The Far Planets Revolution was put down with brutal efficiency; any rebellious workers left alive were forced to finish their assigned construction projects and then were moved on. A large amount of these workers were from a slew of African countries – they had only pursued jobs at the edge of the Sol System to escape the crumbling infrastructure of their birth countries on Earth. By the end of the developments on the moons of Juipter and Saturn, the Second Age of humanity was in full swing and the Veritas leak had occured. A group of two hundred odd African hydroponics workers stole an old transport scow due to be scrapped and set course for the Pyramide System; it’s fourth planet in particular.
The group picked Pyramide IV due to its climate; humid and wet. They were desperate to live free somewhere, out from under the yoke of corporations or government. Although not the most comfortable climate, they knew they could use their hydroponic engineering knowledge in order to grow a significant range of food to support themselves.
The Earth-based seeds the colonists brought along struggled to grow in the alien soil; the group turned to native vegetables instead. Although there were a small, sad number of allergic reactions to the indigenous ‘raow’ tubers, they proved edible, nourishing and favourable to hydroponic farming. Thanks to the growth of raow – amongst other – plants, the settlers were able to sustain themselves by the end of the Second Age. The colony was established enough to give itself a name; New Bambara.
Once self-sustaining, the two hundred colonists brought families along and the population blossomed to a thousand or so. Independent merchants were quick to seize upon the new opportunities provided by the world – they arrived to sell basic building materials and prefabricated buildings for the new arrivals in exchange for the exotic foodstuffs from their hydroponic farms. These farms form the core of New Bambara; jungle has been cleared to accommodate both the farms and population housing but the continent is still heavily rain-forested and often victim to extreme monsoon seasons.
New Bambara eschewed hiring mercenaries for protection; many of its founding members had been abused and ill-treated by corporate armies during the Far Planet Revolution. Instead they formed their own militia to dissuade pirates and raiders. They are fortunately far enough away from Wun’Tux space to become a viable target – especially since the creation of EWO Outposts -though traders heading to and from New Bambara have suffered the occasional Hirudin Blackfin attack.
Arnsbrook is the largest city on Donos III and a hub for so-called ‘prism production’. Originally settled by the Gnobo at the start of the Second Age, Donos III was a small and inconsequential colony for a number of years. It was only when a SynTech scouts stumbled upon a large underground deposit of a strange crystal substance that things changed.
Initial testing of the crystal was promising; relatively tiny lens demonstrated an uncanny ability to alter the course and intensity of light. Sensing a paradigm shift, SynTech paid a king’s random of bribes and fees to secure from the Gnobo exclusive mining rights. With little scientific interest of their own, the League were happy to take the money and the subsequent taxes from the human megacorporation.
Arnsbook grew as a necessity around the first Dendranite mining complex; accommodation, shops, schools, bars and parks all sprang up to support the influx of SynTech staff. The planet itself has a warm and arid climate suited to the Gnobo; the city planners drilled deep below the surface to bring underground rivers to the surface for the new human population. The climate particularly suited Earthlings from the Southern Hemisphere; humans skilled in mining and the applied sciences were quick to reserve a place in newly built apartment complexes.
The bright city lights attracted some of the indigenous population, too, and Gnobo civilians both visit and live in Arnsbrook. The relatively small population keep the Saturn Solutions police force busy, but the bar fights and scuffles rarely escalate into anything serious.
Innspoint is the capital city of Scallia V, a temperate planet on the Oroso-Human border. Scallia V is one of the planets shared out between the Oroso Conclave and various human factions following the brief conflict at the end of the Third Age. Innspoint has been rebuilt since the battles and bears few visible scars of the orbital siege and bombardment it underwent from both sides.
The city is a mix of human and Oroso districts; a handful of buildings accommodate the species living side by side. Although living mostly separate, the relationship between the two groups is cordial; the city council is made up of an even split and generally avoids acrimony. Xenophobic members of each species are unlikely to move to the planet, nevermind the city, and veterans of the Third Age conflict from both sides are taken care of.
Innspoint is a trade outpost first and foremost; a base for human and Oroso interests but also attracting commerce from the Trinax and Gnobo. The busy central districts are well served by shuttleports and there is a purpose-built stardock to accommodate larger ships.
It’s odd mixture of human and Oroso architecture and culture is unique throughout the known galaxy and attracts tourists and academics alike. The former are tempted by Oroso accommodation and cuisine, whilst it is not unusual to see gaggles of young aliens enjoying human feasts over reruns of the Superbowl.
