Planets

Known Worlds: Empire of the Phoenix Throne

Throne Worlds

Byzantium Secundus

While the capital of the Known Worlds suffered some damage during the Emperor Wars, it no longer bears any marks of the strife. Indeed, Emperor Alexius has embarked on an ambitious building plan, and even more construction is turning what was once known as the "concrete capital" back into its old gray, metal-covered self. Every major faction in the Known Worlds (as well as the Vau) maintains a presence on this world, and all have interests at stake on a daily basis. See Byzantium Secundus sourcebook.

  • Overview
  • Imperial Eye headquarters
  • Imperial City
  • Veridian spaceport

Nowhere

A barren wasteland where sits the Gargoyle of Nowhere, an ancient statue said to deliver omens to those who come seeking it. The Stigmata Garrison Commander suspects that Symbiots have compromised the world, although there is no proof in the sand-blown deserts. Pilgrims who go to Nowhere may not be allowed back into Known Worlds, and nomadic caravans of such refugees roam the world, eking out a living in the sands. It is said that Nowhere once had lush forests and that many secrets lie hidden in its wastes.

Stigmata

Stigmata is the hotly-contested world that forms a bulwark against the Symbiots, and is home to the powerful Imperial Stigmata Garrison, the best collection of troops in the Known Worlds (next to the Imperial Guard). Little is known about the Symbiot-claimed worlds beyond Stigmata, since those who have gone out have not been allowed to return, despite their radio claims of being whole and uncorrupted by what they saw. Before they can deliver full reports, their ships are destroyed to prevent organic infection from entering Human Space. Those legionnaires who have survived their tours of duty here are shaken and hollow men, scarred by what they have seen on the battlefields of Stigmata.

Tethys

An Imperial world, once run by an independent guild but now owned by the Emperor. This is one of the oldest worlds in Human Space, and was stripped of its resources long ago. It now survives by attracting renowned craftsmen and manufacturers, promising land and low noble status in return for a cut of their profits. The Mitchau family of weaponsmiths has recently relocated here from Aragon to take advantage of these benefits. One of the remote continents on a nearby planet in the system is said to be used by the Imperial Guard for training and war games; entry onto this planet is closely guarded.

Al-Malik Worlds

Aylon

Ruled now by the Al-Malik, Aylon was once owned by the Ur-Ukar. It is famed for being the first planet the Prophet set foot upon after his miraculous vision (gained on a lost worlds beyond Aylon's borders). Pilgrim come from all over annually to see the spot where the prophet first preached. The rest of the planet is taken up by large reserves, and the al-Malik make a lot of money catering to the interests of off-world hunters and recreationalists.

Originally colonized by the Ur-Ukar, Aylon was later conquered by a Church-lead humanity. The al-Malik later seized it from the Keddah governor, further straining relations between the two families. Surviving Ur-Ukar dwell on reservations in the northern province of Mwerrid Mokta, where they possess vast subterranean holdings. The Ur-Ukar rebelled during the Emperor Wars. This rebellion was finally crushed, and "friendly" Ur-Ukar were chosen by their conquerors to lead the clans. Zebulon the Prophet first preached on Aylon after his vision, and pilgrims annually flock to the site (known as Prophet's Hill). The northern cities of Navarre, Ryoko and Sunval are trading zones, with Sunval boasting a reputation for one of the finest casino's in the Known Worlds. Recently, interest in Vr-Ukar culture and art has increased. Mwerrid Mokta is mostly a mountainous and desert region. The southern region of Mwerrid Na'al is a temperate zone, holding vast agricultural estates and hunting reserves. Here nobles pay handsomely for the privilege of hunting the most challenging wild game animals of the Known Worlds.The older generation of Aylon al-Malik are provincial but competent business people. Largely independent from court, they run their own affairs. The younger generation have appropriated certain Ur-Ukar ideas and survival skills. They are the house's greatest warriors. Proud, self reliant, and toughened by experience, they disdain the worldliness of the Istakhr court. Some believe that the next cycle of al-Malik rebellions will lead an Aylon alMalik to the throne.

Aylon is renowned for being the first world where the Prophet began preaching and for its great hunting reserves. Among these, the most mysterious is a vast plain located in the Dehorz-ha continent, in the Southern Hemisphere. Long-time hunters call these plains "The Living Land" since its features seem to change from night to day. One day you find yourself in a green prairie, but if you dare to spend the night there you might awake in a tundra, or a barren wasteland, or a swamp, regardless of actual latitude or season. Moreover, compasses don't seem to work there, and Aylon musk does not grow on the Northside of local trees. Even the sun seems slightly different, changing subtly in heat, size and colour. Satellite reports revealed nothing.

