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by Pete Gray

Starport: Class A, Regency Naval Base
Diameter: 6532 Miles
Atmosphere: Dense
Surface Water: 89%
Climate: Cold
Population: 3.09 Billion
Government: Dictatorship
Law Level: 9
Tech Level: 11

Joyeuse is the site of violent seismic activity, undersea landslides, and massive tsunamis that sweep almost unhindered across the surface of the world. Despite this threat, a sizeable colony was established here from Amondiage in the 400s, and the colonists quickly adapted to their new homeworld's violent cycles. Power devolved from the original democratic council to a small elite of military and technical leaders, and then to an autocratic monarchy, led by the Guignaud family. Industrialisation occured early in local development, giving rise to a class of highly skilled professionals that commanded the world's highly regimented workforce and eventually transformed into a semi-hereditary managerial class. This social pyramid was popular with the lower classes, as it clearly delineated an individuals place, and fairly distributed amenities throughout the population.

The power struggles between the larger Islands worlds triggered by the distribution of jump drive technology aroused a xenophobic response, and the local population vehement campaigns against offworlders can be distilled down to an elemental fear of losing their modest place in the universe to intangible forces more insidious than the normal perils of their own world. New Colchis and its rapacious dictatorship was especially feared, and the bulk of its military was intended to fight against anglophone aggression in the middle part of the New Islands.

An added complication to the local cultural landscape is the existence of a local narcotic called Soma by the locals. Harvested from a local shrub, Soma contains powerful numbing opiates that hinder parts of the autonomic nervous system. This can create powerful side effects in its users like irregular heart beat and respiratory failure, but it renders them immune to all but the most intense pain and most kinds of fear. Under higher dosages normal moral restraints are dulled, and users can go into berserk rages or relentless manic activity. Naturally, members of the planetary military recieve large doses for use in combat operations or long campaigns; to remove fatigue, hunger and fear; and to extend their endurance and ferocity. RPKF troops fear dealing with Joyeuseans, whether soldiers or officials, as many of them are not the normal definition of sane because of years of Soma abuse.

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