming Eye

When lanthanum was discovered here during the First Imperium, many individuals were willing to brave the corrosive pressure cooker atmosphere with hopes of striking it rich. In -100, Arga (3106) took over the world and put convicted criminals to work on the surface.

With Arga's permission, the Imperial Navy established a base here in 625. Twenty years later, Theton became the subsector capital.

While the planet's two largest cities are located on the planet, roughly 70% of the population lives in orbital cities and stations, the vacuum of space being easier to deal with than nitric acid rain. The system's lack of gas giants ensures that all traffic visits the starport (orbital). Fuel is skimmed from the upper reaches of Theton's atmosphere in the form of ammonia, which is then refined into hydrogen. However the concentration of ammonia is quite low and it takes some time to collect fuel. Therefore, the price of fuel is five to ten times the normal amount.

Sardia (Vland 3208)

Adapted from The Flaming Eye.

Note that the orbit number in the sourcebook is way wrong. The habitable zone for a K6 III is orbit 8, not 11. At that distance the world would be frozen solid. Not surprisingly, the average temperature listed in the sourcebook comes out to what it should be when placed in orbit 8. The wild temperature swings are also preserved. Of course, that knocks the orbital period down from 1200 standard years to about 38.

Deemed to be of little value by the First Imperium, Sardia was bypassed for settlement until the Third Imperium when a naval base was constructed around one of the system's gas giants.

The world's primary exports are metals and ores mined from its crust.

While Sardia's law level is moderate, should offworlders break the law, they are subject to harsher penalties than the natives. Punishments tend to be physically severe, ranging from whipping to death.