Some Engineers think that an unknown, powerful type of terraforming engine, gone mad for some unknown reasons is buried somewhere in this region, while Eskatonic monks think that a powerful demon, maybe imprisoned there by Prophet Zebulon himself, lies there, awaiting the unwary traveller and cursing the Land. Others think of a strange disease, maybe of Symbiot origin. Fact is, no one knows the real causes behind the Living Lands.

However, some strange and rare animals have been spotted there: the Gliding Green Gyepard, a leopard-like feline, whose spots are green-coloured and, when running, it seems to hover in the air, or the Foursome Furball, a furry, slow bear-resembling animal that splits itself in four vicious autonomous part when attacked, each of these parts sporting a huge mouth with teeths whose sharpness rival Amen'ta's.

Even weirder animals have been reported, but most of these reports are actually fake, since only a handful of guides and hunters have entered the Living Lands and managed to find the way out. There guides are widely sought out by young noble hotshots, willing to prove themselves they are good hunters, but they rarely take such wimps to the Lands.

  • Pilgrimage: First planet the Prophet set foot on after his miraculous vision, gained on a Lost World beyond Aylon
  • Ukari colony
  • Plants: Klaj – Root used to create the combat drug Klaj.
  • Animals: Grolla Crawlers FL:T 23 Large many-legged ant-like bugs used as dray-beasts. Pherizces "Spitters" FL:T 25 Desert lizard mounts and dray beasts. Sometimes ridden as war-mounts by Li Halan desert scouts. Spits acid. Runner Birds FL:T 23 Large emu-like dray-beasts.
  • A night road is said to exist between Aylon and Cadavus.

Criticorum

No al-Malik would ever deny this planet’s value, nor would they deny the extreme problems it has caused the House. Once considered for the capital of the Second Republic, it has jump routes to seven other worlds, and travellers from Byzantium Secundus, the Church worlds, the al-Malik planets, the Decados Hegemony, the Li-Halan worlds and Kordeth regularly stop there. The League has also established a sizeable presence here, and the guilds maintain a number of vehicle and weapons plants. As a result, the world hosts legions of ambitious schemers and spies from around the Known Worlds. Intrigues here may lack the subtlety of those of Byzantium Secundus, but they are at least as common.

A vibrant planet with a rich economy, Criticorum's main city of Acheon is a den of plotting factions. The province of 0st holds the main ports and population centers. Refugees fleeing the Symbiot Wars have fled to the cities of Acheon, Larrane and Ostgard, overburdening the social services. Civil services have their hands full with relocation and policing. Holding Criticorum, with all its intrigues and problems, is no small task. Once a proposed site for the Second Republic capital, Criticorum has fallen out of al-Malik hands on many occasions. Unfortunately, the Criticorum al-Malik tend to be the most decadent of the House. Pleasure seeking and remote, they enrich themselves with bribes and periodic shake downs of the transient population. Mainly centered in the southern city of Tabrast, they resent the authority of the court-appointed governor. They also claim to be the "true" al-Malik. The al-Malik governor must rely on his own spy networks and soldiery, increasing the tension between the court and local al-Malik. The southern provinces hold the great house estates and scenic areas of wondrous beauty.

  • Overview — PDF
  • Isfahan
  • Republic, Criticorum (House Hazred), and Nalhin (Indepedent guild) Shipyards
  • Ukari colony
  • Good spot for more unusual encounters
  • A lot of not-too-subtle intrigues

Istakhr

Istakhr boasts not only one of the greatest bazaars in the Known Worlds, but some of the most stupendous buildings. The al-Malik rulers have used much of their wealth to build pleasure palaces for themselves, awe-inspiring cathedrals and even museums open to their serfs. The vast amounts of wealth floating around this world have attracted all sorts of people to Istakhr, from the most ambitious to the most unscrupulous.

Uninhabited when the First Republic discovered it, there were some preadamite ruins found in the region of the southern pole. Settled largely by people of mid-eastern extraction, it was the homeworld of the al-Malik and became their power center after Rahimat's Reconquest. The famous Istakhr Market in the capitol city of Samarkand is the second largest open bazaar in the Known Worlds. Here a teeming economy thrives in the vast mazes of the market. To "know the Market" is a compliment on Istakhr, for it is labyrinthine in the extreme. Great palaces, cathedrals and museums have been built from the proceeds of the Market Tax, making Samarkand "mistress of beauty." The old parliament building remains, and a parliament of representatives can be called at the duke's discretion. Old Second Republic codes survive in the Istakhr legal system, and even serfs possess the right to free legal representation. Civil codes and representation are one thing, but the noble code of the al-Malik is above common law. Only members of the House may sit in judgment of a family member.Najran, the northern province, holds the temperate zone. Here, the city of Tioch overlooks Lake Harat. The Afid Desert, south of Samarkand, is home to wanders desert clans. The southern province of Grenada product agriculture and holds great family estates. Native Istald . al-Malik are the most traditional, and retain the legacie of Tarif. The more provincial branches of the family posess more family traditions and lore. See Weird Places sourcebook.

