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Berth

by Pete Gray

Starport: Class X
Diameter: 4690 Miles
Atmosphere: Thin tainted with sulfur compounds
Surface Water: 67%
Climate: Very Hot
Population: 4357 (1852 Vargr)
Government: Mystic Dictatorship (The Voice of Blackblade)
Law Level: 8
Tech Level: 6

Berth obtained its name from the huge joint naval and scout maintenance stations that dominated it. Because of its strategic location on the interface between Deneb and Corridor, most ships transiting from one to the other stopped here for inspection, certification and normal mainetenance. The allure of these facilities proved the world's undoing, and it was conquered by the Dzaargh Federate in 1116. Domain of Deneb forces raided the bases in 1121, inflicting heavy damage. The bases were finally destroyed by Virus infection in 1143. The local Vargr population fled the main settlements, and wandered in the wilderness for about twenty years. In 1163, a Virus infected Titan class Dreadnought wandered into the system after making a sublight journey from an unknown point of Corridor, and crash landed near the former base sites. Curious Vargr soon contacted the Puppeteer strain virus that controlled the ship, and soon began following its orders.

The Puppeteer, which called itself "Blackblade" shrewdly manipulated the Vargr into thinking it was a god, and used their services in an attempt to obtain spare parts and maintenance. Eventually it began to respect its "pets" and compelled them to reunite into community around it. Under its tutelage the local Vargr reattained agriculture and a semblance of industrial technology. Unfortunately, an RQS force visited the world in 1170, and destroyed Blackblade's CPU from orbit with carefully aimed meson gun bursts. The violence of the attack had the effect of radicalizing the Vargr. Blackblade's viral eggs have been carefully preserved by its believers, who make every attempt to infect appropriate technology in an effort to spread Blackblade's "word" around the universe. Past attempts to infect free traders has led to the world's isolation, and the Regency government is at a quandary over what to do with this world.


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