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Extended World Details from World Builder's Handbook.
The other gas giants were formed further away from the systems star, and their gravitation dislodged Kuiper disk material towards the inner system, much of it being pulled towards Sayuri by its gravitational attraction. As a result Urnian and her sisters possess very rich mineral deposits, especially nickel and iron, seeded on the world by cometary impacts and meteorite strikes.
The world had large land vertebrates, and a variety of airborne and flying animals that dominated the local food chain. Most significant of these were the Urnian Dragons, massive pterodactyl-like psuedoreptilian creatures with wingspans between 12 and 25 meters. Like Terra's Bird of Paradise, the Dragons had brillantly colored sections of their hide for camoflauge, signalling and mate attraction. Most Dragon species, alas, are extinct.
In fact about seventy percent of the world has been extinguised by hunting, habitat destruction, and the massive aerial and water pollution created by the world's carelessly designed, constructed and run industry. The industry has so severly polluted the air, that filtermasks must be worn outside, and even those are of less and less utility. The air is breathable for short periods, but 12 hours without a filtermask will cause permanent lung damage, and possible blood poisoning or brain damage.
The early colony was dominated by a theatrical Solomani general named Oliver Beardsley, whose ruling acumen seemed to rest upon intensifying paranoia. His deterioration culminated in the slaughter of a third of the original colonists, before he went insane and was bludgeoned to death in public square by a vengeful mob. His rule set the model followed by nearly all of Urnian's subsequent rulers.
The unified ruling class of nobility evolved out of the military strongmen that took over the world in the aftermath of Beardsley's overthrow. The previous struggle for control over the world against the backdrop of intercommunal hostility and the threat of offworld maruaders or neighboring warlords created an isolated elite fearfully protective of their lives and priveleges in the wake of what they percieved to be great sacrifice for themselves, and the pretence that it was for the good of their subjects.
The protocols and internal relations of these nobles were less an orderly system than a Darwinian struggle of all against all. Urnian had a "struggle" culture where most outlets for sucess and prestige were literally battlefields of manuever and intrigue where it was every man or woman for themselves. Petty empires dominated by shortlived dynasties were the rule. The only basis for continuity was the massive bureaucracy that evolved to preserve Urnian society and infrastructure from the rollercoaster progression of these dynasties, and to run the factories and farms essential to the continued health of the people.
Because war and military strength were the paramount means by which these rulers came to power, war became the basis of the economy as well. Urnian rulers dowered the natural wealth of their homeworld upon themselves with gluttonous avarice. Native species were hunted and harried out of existence. Mining operations scarred the world. Chemical exhaust and effluent was discharged untreated into the air and water. Massive construction projects were pursued to indulge the pharoanic delusions of the ruling class.
Huge souless factories created mountains of munitions for sale to any buyer with the money or credit to do so. And if business slowed, the Urnian military and foriegn service were only too obliging to create new markets through predatory attacks and intrigue against stable or stabilising worlds. In their hunger for profit and prestige, Urnian sold arms as far away as Far Frontiers and the Zhodani border interface. This trade destabilised much of Foreven, and helped contribute to the polarisation between the Third Imperium and the Zhodani Consulate.
When the Third Imperium contacted Urnian in 195, relations between them started cold, but slowly warmed up throughout the Imperial period. The process was slow due to the constant succession of dynasties, but it grew as the nobility came to trust the Imperium as a mentor and protector. By this time, Urnian was accumulating enemies, like the Avalar Union and the Kamrati League, opposed to their malignant presence. The Third Imperium chose to overlook their bad habits, reasoning that their boorish policies were an effective weapon against Zhodani influence in Foreven. No one ever accused the TI of having good judgement of foresight.
The last reigning dynasty was the Utsukushi family (1035-1137). Led by Herman Utsukishi (pronounced Uts-keh-she, with the stress on the first syllable), relations with the Imperium reached their summit, and Urnian hit rockbottom. Herman hoped that Urnian would either become the capitol of a new Imperial subsector, or more likely, the seat of power of a new client state dominating Urnian from Avalar to the Imperial interface.
Herman died in 1082, and power passed to his weak son Anders, who suffered from a degenerative disease now thought to have been syphilis. The real power behind him was his wife Agena, and when she died in 1105, she was supplanted by their daughter Leila. Leila Utsukishi was a veteran of Urnian's intrigue wars, and had served as an intelligence agent for INI. She was coldly ruthless where her peers were poor imitations of monster trideos. Having accumulated a power base within the hitherto nuetral bureaucracy, she had her father assassinated in his bed in 1107 and took power in her own right. She wasted no time in purging the nobility and the populace of disloyal elements.
In a departure from previous dynasts, Leila made the bureaucracy the main seat of her authority, seeking to undercut her less capable noble rivals. She tightened laws against dissent, enhanced the local military and security services, and expanded operations against neighboring worlds, particularly Pylkah and Novoterre. Urnian mercenaries hired by other nearby worlds became active invasion or coercion forces when their contracts expired. By the time of the Collapse, Leila Utsukishi had a growing portion of Urnian under her control.
Unfortunately for Leila, three things interceded against her. First of all, the Regency was distancing itself from foreign dictators like the Utsukishi, and were actively opposing military aggression such as that being mounted from Urnian. The Regency had already been embarrassed by the Avalar's suprise landgrab, and they were containing or evicting her troops from their illgotten gains. The second thing was Leila's inattention to concieving a successor. The third was her own mental instability, and growing isolation from her own power base. The bureaucracy new firsthand that Urnian could not afford its aggressiveness anymore and that centuries of ecological degradation had to be addressed, and their protests were being silently ignored.
Leila Utsukishi died under mysterious circumstances in 1135. Attempts by the other remaining nobles to seize power were opposed by the bureaucracy. A long period of internal civil war lasted until 1147, with the bureaucrats eliminating or neutering the nobility. Military production dipped for about twenty years, and the world went into an economic depression as it struggled to create new markets for itself.
Presently Urnian is in a struggle between day-to-day survival and the growing ecological debt runup by centuries of misrule. Some attempts at ecological repair have stabilised the ecosphere, preventing further degradation. It has had some success at converting to new markets, and Regency aid enabled the construction of a new A-class starport and new non-military industrial programs. But the most lucrative markets in the wake of the Collapse remain munition exports, this time mostly in support of the Regency and Aslan Quarantines. This is something of a paradox, as it is the munition factories that are the worst polluters, yet the amount money needed for ecological recovery and economic transition can only from their output. This contradiction plays out as infighting between government agencies, oftentimes putting the world as cross-purposes with itself.
The ruling class of Urnian has a strange ritual where they parade once per year in front of the populace, wearing a "hat" consisting of a deadly animal from the nearby world of Ronu (Foreven 2632).
Like I said, these people are a strange and gothic bunch.
|1||Belt||G00046A-B||N:40 M:40 C:20|
|2||Sayuri||Small GG||Size 70|
|3||Sapphiro||F100469-C||Re, Mi, Co|
|3||Saijora||Small GG||Size 60|
|4||Aoki||Large GG||Size 180|
System Notes: Urnian contains the Regency naval base, while Ivanhoe is controlled by the Urnian world forces.
Sapphiro contains an old research station once run by Naasirka. It is currently controlled by a consortium of smaller Regency and Darrian electronic corps.
Cosonor is heated by an unusual active geothermal source, and by radiant energy transmitted from Aoki by its magnetic fields. The world has native life that is still poorly understood. Fortunately Cosonor had little in the way of natural resources, otherwise it might have shared the same fate as the mainworld.