  • Market
  • Ukari enclave

Shaprut

This mineral-rich planet has avoided much of the intrahuman strife that has plagued other worlds, but it has suffered from Symbiot invasions. The few times the Symbiots have broken through Stigmata they have ravaged Shaprut. Indeed, part of the justification used to continually ferry off Shaprut's native race, the Shantor, to reservations on other worlds is the fear that the Symbiots would contaminate them. Of course, some Shantor remain on the planet, but most of them serve as slaves in the mines.

Home to the ungulate Shantor, the mineral wealth below the surface attracted the First Republic. The inevitable Shantor rebellion was swiftly crushed. During the Second Republic, Shaprut fell into the al-Malik purview,and the Shantor received representation. Yet with the coming of the New Dark Ages this was withdrawn as, one-by-one, republican institutions languished. The remaining Shantor dwell on reservations in the northern province of Pamott. Some suffer slave labor in the mines, an argument house enemies use against the republican ideals of the al-Malik (the sale of slaves on the Istakhr Market being the other).The al-Malik rule from the southern city of Tabriz inYathrid Province. Native Shaprut al-Malik are highly re-fined, cultivating the arts. They cultivate the singing poets of Shaprut, the bakEshi. Their beautiful music, recognized throughout the Known Worlds, finds inspiration on Shaprut. During the Symbiot Wars the planet suffered from raids. New garrisons on the planet disrupted the sedentary solitude once enjoyed by the people of Shaprut. Vestiges of Second Republic rule, such as the Shaprut Congress, remain. There is representation, but the congress can only be called by the Planetary Governor. Traditionally, the governor is chosen from the Shaprut al-Malik.

Decados Worlds

Cadavus

One of the poorer worlds in the Empire. Cadavus fell into Decados' hands during the Emperor Wars. The Decados are only the most recent rulers of this planet: almost every faction of note in the last 2000 years has had an interest in it at one point or another. While the planet has little in the way of industry, mining or agriculture now, it still remains a center for a number of religious groups, whose monasteries maintain records dating back to the beginning of space exploration.

The Decados are blessed with possession of Cadavus, arguably the poorest planet in the Empire. Decados forces seized Cadavus during the Emperor Wars, seeking a cell of anti-Decados terrorists, and no one wanted the planet back. In time, the house began to wonder why it kept the planet, because its resources are almost depleted. Still, the Decados obviously have something to eke out of the planet, or they would have abandoned it long ago.Cadavus also has the distinction of having been home to almost every known (and maybe even unknown) faction within the Empire. Prior to Decados rulership, it was owned by the Merchant League, which had used it as a major shipping Port - a remnant from the days when Cadavus still had resources and reasons for ships to stop there. The most visible reminder of previous ownership is seen in the proliferation of monasteries that dot the surface. Representatives of almost every religious group, major and minor, can be found here, and rumors of a Sathraist monastery still persist. Some of these monasteries date back to the planet's early colonisation, and their records are filled with rich details about the history of spacefaring, bringing many scholars to the planet. There is a Xanthippe Moonhaven on the largest of Cadavus's two moons.

  • A night road is said to exist between Aylon and Cadavus.
  • Masseri holdings, granted by the Decados to control the house and, through a series of treaties, House Keddah.

Cadiz

Ruled by the Decados, the great cities of Cadiz are legendary. Second Republic diplomats chose this world as their base for negotiations with the Vau, and the cosmopolitan fervor which gripped the planet caused the rise of many towering metropoli. But the Vau refused to come to Cadiz, and instead demanded that the diplomats come to them at Vril-Ya. The cities are now teeming with the poor and restless, who crowd into aprtments once reserved for the rich. Cadiz also holds the only reservation reserved for the Hironem aliens.

Cadiz is an enigma - massively built up with metropoli for the Known Worlds elite, it is now an enormous tenement. The Second Republic had chosen this planet for diplomatic negotiations with the Vau, and, along with the Decados, poured money and labor into building and beautifying the cities that covered this planet. When the Vau chose another site, the Decados were disgusted, and abruptly ceased their construction efforts, leaving many partially-finished structures in place— structures which now house the poor and starving occupants of the planet. The cities of Cadiz are now known as harbours for activity illegal among Decados planets, for the house seems to have abandoned the world. Decados dragoons do sporadically sweep the planet in security searches.Cadiz is also home to the Hironem, the reptilian natives of the now-conquered world. The Hironem live on a reservation at the center of which is Turaz, their capital city. Scholars from across the Known Worlds come to Turaz (for a hefty fee, of course) to study Hironem culture and ways, which bears a few distinct similarities to Vau culture.Persus: Due to its toxic atmosphere, Cadiz' sole moon is uninhabitable, except for a controlled - atmosphere military base. The base acts as a giant dockyard for old Decados ships, either for repairs or scavenging. Ruins of an unidentified culture exist on the dark side of Persus, with entrances to sublunar caverns. But this entire region is cordoned off by the Decados, with entry forbidden to all except by Prince Hyram's personal request.