The Iiron System lies on the edge of European Union territory. It’s fifth planet is (barely) suitable for human habitation and is gifted with enough valuable minerals and resources to warrant a small colony. The population is mostly of Scandinavian ancestry and have adapted to survive the cruel climate.
Above: Redthorn’s home and hoversled
The place is isolated and lacks any inherent excitement; these qualities led to Daniel Redthorn choosing the place for his eventual retirement. It was so separated from civilisation as to hide him from ex-targets and employees seeking bloody retribution, but after a while this led into boredom. Redthorn subsequently ordered a custom Blackbird hoversled and took to racing the high octane craft through the icy crevices and ravines to satisfy his thirst for risk and adventure.
Racing against himself and the elements eventually became monotonous, though. Redthorn began to send out messages to the best hoversled racers, inviting them to compete. The Iiron V course soon became known as the most difficult circuit in the known galaxy.
Dau is a five planet star system situated on the ‘east’ edge of human space. The third planet was discovered and developed by Blackmane Industries, mainly due to the rich veins of gold ore discovered close to its surface.
Aside from being a precious metal, gold remains a useful element in electronics and power regulation. Eager to keep the place a secret, Blackmane kept the discovered world a secret until they had fully deployed resource gathering equipment on the length and breadth of the major ore deposits. Although this contravened several corporate laws and led to million dollar-pound fines, the cost to the company’s monetary reserves and reputation was far offset by the cash boost from Dau III.
Serrovir is the homeworld of the Oroso. It occupies the most distant orbit from its young star (in the Verel Duos System) and is home to a variety of life, including around a billion Oroso. It is a famously cold world, with large expanses covered in snow for most of the year. These unwelcoming conditions guided the evolution of their main sentient being.
Unlike mankind the advent of Faster-Than-Light travel united disparate Oroso factions into a cooperative unity government, with each group (named a Kvo) having representation in the higher echelons. This allowed them to expand quickly and seek out nearby planets of a similar climate to Serrovir. Their homeworld, however, remained close to their hearts – the Oroso Conclave (and most of the decision-making power) remains in the planet’s capital city.
Oroso traditionally favour living just below ground, shielded from the tempestuous Serrovir climate. The original cities were built in valleys, craters or other natural phenonoma. Contemporary settlements utilise modern construction techniques to carve out suitable spaces just below ground level, tapping into geothermic vents to power and heat the buildings. This quasi-subterrainian architecture is copied throughout Oroso space; many families just don’t feel right living above the ground.
Although not adverse to eating meat, the majority of Serrovir residents live on a diet of native funghi and other plant life. Oroso cuisine tends towards hot and spicy food, often too hot for most human palettes.
Serrovir is the diplomatic hub for the Oroso Conclave; the human United Nations maintains a small embassy as part of the cautious and cordial diplomatic relationship between the two people. Although Serrovir is a busy hub of trade, tourism is rare – humans and other races tend not to flock to a place which makes Siberia seem warm. Academics and scholars from across the stars brave the cold to to study at the vast Sunken Library. Some of the tomes contain references to civilisations even older than the Vonn and are prized by xeno-archeologists throughout the galaxy.
Omicron Persei is a five planet star system on the border between human and Oroso space. First settled by European Union colonists at the close of the Second Age, the system’s main planet (christened New Dresden) boasted little in the way of minerals but a favourable climate for human habitation. New Dresden’s two moons were found to be rich in certain ‘rare earth’ metals and so the post-War European Union prioritised the colony for development.
It became the site of one of the most significant Union losses against the Oroso in their brief conflict. Sensor reports and intelligence briefings predicted a large Oroso Naval Combine (ONC) heading to initiate a counter-strike against the valuable Union world. Admirals panicked and dispatched a force of French heavy destroyers to defend the colony, but these ships were unable to carry fightercraft and relied upon the handful of squadrons available at New Dresden. The destroyers were routed by superior Oroso fightercraft and tactics, handing victory in The Battle of New Dresden to the attackers. The ONC inflicted significant damage on the moon mining operations before being forced to retreat by the second wave of EUN reinforcements.
It was a defeat for Union tactics as well as morale. However, the loss of both naval and mining equipment lent credence to the military voices calling for new equipment to be rushed to the front. In a sense, the loss at New Dresden led to the rapid deployment of modern military assets to the Rim and the subsequent tactical victory at the Battle of New Riga. A loss at New Riga would have left the Union string of colonies wide open to attack; New Dresden is seen by most within the European military as a blessing in disguise.
