BARD PAPER: OPAL9500
Lewis is a small world with a diameter of
approximately 6400 kilometers, a very thin, tainted atmosphere, and
large salty oceans covering three-quarters of the surface of the
planet. A young world, Lewis is one of several satellites of Zenthra,
the only gas giant in the system.
The night sky as seem from Lewis is one of the wonders of the Imperium,
First the gas giant Zenthra has gorgeous multicolored bands. The ring of Zenthra
has been described as "A ring of diamonds." The other four satellites
of Zenthra are uninhabited, but they are bright in the night sky, which
adds to the beauty of the night sky. Finally the magnetic fields of
Zenthra send charged particles into the upper atmosphere of Lewis,
creating striking auroras almost every night.
The planet itself is equally beautiful. It has large peaceful oceans
which come ashore onto sandy beaches. The land is covered by a huge variety
of plants. The weather on Lewis is fairly mild. There is almost no axial
tilt, yielding one constant season. One of the few drawbacks to the
planet is the Yabba Tree. The Yabba Tree is not really a tree, but as
it is a tall (3-5 meters) leafy plant, so most people call it a tree. The
tree and its 23 subspecies are the most prolific species on the planet,
and are found on all 6 continents. While the Yabba has huge flowers,
that are extremely attractive, they release huge
amounts of pollen. Unfortunately humans are highly allergic to this pollen.
Vargr and other species derived from Terran stock also react to the pollen.
The pollen accounts for the tainted atmosphere in the UPP. People who
breath the pollen have a severe allergic reaction, resulting in trouble
breathing, hives and an accelerated pulse. This proves fatal about half
of the time,unless treated. The treatment is fairly routine, but
involves a fairly extensive series of injections. After several years
of being on planet ninety percent of the people become used to the
pollen, and no longer have to wear filter masks. The remaining ten
percent of the population never becomes used to it, and is forced to
continue wearing the masks. For this reason, all buildings have
extensive filtration systems. The planet's atmosphere is very thin and
requires the use of compression masks.
Lewis orbits the gas giant Zenthra in just over seven standard
days. It is tidally locked with Zenthra. So one side always faces the planet.
Since Zenthra is so big in the sky, (3.75 degrees, over seven times the
angular size of Luna), it eclipses the sun each once each time Lewis
orbits it. The eclipse lasts about two hours. Inselberg (see below) is
situated in a prime viewing site for this, and most visitors view the
eclipse several times.
Lewis has been owned by the Tukera Family since it was granted to them
by Emperor Zhakirov in 684, for services rendered. The Tukeras used it as
family retreat, and vacation spot. They would also reward Tukera Line employees
with luxurious vacations there. In 948, Baroness Belinda, the Tukera family
administrator in charge of the planet, needed to raise money to cover
massive gambling debts. She sold settlement rights, for the continent
of Desmoaned, to a colonization firm from Rethe/Regina, and used the
proceeds to settle her gambling debts. Upon the learning that part of
their private vacation spot had been sold to simple farmers, the rest
of the family was infuriated. Belinda was removed
from her post and disinherited. She fled to Rugbird/Aramis, where she
died in an argument with a Vargr pit boss. Over the next few years the
family tried to get the settlement contract thrown out, but the courts
ruled that the family had given Baron Belinda full rights to negotiate,
and they would have to live with her mistake.
The settlers were fed up with life on Rethe, a poor crowded world. They
decided to strike out and build a new life. They were planning on shipping out
to District 268, but when the land on Lewis came on the market, they snapped
up the once in a lifetime offer. They set out to build a settlement that was
a pleasant place to raise a family. All around them they saw natural beauty,
they pledged to preserve that beauty for future generations. They designed
their settlement to have minimal impact on the environment. They practiced
organic farming. Instead of using pesticides, they released geneered
predators that ate the pests. They designed their homes and buildings
to blend in with the natural scenery. Some homes blend in so well that
they are hard to spot from a distance.
The family offered to buy out the colonists, but the now thriving colony
refused. The Tukeras then tried less pleasant means of persuasion. In
963 the colonists were able to persuade the Ministry of Justice to
launch an investigation. After two weeks, the Imperial inquisitor
ruled that Tukera was innocent of all charges. Soon thereafter he
purchased a large and expensive yacht and retired.
The Tukera seemed to accept the settlers, occasionally
administrators would try to buy out the settlers, but the settlers
steadfastly refused to budge. The impasse lasted until Baronet Rogarr
was named administrator of all Tukera Family property in the Marches in
the year 1073. The thought of settlers on his beloved Lewis, goaded
him to no end. Finally he decided on a plan of action. Rogarr had
gone to school at the Imperial University on Capital. One of his
classmates and best friends, was Derrin Aeontalla, who was now Marquis
Aeontalla of Aramis. With the help of Marquis Aeontalla and several
other nobles indebted to the Tukera family. Rogarr was able to persuade
the Imperial Court to declare Lewis a Red Zone, forbidding all traffic
with the planet. With the exception of Tukera family ships, who were
granted a special dispensation allowing them access.