The 5th planet in the Cadiz system is a gas giant known as Golyth, it's just an ordinary gas giant, except for he fact that between it and the system's 6th planet, an iceball named Teruman, lies an area of space which has come to be known as "The Lost Region." There have always been reports of strange radio transmissions and missing ships in that area, as the two planets orbit in perfect synchronicity. Recently the Decados reported finding a 200 year-old luxury liner which was reported missing, and just as the Imperial Eye was about to look into rumors of odd glyphs engraved on the outer hull, the ship was reported missing again (this time, most likely hidden by the Decados). Some have speculated that it is all a trick manufactured by the Decados, using fleets of stealth-ships in an effort to hide something greater, and if it is so, then it has worked, as nobody knows what is really going on.

  • Visions of ruined grandeur, squatters, Cyberpunk meets Atlantis

Malignatius

Once a Li Halan planet, the Decados seized this arctic-and-tundra world early in the Emperor Wars and have held it ever since. It still bears the mark of its former rulers, and religious fervour regularly sweeps the world. Since the Decados took over, however, the Orthodox view has become diluted. New sects crop up on a regular basis, and even different members of the same group find themselves battling over dogma. Newcomers often find themselves caught up in this factional fighting against their will.

The arctic planet Malignatius is something of an anomaly among Decados holdings: nowhere else among the Decados does such religious fervor run through the populace. The variance in sects and beliefs that regularly crop up and disappear on Malignatius lead viewers to one observation: it doesn't matter what the religion is, the Malignatians are simply, innately religious. Take any religion away from them and another will take its place.This of course vexes the Church, but it amuses the Decados. The planet has developed something of an unfortunate reputation among Decados nobles; incurring Prince Hyram's wrath could lead you to exile on Malignatius (assuming it does not lead you to death), and for some unfortunates, this has become a cold and bitter prison.A number of gulags have been established on Malignatius for Decados dissidents and troublemakers. Their lives are often short. The frozen wastes of this planet are also homes to a number of monastics - some members of the Universal Church, and others claiming no religious affiliation whatsoever - who spend their days in quiet isolation, meditating and studying texts often believed lost to time.Julka: Malignatius's single moon is even more inhospitable than Malignatius. Julka is the setting of a large, heavily protected subterranean gulag, where the house's most notorious criminals go. There is no escape.

Pandemonium (Grange)

Pandemonium is a Decados frontier world, and is fully described in the Fading Suns rulebook. Activity on Pandemonium has heightened considerably with the discovery of Iver, and Decados fleet activity has increased in the vicinity. House Decados is split on the best course of action - whether to simply send in dragoons—and kossacks if need be - to claim the world which they believe is rightfully Decados, or whether to attempt a more subtle and steady takeover.

Grange Station: Of equal importance near Pandemonium is the uncompleted jumpgate contested by House Decados and the Charioteers. Count Enis Sharn arranged for a marginally functional Second Republic starbase, originally in orbit around Pandemonium, to be towed near the uncompleted jump gate - to plant the Decados banner near the jumpgate. Unfortunately, his plan has backfired. The Emperor has decided that "Grange Station" would be an excellent exercise in cooperation, and has called for the station to be jointly staffed by the League and House Decados, collaborating to discover the secrets of the jumpgate, and overseen by an Imperial monitor to maintain the peace (unfortunately, he has no ability to enforce his suggestions). Whether this forced compromise is merely a farce which will exacerbate the tension has yet to be proven.Grange Station is an old Second Republic monitoring station, capable of housing nearly 500 people. All but the largest ships can dock at any of its five working bays, and shuttlecraft can dock at its numerous small bays. It is marginally operative, with Engineers constantly trying to revive failing Second Republic systems and repair its decaying superstructure. Glyphs of unknown origin have been found in one recently discovered access tunnel, which some people believe have Sathraist origins.

Severus

Very few humans lived on this jungle planet before the collapse of the Second Republic. Then its Decados owners opened it up to refugees from the major trouble spots, if those refugees would pledge allegiance to the house. Those who made the pledge may well have regretted their decision, because Severus is a most inhospitable world. Its native species and indigenous sentients (the primitive Ascorbites) have evolved tough, almost metallic skin and sharp teeth to break through skin to the sweet blood within. Severan hull rats are probably the most famous of these, and they now infest ships throughout the Known Worlds. They use their sharp teeth to gnaw through anything in search of nourishment.

