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Short World Descriptions

by Pete Gray

I've written more section covering the most interesting worlds of the Spinward Marches, and a few worlds you don't want to visit, except when you have a gun pointed at your head. Many of the write ups are based on information from GURPS Traveller: Behind the Claw

Attica/Querion (SM 0414): In spite of Attica's location on the border with the Zhodani Consulate, or perhaps because of it, the world was vehemently Anti-Psionic and Anti-Zhodani before the Collapse. The success of the Regency's Psionic Reforms caused a change in local opinions about psionics, but it has hardened towards the Zhodani. The world should be considered an Amber Zone for Zhodani, though this is only a problem if they ignore local restrictions. For no Zhodani is allowed to land in the downport. A neutral world since its colonisation in the 570s, Attica's prejudices have hurt its reputation in the Regency, and the world mostly gets by economically through trade with the Federation of Arden.

Dekalb/Querion (SM 0618): This metal-rich waterworld has no significant land surfaces other than a few coral atolls. Most of the population lives on large mining platforms constructed in shallow parts of the world-ocean. These platforms average about 25,000 to 40,000 people in population, and are constructed with landing platforms so that ships can land directly to ship the extracted ore for processing and export. The main downport is located in a sheltered cove set in a coral reef. The world is ruled by a bureaucracy made up of senior rig personnel, and is divided accordingly.

Drolraw/Lunion (SM 2426): If you have no good reason to visit here, don't try coming up with one. Drolraw's atmosphere is poisonous sulfur trioxide at a very high pressure. SO3 is a precursor to sulfuric acid, and can transform into it in the presence of water. If that weren't bad enough, the world is very geologically unstable, and active volcanos and earthquakes punish the surface regularly. Aside from a SuSAG manufacturing complex, the world has no appeal, except to the suicidal.

Entrope/Querion (SM 0720): "When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers." The wars between the Darrians and the Sword Worlds had left this place in pretty sorry shape by the Civil War period. The outsystem is littered with the debris of past battles, and the local infrastructure had been shattered so many times that the natives had pretty much given up at trying to keep up with upkeep. The populace was so desperate in the wake of the world's final liberation from the Sword Worlds that it installed a popular dictatorship in an effort to effect rebuilding. Reconstruction has been very successful, but the dictatorship has become a hereditary post for the Yoldat family. Resistance to this increasingly unnecessary regime is so far muted, but widespread.

Fiashzaikriq/Querion (SM 0613): Formerly known as Lebeau. Fiashzaikriq is a college planet, containing the largest Zhodani university in the Marches. The University of Fiashzaikriq is a well rounded learning institution, but since the Collapse its psionic and cultural studies departments have become very important to relations with the Regency. A great many Regency students and academics come here on exchange or sabbatical. The planetary government is controlled by the University Council of Governors, a council of 12 nobles, usually of impeccable academic background. Outside of the university, the population practices simple agriculture and animal husbandry.

Fen's Gren/Mora (SM 3228): Another vacation spot for the masochistic. The "Gren's" atmosphere contains microscopic parasites that invade the human respiratory system, and cause a disease that is nearly one hundred percent fatal. Those unlucky enough to live here subsist on agriculture for export to Mora. The local Chirper population is immune to the parasite.

Forine/Plankwell (SM 1533): Forine's antebellum "tourist brochures" (the official propaganda) advertised the fact that the world was supposedly covered in a massive world covering arcology. In reality the population lives in a massive potemkin village, where the "arcology" is nothing more than props and empty structures designed to create more bulk than actually exists. The local dictatorship is a hereditary government known as the Council of Swords, ruled by a self-styled "Sword Lord" and his "Sword Masters." Despite the grandiose titles and overblown ambitions, they do an adequate job of providing services and maintaining public trust. The Swords were actually quite friendly with the Third Imperium, but political tensions with the Sword Worlders prevented them from actually joining. Forine's tech level has progressed enough to make it attractive to offworld trade. Cheap electronic components are the main export.