The Tukeras made a final offer to the settlers; middle passage, and
1000cr each if they would leave now. A few thousand settlers took the
offer. They thought life under an Imperial Interdiction would be
unbearable. The remainder decided that Lewis was their home, and they
wouldn't leave to make some sniveling noble and his toadies happy. One
of the chief instigators of this response was
Dwayne Muurgan. His fiery orations stirred the blood of the settlers and gave
them a will to resist. He thought that once the planet was sealed, the
Tukeras would move in with hired guns, and try to exterminate the
settlers. To forestall this he had the settlers manufacture small arms,
so that they could defend their homes.
Even though the Tukeras had done some unpleasant things in their past,
they weren't about to send in mercenaries to slaughter over 80,000 men,
women, and children. Baronet Rogarr thought it best if they simply
waited until the settlers gave up. He ordered that each year a liner
land at the settlement and offer free passage to anyone willing to give
up all claim to the planet. For the first few years no one took the
Tukeras up on their offer, but after a few years, a few settlers would
leave each year, ten one year, fifty the next. These emigrants are one
of the few sources of information about conditions on lewis. By 1100,
seven thousand settlers had chosen to leave. But that still left over
seventy thousand still on the planet.
When the settlers bought rights to settle on Lewis, those rights
only pertained to the continent Desmoaned and the archipelago to the north.
Desmoaned is a smallish continent, about four million square
kilometers. The interdiction restricts the settlers to this territory
and no other. Tukera family security monitors the continent for
violations. The penalty for violating the boundaries, even accidentally,
is exile from the planet.
The Civil War slowed down the flow of visitors. Only those
Tukera employees from the Domain of Deneb could get to Lewis. This
created a bit of economic strain, but Tukera was willing to absorb the
cost. There was some talk of opening up the planet to paying customers.
But this talk was quickly squashed by Tukera higher ups. They thought
the exclusiveness of the planet, was well worth the cost.
The settlers received little news of the Civil War, and it did not
impact their lives at all. At least that is what they thought. On
152-1119, three Vargr Corsair Destroyers landed at the Settlement and
looted and burned most of it. After filling their holds with booty,
they took off, but as a final act of cruelty bombarded the settlement
from orbit. Three quarters of the settlers, over 45,000 people, died
in the attack. It remains one of the more senseless Vargr attacks in
Tukera personal on planet immediate offered their help to the
surviving settlers. Unfortunately the small hospital at Inselberg
would be swamped with all the victims, but Tukera offered to ship
anyone in need of medical assistance, to Patnir, the nearest star
system with adequate medical facilities. Of course, no one who left
would ever be allowed to return. Most settlers decided a life in exile
would be better than no life at all. After the attack and subsequent
evacuation, only five thousand settlers were left on planet. Those who
had survived resolved that nothing would force them from their land.
Many survivors blamed Tukera for the attack, suggesting that the Vargr
were working for Tukera or at the least Tukera did not stop the attack.
Tukera family spokespersons vehemently denied these charges, "Our
system defense boats were patrolling the outer system, they rushed to
the planet as soon as the alarm was raised, but were too late. The
entire Tukera family sends it's deepest sympathy to these victims of
The remaining settlers set about rebuilding their home. There was
enough food at outlying farms, to get them through the first growing
season. The first year was the roughest, but by pulling together, the
settlers were able to overcome the difficulties. It took the settlers
five years to rebuild their homes.
In 1125 they reorganized their settlement, and created a
government that they still use to this day. Before this they had no
formal government, now they elected a Governor, and ten Speakers. The
Governor would serve for life, and was charged with freeing the planet
from its interdiction. The settlers elected Justin Muurgan, grandson
of Dwayne Muurgan. He was only 29 when elected. He still serves as
Governor to this day. When asked about the length of his political
career, he responded,"The Governor serves for life, and I refuse to die
anywhere but where I was born."
The Speakers are elected every two years. Note that there are an
even number of Speakers. The settlers value consensus, and wanted
their representative to come to an agreement, not just out vote each
other. The Speakers find issues that effect the settlement, and figure
out a solution that is best for the most people. Most of the issues
are fairly mundane, such things as land use, new construction, and
When the Tukera liner came in 1126, the Governor was the only settler
to take passage off planet. He was also the last settler to ever leave
the planet. Governor Muurgan immediately got in contact with the survivors
of the Vargr attack who had been evacuated. He gathered them together on
Xenon Station, a beat up mining station, located in the Patnir System.
Once they were settled, he set out to convince the Domain of Deneb to lift
the interdiction on his home world. For decades he has spoken to every
Imperial official, that would see him. To each of these he told the
history of his world. Most sympathized, but were unable or unwilling to do
anything to help.
Governor Muurgan also spread the word about Lewis, to the media, he
would talk to any reporter, no matter how small their publication. His
passionate pleas have aroused a great deal of public support on several
worlds, notably La Belle/Lanth, Zivije/Rhylanor and Thingen/Sabine. It
has become a fashionable cause, there are rallies, fund raisers, and
lots of speeches. Some of these people have tried to create a boycott
of Tukera Lines and related companies, but
it has had little effect so far. Tukera Lines has suffered since the
Domain of Deneb was cut off from the rest of the Imperium. Their
public connection to Margret's faction hurt them in the eyes of many
Domain residents, who saw Margret as another schemer who was helping to
destroy the Imperium. Today they are fraction of what they used to be,
but the family that was left in the Domain still has enough money and
power to affect their destiny.