The Ermina System is a five world environment centred around a young Red Dwarf star. It’s third and only habitable world is host to a colony from the Asian Coalition, one of the largest human factions. The colony ships were initially dispatched before the Pan-Eurasian War, but given the time taken to travel to the system the colony only got started during the bloody conflict.
Much like Trillyth III, the Ermina colony was much too far from the conflict to be of any use to either side and so was left alone. Unlike it’s Union counterpart, however, the prairie-strewn landscape of Ermina III was host to a large populations of a native mammal-analogue, a primitive quadruped which the Coalition settlers found easy to domesticate. Janavara (the nickname given to the animals by the colonists) milk and meat from these animals helped the colony population survive it’s period effectively cut off from the main Coalition. So although the settlers ran low on advanced building materials, they avoided the starvation and poisoning risks of the less lucky colonists of Trylith III and expanded a lot more rapidly across the planet.
Above: An adult Janavara
Following the War, Ermina III became home to the large Coalition populations who had been trapped behind various blockades. Families were given a tranch of undeveloped land and a small herd of Janavara of their own to breed; those who were found to be lazy or working against the common good were dealth with harshly. The ‘tough love’ approach, however, led to rapid growth of the colony to encompass more of the small world’s surface.
By the Fourth Age, humans borders had expanded far beyond the Ermina System. This placed the colony into the ‘Mid-Rim’ area; not as safe as the Core but nowhere near as lawless as the Rimward Territories proper, either. It became home to Coalition administration infrastructure and a small naval base, supplying the Coalition Mobile Defence Groups (MDGs) in their border patrols.
The Battle of Ompolor VII marks the turning point of the brief war between the Gnobo and Illayko. The League opened with a lightning offensive, various mercenary brigades working together in a coordinated assault across the Illayko border. These Gnobo forces then concentrated their numbers into a spearhead aimed at the Illayko homeworld.
The colony at Ompolor VII was viewed as the weakest link in the Illayko defence. The Gnobo intended to overpower the defenders, strip the world of supplies and use it as a springboard towards their final goal. Although they met little initial resistance around the planet itself, once landed they found themselves victim of a carefully prepared trap. The Illayko army on the ground were dug in, well supplied and tactically adept. Many of the overconfident Gnobo generals found hundreds of personnel dead before the dropships could land, sniped from the air by specialist artillery.
A drawn out ground battle followed. The dug-in Illayko could afford to take their time; the Gnobo were in a rush, wary of losing momentum on their push towards Ehoi. Their hurry made them careless, however. Their fleet broke from a defensive formation in order to strike at targets planetside. Then and only then did a similar sized force of Illayko starships – led by the IFS Shroud – arrive to strike at their vulnerable flanks.
The Gnobo were routed; the commanders left with the few ships and troops they could muster. Their war on the Illayko stalled as it waited for reinforcements from home. The defeat at Ompolor VII led to acrimony and indecisiveness amongst within the shaky Gnobo alliance. A counter-offensive followed, forcing the League to retreat. An armistice followed within months; the Illayko border restored. Ompolor VII was the closest the Gnobo League got to the Illayko homeworld.
Sadly, the conflict and following fallout led to world being evacuated. It remains a uninhabited graveyard of war machines and soldiers to this day.
Soril Tulaco was involved throughout the Ompolor VII campaign, from the setting of the trap to the ground fighting and counter-strikes, earning the respect of his superiors and peers in the process.
New Riga is the name of a habitable planet and capital city belonging to the European Union in the Holum Majoris System. The settlement was established in the aftermath of the Pan-Eurasian War when Holum Majoris was a farflung and isolated location. The march of progress, however, soon caught up. By the Fourth Age, New Riga had transformed into a hub for trade and freight travelling between newer human colonies and the more developed Core Worlds. It is also close enough to old Illayko space to attract a number of expatriates.
It was this importance as a centre of logistics and trade led it to be targeted in a Oroso counter-attack during the brief Union/Conclave conflict of the Third Age. The battle did not go the way of the ageing Union forces until the Caracals of Grendel Squadron arrived and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. The effectiveness of the new strike fighters took everyone – Union admirals included – by surprise; the Oroso Conclave withdrew with the bulk of their forces. The armistice followed shortly after.