Ivendo/Lanth (SM 2319): Ivendo is home to the Ranage Tree. The Ranage is an essential part of the local ecology, and is abundant in the world's forests. Unfortunately, its pollen contains an alkaloidal toxin that is deadly to humans, and when the trees are pollinating during the spring, filter masks are required for the duration of the "bitchin' ragweed" season. The Ranage is cut down by the locals for the manufacture of exquisite furniture and cabinetry that is a major export of the world.

Mercury/Mora (SM 2624): The naval and scout bases on this world are primarily for training. RQS and Marine personnel have access to a variety of facilities designed to mimic the various planetary conditions that they may encounter in the course of their tours. Large parts of the world are reserved as training ranges, and are offlimits to unauthorised personnel and civilians. Mercury handles all training for Regency Ranger and Hammerhead personnel as well, at high security facilities placed in orbit, and dirtside in the planets equatorial region.

Overnale/Glisten (SM 1937): Overnale is a rich agricultural world that produces several distinguished products. It is most famous for Ufflewine, a dark wine-like beverage made from the native Uffleberry. The world's main exports are meat and hides, as its open plains are home to large ranches.

Raydrad/Trin's Shroud (SM 2933): Raydrad is another agricultural world famous for its alcoholic beverages. In this case a golden liquid known as Ricernay, the drink of masochists. Raydrad's atmosphere and ecology is host to a number of severe allergens, and Ricernay itself will cause severe reactions in about one-third of all people who drink it. Oddly enough, afficionados take this as a sign of its authenticity, as if anaphylactic shock actually has a silver lining. Raydrad is a backwater, and few people aside from traders ever visit the place.

Talchek/Plankwell (SM 1631): Talchek and nearby Elixabeth are colonies of Forine. Each world has a Sword Lord governor that reports back to the main government on Forine, but are generally more free and less oppressive. Neither world, however, is a garden spot. Talchek's fluorine and hydrofluoric acid atmosphere are quite dangerous to work and fly in, and supposedly the antebellum amber zone was to reflect this fact. In reality, as on Wypoc/Lanth, the Imperium used the world to conceal its military operations, in this case a laboratory for the manufacture of biological weaponry. In the fallout of the Collapse the Regency shut the facility down, and pulled out. Talchek's main industries are all chemical, utilising the highly acidic atmosphere for a number of important processes. Talchek also has the remains of an old Darrian gas refinery that were built around -1000, and are now preserved as a historical site.

Tondoul/Five Sisters (SM 0739): Tondoul is home to another group of humans transplanted by the Ancients. The Ancient base was located on the worlds moon, now a pretty dramatic ring structure. The population subsisted in several underground communities powered by simple yet very reliable energy and life support machinery. IISS contacted the world in a timely fashion, arriving just as these machines were failing. Tondoul does not have an Ancient site rating in its listing because the scouts largely stripped all of the artifacts out and replaced them with equipment of Imperial manufacture. Unlike the Traltar, the Tondoulians have mixed heavily with Imperial immigrants and possess a culture that incorporates elements from both groups.

Traltha/Trin's Shroud (SM 2834): Traltha's desert status is a side effect of damage dealt to it during the Ancient's Final War. The local seas were apparently blasted into space by a massive bolide that was targeted against the world by an Ancient strike force. The Ancient base included a population of transplanted humans, the majority of which survived the strike, and somehow scratched out a living in the outback. Calling themselves the Traltar, these desert nomads used to scour the outback for surviving water sources. After contact with the Third Imperium in 373, they accepted offworld technological aid, and quit their wandering for a more sedentary existence. Most of their communities are located around wells, and subsist upon agriculture. The Traltar have a long running fight with another local, non-sentient lizard species known as the Vorstin, which has a nasty habit of raiding their communities for water. Local pride prevented them from accepting offworld military aid in the past, but the world's technology has advanced to the point that the locals can now manufacture their own laser weaponry, giving them a decisive advantage.

Zeykiede/Cronor (SM 0101): The entire population of this world lives on huge mining and manufacturing crawlers that scour this mineral rich world for resources to be made in to exportable products. These roving communities are technically answerable to no one, and the sole governing authority is a council that runs the downport.

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