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Orichalc

UPP: C99A775-9

by Chris Griffen

Orichalc (0613) was named by Ramshackle Empire Terran scouts who noted the reddish appearance of portions of the world's water-covered surface. Detailed surveys revealed that the planet's oceans and atmosphere were tainted by a high percentage of oxidized iron, giving it the reddish-bronze color of the legendary metal, Orichalc, which was used to mint coins by the Roman Empire on ancient Terra. Settled predominantly by colonists from Southern Europe and Northern Africa, it seemed a fitting title for the world.

The current government of Orichalc fosters a grand dream to build a confederation of survivor worlds that extends all the way to Regulus (0937), the brightest star in the sector. The plan entails colonizing a sphere 25 parsecs in diameter centered approximately on Olympia (1024).

Having only extended their reach as far as Zanzibar to coreward and Nefertiti to rimward, the Orichalcans do not yet know of the Terran Republic and have only heard rumors of the Reformation Coalition from wilds traders at Zanzibar. Sporadic trade with the nearby Beltan Empire for the last several decades has resulted in intermittent economic booms, interrupted occasionally by the Empire's unstable political climate. With the recent death of Beltan's longtime political leader, however, Orichalc is hopeful that lasting trade ties can be established.

The primary tool of Orichalcan trade is its small fleet of Envoy-class 600-ton armed traders. During the hard times era before the Collapse, starship construction firm Atlantis Interstellar, a division of Transstar, had begun an ambitious shipbuilding program to construct a fleet of Envoy-class starships to conduct trade with the growing wartime wilds in nearby Old Expanses, Diaspora and Hinterworlds sectors. These ships, of which some 14 partially constructed models once existed, were the most formidable non-military ships available before Virus struck. Their hulls and jump drives survived the Collapse and the ships are now the strongest legacy of the system's interstellar past. While only eight of the ships survive today (five were destroyed or assimilated by Vampire Fleets, two in the ill-fated "Arcturus Mission" alone, and one was defeated and taken by Phoummathepan pirates), the remaining ships are still the lynchpin of Orichalc's trader fleet. The remainder of the fleet is made up of a small group of free traders and subsidized merchants.

Orichalc also possesses a small squadron of SDBs and three operational TL-12 deepsite meson weapons for home defense.

From the limited trade Orichalc's fleet generates, the planet's federal government is funneling huge amounts of the budget into upgrading its starport to a B-class facility with the thought of eventually developing its own jump drives. Many of the people are frustrated with the diversion of scarce resources from things they consider of greater importance, such as maintenance of the world's few remaining undersea arcologies.

Orichalc government is a federal union of nations, each of which is based on one of the planet's surviving arcologies. Octavius, by far the most populous nation, tends to dominate matters of policy, sometimes overbearing the wills of smaller nations.


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