The jungle planet Severus is the homeworld of the Decados - and some would say that a more fitting place could not exist. It is a harsh, treacherous planet with dangers lurking everywhere. The flora and fauna of Severus can be beautiful, almost intoxicating - but just as often it may be carnivorous and simply fatal. The similarity between the Severan buorka-flower, with its brilliantly coloured and beautiful petals but painfully toxic oil, and the effete and treacherous Decados nobles is not easily dismissed. Despite the many hardships associated with Severus (especially the Severan hull rats), many call Severus home. Mining for rare trace-minerals still takes place, but most Severan residents are not miners—they are refugees and expatriates (called elsewhere "criminals") from the rest of the Empire, offered sanctuary at Severus in exchange for loyalty to House Decados. Now these upstanding citizens support every facet of life on Severus, from farming to merchantry. Some continue the activities which led them to flee their homeworlds (assassination, black marketing, drug trafficking, etc.), but, provided these services are rendered for House Decados and not against it, there is little problem from the local lords. Hyram Decados maintains Manse Decados, the ducal palace for the entire house; he resides here with his entourage and many supporters, running House Decados with a tight fist.Edenya: Severus has a small moon which, like itself, is covered by jungle. Edenya is inhabitable, but only barely so. Flora and fauna are equally venomous, and a cloying haze of humidity makes the already acrid air difficult to breathe. Edenya is owned and run by the Jakovian Agency; all that the public knows is that the kossack training camp is on Edenya, and everything else is classified. The Jakovians monitor all entry and egress to Edenya.

Hawkwood Worlds

Delphi

The homeworld of House Hawkwood, Delphi has suffered its share of setbacks, but even with the devastation of the Emperor Wars, the Hawkwoods are stronger now than they have been for some time. Imperial support is behind them. Delphi is where the leaders of the House meet to plan the next victories to raise them above all other families - or so they fervently believe.

Massive terraforming has made Delphi similar to old Urth in its terrain, with a wide variety of climates ranging from arctic to tropical and a diverse biota. In a few places, notably on the island continent of Courai, indigenous flora and fauna have been preserved.Princess Victoria Hawkwood exercises sovereignty over the planet, which boasts a population of over two billion humans and nearly a hundred thousand aliens. Some rare minerals are found on Delphi and a long-standing agreement with House Justinian allows that minor house to oversee the mining interests on the planet.The homeworld of House Hawkwood enjoys a relatively high level of technology, with several large cities boasting Second Republic technology. Most of the world, particularly in the less settled regions, exists in less sophisticated conditions: electricity is available to freemen classes, but the serfs who are responsible for most of the planet's food production live mediaeval lives. This planet is the center of Hawkwood activity and most nobles, even if they have holdings elsewhere, maintain individual residences in the capital.

Gwynneth

Gwynneth has suffered the worst of late from Vuldrok Raiders' Invasions. It is believed to be only a matter of time before the Vuldrok set up a permanent base in the forested wilderness, hidden from easy scrutiny. The Hawkwood rulers fear that the long defiant pagan peoples living in the woods would welcome the Raiders. Muster mercenaries, hired by the Hawkwoods have recently come from Bannockburn to defend the planet from further assault, but it remains to be seen how effective they will be against the next raid. The Hawkwoods have allowed Vuldrok Ambassadors to pass through their space to Byzantium Secundus in the hopes that Alexius will act once he meets the uncouth barbarians face to face.

Much of this world is still covered by old growth forests, simulating the ancient woods that once reportedly blanketed Holy Terra. Although its population numbers nearly a billion, this does not include the uncounted groups of pagan peoples residing in the deep backwoods of the planet. The lumber industry provides Gwynneth with its major export, both in raw material and in finely crafted furnishings. The Hawkwood nobles who maintain estates on Gwynneth also keep a constant watch for signs of Vuldrok interference with the planet. Gwynneth suffered major losses of life and property from the Vuldrok Raiders. unfortunately the pagan population of the planet saw the Raiders as liberators come to free them from the yoke of a Church-dominated Empire. House Hawkwood, in order to bolster its military presence on the planet, has hired Muster mercenaries from Bannockburn, thus giving the Chainers a less than welcome inroad on the world and resulting in some friction between the locals and the auxiliaries. Even in the larger population centers such as the capital city of Llanfyrth, technology rarely exceeds Victorian age capabilities. The exceptions are, of course, found in those places where the Hawkwoods actually maintain estates and residences, where Second Republic technology maintains house members in comfort. The "forest people," a Hawkwood euphemism for the pagans, dwell in hovels that barely approach mediaeval standards of sophistication.

