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by Eamon Watters

Baldur is a primordial world, with little free oxygen in the atmosphere and vast chains of volcanoes spew ash and poisonous gases into the air. It is only through human ingeniuity that life is sustained. The Baduri lived in vast underwater cities, on man made islands, and above it all in orbital habitats. The Collapse threatened all of these. The Virus crashed the orbital habitats into the sea, threatened to open the airlocks on the subsurface cities, and tried to capsize the floating islands. It was only through relentless effort, and great technical skill, that all life on the planet was saved from destruction. The Balduri know that life hangs by a thread, and the only thing between the RC and screaming chaos is the will to survive.

Baldur's government, though classed as a Feudal Technocracy, could be better classed as just a Technocracy. The Council of Science runs all of Baldur's resources vital to Baldur's development. A democratically elected assembly runs non-essential aspects of planetary life, such as tourism, Law Enforcement, etc. The assembly can also raise points to be discussed by the Council of Science.

Many of L'Steich's Corporations survive in some form on Baldur. The largest is the Hellenic Trade and Transport Corporation, which controls a large slice of Baldur's merchant fleet. Ships include 2x 20,000 ton colony vessels some Tukera Freighters, Frontier Transports, Bulk Carriers, and many Liners, Subsidized Merchants, and Far Traders. Many ships were rated for J-3 and J-2 as it is impossible to make the Journey from L'Steich to it's former colonies of Bestor and Baldur in a J-1 vessel (unless you want to arrive with little maneuvering juice).

Baldur has access to a large number of vessels due to the fact that both it and L'Steich had time to prepare for the onset of the virus. Many on L'Steich evacuated to it's lower tech colony world when it became obvious that L'Steich couldn't survive. Many evacuation ships didn't arrive, many that did limped into orbit, some could be brought up to operating standards and are used by Baldur today. Those that couldn't sit in the Mothball fleet, just above Geostationary orbit - most gutted by the Proctors for equipment to keep Baldur alive through the collapse.

Their Starport is impressive. Though only C-Class, it had to handle the colonists who arrived in droves from L'Steich every year, and service the vessels they came on. Half-Starport, half-colony, it's accomodations were huge, designed to accomodate 100,000 people, and originally built at TL-9, it was sufficiently primitive enough to survive the collapse.

RC politics. Though Centrist, and a close ally of Oriflamme, the Baldur goverment is becoming increasingly estranged from Oriflamme. They suspect their Technarchs are bypassing the Auction, and denying them the equipment their planet needs to survive and prosper. They are also angry at the way Oriflamme is treating their Colony on Poyzen as a dumping ground for Oriflammen malcontents. Deep down they despise the Technarchs, the Council of Science runs Baldur in order to survive, unlike their Oriflammen counterparts who enrich themselves at their planet's expense.

If the Council can get evidence of Oriflamme breaching the Auction, they intend to use it as a lever to get Oriflamme to support the upgrading of their starport to B-class, as they fear a loss in Auction trade when Oriflamme's port reaches A-class and Nike Nimbus's port reaches B-class. They hope their colony on Poyzen will be sucessful, and that trade down through L'Steich to Poyzen will eventually make it economic to re-develop their homeworld, which they consider Baldur territory, along with Bestor.

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