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by Pete Grey

Raweh was, literally, the middle of nowhere, the last resort, the point of almost no return. Along with Emape it was the farthest spinward extent of the Third Imperium, a remote peninsula in a remote subsector. Raweh has no resources, no refueling sources, and is uglier than hell. But its strategic location along the j-1 route linking Five Sisters with neighboring Menorial subsector (Trojan Reach A) and the difficulty of maintaining contact between this remote border and more settled regions compelled the Imperial Navy to build a small naval base for surveillance and X-boat support purposes.

Aside from the base personnel, the world's only other antebellum settlers were a strange cult known as the Church of the Golden Sands. Founded by a Fornice born vagabond trader named Versan Igalanor in 1058, the church seeks religious enlightenment and divine portents within the strange shapes created in Raweh's frozen silicate sands by the wind. Starting with a small following that included his family and the crew of his broken down far trader, Igalanor soon attracted many of the subsectors other downheeled adventurers, creating a colony that numbered into the thousands. Unlike most cult leaders, Igalanor lacked any tendency towards self-destructive mania, and the cult survived his passing in 1105. Despite its pacifistic nature, its strange rituals and its liturgical emphasis upon ecstatic mind states unsettled the naval authorities enough to garner an Amber Zone.

The Collapse and subsequent change in Five Sister's importance transformed Raweh from a remote border post into an important trade waystation. The explosion of trade along the aforementioned j-1 route, now known as the Raweh Track, required that the base and commercial starport be upgraded and expanded. A private company was contracted by the Ministry of the Interior to run the new starport and startown. RQS and the Navy expanded the base to support the new customs and SSIIO.

The world's intermediate location along the Raweh track made inspections problematic for most traffic, however. Most short jump vessels must enter the Regency twice, first at Raweh, and then at either Froin or Lakou. This requires discretionary inspections, with concentration upon vessels that actually intend to proceed into the Regency, either by the Andor-Candory route. Vessels intended for Froin, or using Raweh to transition from Foreven to either Florian space or the Aslan frontier are only given cursory inspections, and their transponders are "notched" to prevent smuggling or vessel identity theft.

Interestingly, the Church of the Golden Sands have slowly migrated out of their sanctuaries into the vicinity of the starport. They have taken jobs, and now own many small businesses that cater to the itinerant ship crews. Their attempts to proselytize, and the now up close and public nature of their rituals no longer make the authorities so uneasy. Nevertheless the worlds heavy naval presence and precarious position along the Regency frontier are now the justifications for worlds Amber Zone.

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