Leminkainen

A Hawkwood-ruled border world which suffered heavily from the barbarian invasions of the past. It was occupied for a time by barbarians, and their descendants still live here, maintaining what they claim is a sovereign nation. The Hawkwoods say the barbarians are deluded, and only live separately from others because the Hawkwoods allow it. The native barbarians are said to be petitioning the Vuldrok for an alliance, and if their sealed jumpgate ever reopens, the Hawkwoods would have a difficult time holding onto this world.

Closer than any of the Known Planets to the Vuldrok Border, Leminkainen presents House Hawkwood with a bureaucratic and military nightmare. Overrun at one point during the Barbarian Invasions, Leminkainen is still playing catch-up, trying to recover f rom the damage done to its cities and farmlands. Although House Hawkwood was able to retake their planet and drive out most of the invaders, many barbarians remained behind after their armies left and now form their own enclave on one of the three major landmasses of the planet. While claiming sovereignty over what they call Valdalla, these tribes maintain a tenuous truce with the Hawkwood "overlords," whom they refuse to acknowledge as such though they pay tribute to them anyway. Leminkainen is valuable to House Hawkwood because of the presence of rare deposits of Pygmallium. An entire Hawkwood garrison resides on the site where this precious metal is extracted in order to protect the area from possible attack. The population of Leminkainen is less than 500,000 (not counting the barbarians, who have never submitted to a census). Most of the inhabitants of the planet live in small villages where they spend their time labouring long hours to make the land produce once more and to help it recover from the hardships and depredations caused by long years of pitched battles. The city of Hakkonen, the largest on the planet, lies near Leminkainen's only starport and the Pygmallium mines.The Engineers have an agreement with House Hawkwood that allows them access to the Pygmalliun produced on planet in return for reduced rates for acquit ing and repairing advanced technology. They also maintain a minor guildhouse on the planet.

Ravenna

A Hawkwood world, and the birthplanet of Emperor Alexius. While the planet is safe from Vuldrok far, it is between two worlds which have suffered harassment. The people are used to a quiet existence and pastoral pastimes, from falconry to beastback hunting. Many outsiders believe they are in denial about the threat to their world and way of life, drinking bitters as their other worlds are plundered. Others believe that, should Ravenna be attacked, Alexius will finally make a serious move against the barbarians.

This planet contains some of the most striking geographic features to be found on any of the Hawkwood controlled worlds: towering mountains and arid deserts vie with lush woodlands and sprawling plains. Although it supports a human population of less than half a billion, its mineral resources provide House Hawkwood with vital income. Many of the inhabitants work the mines of Ravenna and the planet houses several fine smiths and L artisans who shape the metals extracted from the earth into tools, weapons and decorative objects. Swords of Ravennan steel are among the favored weaponry of Hawkwood knights. As the birthplace of Emperor Alexius, who comes from Sardonia, its capital city, Ravenna has recently become inundated with visitors eager to see for themselves the place that gave birth to the Savior of the Empire. Hawkwood nobility often gathers on the grand estates that surround the environs of the capital to enjoy such pastimes as hunting, falconry contests and to test their prowess at riding the magnificent urrocs trained on the planet by members of House Trusnikron. In many ways, Ravenna is a showcase planet: technology levels for the peasantry are kept deliberately low to preserve the idyllic atmosphere of the villages that dot the countryside near the Hawkwood estates and preserves. The annual Craftsman's Fair held in the Agora in Sardonia draws visitors from throughout the Known Worlds to admire the local talent and purchase for themselves some unique example of "peasant craft. "If the peasantry is unhappy with its enforced backwardness, it gives no sign of it, seeming content to toil under the gentle rule of its Hawkwood rulers.

Velisimil (Obun)

The homeworld of the Ur-Obun, officially owned by House Hawkwood. The Obun have a degree of sovereignty envious to other races, and still maintain their ancient culture of wisdom. The architecture of the planet is like nowhere else in the Known Worlds, with graceful spires reaching beyond the clouds, beautiful fountains miles high, perfect gardens and wide promenades. Human malcontents attempting to find a black underbelly to Obun culture have so far been unsuccessful.

The natural beauty of this planet is accentuated by Obun architectural philosophy, which strives to complement rather than overpower its surroundings. As planetary rulers, House Hawkwood maintains a governmental enclave and a small military presence here but otherwise leaves Velisimil to its indigenous population. A few members of House Juandaastas also reside here with their Obun spouses.The bulk of the Obun live here, and their laws take precedence over those of the Empire in purely internal matters. The technology level is relatively sophisticated; though it differs in design, it falls somewhere between Diaspora and Early Second Republic in complexity. Nevertheless, students of architecture make pilgrimages to Velisimil to marvel at the alien sense of design and come back with a new sense of how to blend nature and technology into a harmonious whole.