When Norris announced the Representational Reforms, Governor Muurgan thought
that he would be selected as Lewis's representative, but the Tukera family
were able to convince the Regency that they should select a representive.
Since this time the Tukera family has becoming one of the leaders of the
Resistance movement, trying to obstruct the reforms at any cost.
Most members of the Regency Senate have been reluctant to overturn
the interdiction of Lewis, since it was an Imperial decree, and if the Senate
were to overturn it, this would signify that the Senate could overrule
the Emperor. While currently there is no emperor, many members cling
to the hope that there will someday be one. Lately some of the more
democratic members of the Senate have taken up the cause, mainly using
it as a tool against Tukera and the Resisters. They see it as an
example of what the Resisters stand for and how they harm people. One
small victory they have managed to achieve, is that the new UPP in the
1201 census figures, features the Settlers's tech level and government
code. This is a small victory, but it is a first step. Gov Muurgan
does not care that some supporters care more about damaging the
Resisters than Lewis, he just wants his home to be free.
The settlers have been able to create a self sufficient society. It
helps that they area farming community and can grow their own food supplies.
They do not have a great deal of manufacturing capabilities, mostly small
machine shops which hand make parts on demand. They are able to keep
running the few mechanical devices that they did possess. These are
mostly farming vehicles. Their medical facilities are top rate, and
able to cope with almost any problem. There is one hospital for the
entire settlement it is located in Grenwinae. Which is the only true
city the settlers possess. The hospital has about a dozen helicopters
which it uses to transport patients, and deliver doctors to the
outlying farms. Power for the settlement is generated by a
hydroelectric power plant, which uses wave power. Most people use
animal powered wagons and carts to get around. They find these easy to
maintain, and also have a very low impact on the environment. The
settlement is very close knit. They have weekly gatherings where they
talk and socialize. These gatherings involve dancing, music, and
other performances by the citizens of the settlement. There are no pure
entertainers, the settlement is not big enough to support non-productive members.
These gatherings also serve to draw the community together, making it
an extended family.
The Tukera facilities on the planet are centered at Inselberg, a small
resort on the largest continent, Greenhaven. To avoid the Yabba
pollen, the city is domed. The city has several large luxury hotels, a
casino, amusement park, dance clubs, concert amphitheater, golf
courses, and dozens of other amusements for guests of the Tukeras. The
restaurants are some of the best in the subsector. Guests are pampered
the moment they step foot off the starship door. Everything is the
best that money can buy, but guests don't have to pay for anything,
Tukera picks up the tab for everything. Everything except for the
casino, there you have to risk your own money. The staff at Inselberg
exists solely to fulfill the slightest whim of guests.
Inselberg is not the only resort on the planet. Glacier Point is
a resort on the Northern tip of Greenhaven. It specializes in winter
activities, such as skiing and ice sailing. There are several small
villas located on isolated islands to the south of Greenhaven. These
are available for guests who prefer a more isolated vacation. Tukera
also runs several grav yachts which tour the planet, showing off the
wonders of the planet. These yachts even plunge to the bottom of the
ocean, to show off the fascinating marine life. Life on these
yachts is not austere, the yachts are bigger then most starships. They
include ballrooms, swimming pools, and everything else the idle rich would want.
There are several other sites, that are of interests to guests; Crystal
Caves are a large cavern system 75 kms northwest of Inselberg. Most
visitors take a day trip from Inselberg. There is an active shield
volcano located on the western edge of Greenhaven. This is one of the
largest shield volcanos in the Regency.
Security is very tight around Inselberg. Tukera officials refuse
to disclose exact figures, but it is believed that there are about five hundred
Tukera Line security troops on planet. In antebellum times, there were
hundreds of top of the line security robots, but it is presumed that
use of these has fallen off since the Virus. Security, while tight, is
very transparent to the guests at Inselberg, most never notice it. It
is unknown why Tukera keeps such a large security force, on a
resort world. It is possible that they fear attacks from the settlers
on Desmoaned. There is a small class D starport at Inselberg. While
small it is one of the nicest looking class D starports in the Regency.
Tukera biologists have developed a partial vaccine for the the
Yabba Tree's pollen. It allows a person to breath the pollen, with no
ill effects, but a toxic residue builds up. After a month, use must be
discontinued. Severe nerve damage can occur if use does persist. The
vaccine, allows vacationers to tour the fabulous beaches of Lewis, go
skiing, all without dealing with messy filter masks. Though compression
masks are still required.
Note: While Artemis looks like an attractive world from the UPP, it is
far from it. It is currently undergoing severe vulcanism. This makes
the planet extremely dangerous.
References: The Traveller Adventure
The Regency Sourcebook: Keepers of the Flame
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Portions of this material are © 1977-2000 Far Future
BARD Logo Copyright ©1996 by Lawrence C. Cox.