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Serendip was settled by the crew and remaining passengers of the ESA long range colony ship C-Jammer in the year 87 (Imperial calendar). The colonisation of an asteroid belt is a brave endeavor in the best of times, the Serendips did it with TL 10 equipment and no assistance from any other world. Several planetoids were hollowed out, their metals refined and converted into spin gravity habitats, and their interiors converted into agriculture. Water and oxygen were harvested from the systems Oort Cloud, and electrical power was provided by massive solar power stations placed at strategic locations in the inner system. When the system was contacted by the misjumped Imperial Strike Cruiser Eldorado during the Third Frontier War, the system was flourishing.
Because of the enormous energy required to prosper in an otherwise inhospitable system, a strong communal culture had to develop, along with an advanced entrepenurial streak. Seredips are loud, brash and opinionated; they are given to outrageous behavior and love to gamble and undertake challenges. The local government is a technocratic assemblage of autonomous communities, private corporate enclaves and a few communes of fringe dwellers and eccentrics. Few large communities exist, and the population is scattered over hundreds if not thousands of different asteroids. In antebellum times the Belt was heavily industrialised, and exported starships to the other Islands. The system government is primarily a loose parliamentary assemblage of the various communities, though the tendency for individual Serendips to strike out on their own and create new communities and factions makes the government rather anarchic at times. The seat of government is still located on the C-Jammer, which has been preserved as a museum and cultural center.
The demand for goods from other more habitable worlds formed the basis of Serendip attempts at acquiring an empire, and the government was nakedly expansionistic. The Islands War started when Serendip forces attempted to support a coup on Topas, which led to Neubayern intervention. Serendip forces single-handedly knocked Esperanza out of the war, but bogged down on battlefronts against Neubayern, New Home and New Colchis. Fighting against the last was especially bitter, in spite of linguistic relationships, and the two sides sparred incessantly over several contested worlds. The large perimeter of the belt proved indefensible against determined New Colchis strike forces during the latter days of the war, and heavy damage was inflicted upon industry and food production sites. In conjunction with Joyeuse, Serendip forces meted bloody revenge upon New Colchis, but were compelled to withdraw most of their forces and concentrate upon reconstruction.
Serendip Belt is strongly Pro-Regency; the provision of food aid and reconstruction money has arrested the slide into oblivion, and has opened up contact with Regency-side corps and investors. The government has sold mining concessions to several companies, including Sternmetal and LSP, and has used the revenues to slowly rebuild its decimated food production. It was the Serendip government that initiated the Four-Power negotiations with Neubayern, Sansterre and Amondiage; the government hopes to sell new TL-12 starships to the other three in return for needed foodstuffs, and build up trade as a means of securing peace in the region. Negotiations with Neubayern over a mutual disengagement on Topas have been slow and halting, however.