Hazat Worlds

Aragon

The Hazat homeworld has both benefited and suffered from its proximity to Leagueheim and Byzantium Secundus. Both have brought a great deal of wealth to Aragorn, but the Hazat nobles have also spent a lot of their money on those worlds. The Hazat and the wealthiest of their subjects are undeniably well off. The poorest live in squalor. The wealthiest parts of the planet, like the capital and its unparalleled military academy, are second to none. The poorest are among the most dangerous and inhospitable in the Known Worlds.

The crown jewel of the Hazat is Aragon, home of shining spires, ancient castles, famous diamond mines, glorious battles and some of the most legendary warriors ever to walk the Known Worlds. What is less well known are the wretched slums of unemployed legionnaires, the violent desert nomads, and the constant feud between the Eduardo and Justus branches.The center of Hazat power is the glorious palace and war college on the west coast of Quechua, the planet's largest continent. The center of Quechua is desert and the east coast has some of the planet's richest farm land, owned by theJustus branch of the family. The Eduardo branch controls the west coast, including the planet's main industrial holdings. This industrial section is still retooling from the massive military buildup of the Emperor Wars, when almost the entirety of the planet's resources were turned over to the war effort.Most of the serfs who were called away from their jobs to serve in the armed forces have returned to their earlier callings. Most work the land, but more than a few have ended up in the growing slums around Aragon's factories. Crime has leapt incredibly in the past three years, turning these tenements into hot beds of violence and dissent. The Hazat have not made any effort to bring them under control Aragon's dangerous slums have always been a breeding ground for excellent soldiers, and the Hazat believe current conditions are just part of that process.

  • Castle Furias: This is the main palace of the Hazat. It once belonged to the Justus branch, but when the Eduardos broke away, they took the palace as one of their holdings. This breathtakingly beautiful complex is as defensible as it is gorgeous. Its battlements are an intrinsic part of its architecture, and its armor glistens like crystal. For generations the Justus branch spent vast sums making the building even more sumptuous, and the Eduardos have continued this process. During the Emperor Wars several Hazat knights found St. Bernado's Globe of Infinite Wonderment in a Diaspora-era ruin on Vera Cruz. The Eduardos smuggled it off planet and brought it to Castle Furias, where it now sits in the center of the main chapel. No one can deny that the castle has appeared more resplendent since its additions, and serfs have begun to visit the globe as a pilgrimage. Rumor has it that those who view the stone become both more aware of their deepest desires (+8 Introvert while in its presence) and more committed to those desires (+4 Passion while in its presence).

Sutek

The first humans to fly through a jumpgate found themselves in this star system, and humans have been here ever since. Its cities have sprung up on the ruins of its older municipalities, and inhabitants regularly find artifacts dating back to the earliest days of the First Republic. Most of the valuable items disappeared years ago, but rumors still crop up about major hidden troves of antique treasures.

Originally known as Sathra's Boon, Sutek has had the longest human habitation of any world other than Holy Terra. The Sathra movement had its greatest strength here, and this is where the earliest battles against its adherents took place. The First Republic claimed to have completely destroyed all traces of the movement, and took extra care to annihilate its adherents here, but rumors persisted that the heresy had survived. House Chauki claimed this planet during the Diaspora, swearing to protect humanity from any renewal of the Sathra threat. By the time of the Second Republic the house had lost much of its hold on the world. It became an industrial center during that period and benefited greatly from its proximity to Urth and Byzantium Secundus. The collapse of the Second Republic devastated Sutek. The Hazat renewed the old Chauki claim to the planet, and the Castenda branch moved in. The Church adamantly objected but was in too much disarray to stop this move.Over the years the Castendas solidified their hold on the planet, though many claim Sutek has solidified its hold over them. Indeed, there have been many times when the Castendas appeared ready to break off from the Hazat and form their own house. Only the threat of a Church move on the planet has kept them from doing so. The Church has always had a strong distrust of anything associated with what was once Sathra's Boon, and many Castendas fear that if they did break off from the house's protection, nothing would stop the Patriarch from moving in.

  • A night road is said to exist between Sutek and the Kurgan Caliphate.

Vera Cruz

Long known as one of the most beautiful planets in space, this Hazat world bears the stamp of the great terraformer Doramos, whose wife is said to have come from here. Some of the wealthiest people in the Empire like to come here to escape their concerns and worries, and Vera Cruz has the least military influence of any Hazat world. Still, many older Hazat retire here (or get retired here), and they still do their best to keep their hands in the intrigues which plague the Known Worlds.

Vera Cruz lacks many of the industrial problems which afflict Aragon, but that is because it also lacks that planet's industry. The only important industry on the planet is agriculture, though there is a little bit of mining on the planet's only sizable continent. The Bursandra branch of the family owns most of the planet's land, and they have built a gorgeous palace on Dorado, a beautiful island just off the coast of the main continent. Vera Cruz suffered almost no damage during the Emperor Wars but is now threatened by the Kurga Caliphate. The Hazat know that the Kurgans desperately want to seize Vera Cruz. Indeed, those prisoners the Hazat have captured have told them that they feel it is their holy duty to "liberate" the planet. A number of Eskatonic and Avestite priests have established a monastery on the planet's arctic continent. There they research Kurgan claims regarding the planet, but nothing of note has been reported. The Hazat like to promote Vera Cruz as their least military-oriented planet, but this is changing as the Kurgan conflict becomes more active. Many landless knights have flocked here trying to earn a piece of the lost world, and Vera Cruz's nobles have begun to call in troops from their underlings on other planets. On top of this, a number of Hazat, especially those of the Rolas and Dulcinea branches, are secret practitioners of the Soma psychic path. They have a hidden training facility on Vera Cruz, well away from prying eyes.

Li Halan Worlds

Icon

The Li Halan hold Icon sacred, for it is where they announced their conversion to Orthodoxy. The planet was originally valued for its Ur ruins, but those ruins have been scoured inch by inch since, and there are few mysteries left. The Li Halan consider Icon to be a bulwark against the dangerous ideas coming out of Manitou, and they often pester the Inquisitorial Synod with requests for cleansings (with the result that the synod rarely bothers with Icon, a fact which the residents are glad of).

Icon was founded by a splinter sect of Urth Orthodox, who settled in the northern part of Ithica. Other religious groups soon followed, including New Style Muslims and the Brethren of the Stars (Xianists), who settled in the region of Famater (originally Fatima). Although the people of these sects converted to the Prophet's message, vestiges of the earlier religions remain and have inter mixed with the rites of the Universal Church. The southern region of Urtata holds a large population of later arrivals. Small farms and huge Li Halan estates dot Urtata. Many Ur ruins were found here. The population of the southern continent is conservatively Orthodox and looks askance at the strange ways of them cousins in the northern hemisphere. Surprisingly, many of the best artisans of the Li Halan worlds are found on the planet, and Urtata dancing and poetry have been mimicked on many worlds. The conversion of the Li Halan took place in the Twerrid Mountains on Famater, a place feared by the local inhabitants.

Kish

Homeworld of the Li Halan, Kish is an extremely conservative desert planet. It has changed little throughout the devastation of the Emperor Wars, and the residents consider the relative chaos of surrounding worlds to be proof that the Li Halan are the only rulers worthy of the title. Outsiders claim that there are more peasant uprisings on Kish than the Li Halan admit to.

A desert planet, it was here that the Li Halan rose to power. Escoral is the capital city, marked by the grandeur of the Prophet's Cathedral and the Li Halan palace. Most of the rural population work on the large Li Halan estates, or are small farmers huddled in the Greenswarth, the temperate region along the coast of the Rwellim Sea, south of the great deserts. The Greenswarth is the only agricultural region on the planet, save for the northern city of Calgirn (originally New Calgary). Desert tribes, the Ishwin Confederacy, live in the harsh interior. Tied to House Li Halan by blood and oath, they make the fiercest warriors of House Li Halan. Originally independent, their power was largely crushed by Cardano. Now the tribes have limited autonomy, many of them having become herdsmen. Yet there exists no violence between them and the other inhabitants. Li Halan rule is strong and the planet lives peacefully under their hand. Rural outbreaks of discontent are swiftly crushed, and little word of these has reached other worlds. The entire population is Orthodox in belief.

  • Pilgrimage: the location where Saint Maya, after arguing with the Prophet, struck a rock in anger, miraculously causing a spring to flow.

Midian

A Li Halan world, famed as the birthplace of Patriarch Palamedes, founder of the Universal Church. It was the Prophet's preaching here that converted Palamedes, heir to vast lands then owned by House Alecto. The planet's religious heritage is pounded into the hearts and minds of all the residents, many of whom nonetheless abandoned the Orthodoxy during the Emperor Wars to join the multitude of new sects springing up on the planet, much to the horror of the devout Li Halan.

The homeworld of Patriarch Palamedes, House Li Halan was invited in to quell a violent civil war between the Northern League and the Orthodox Unionists. The Northern League dwelt in the northern region of Lyonesse. Descendants of free thinkers, small democratic townships and those seeking escape from the overcrowded First Republic, they were hated by the settlers of Zujan in the south, who were Orthodox believers. Ruled by small despots after the decline of House Alecto, the Orthodox despots of Zujan joined in an attempt to conquer Lyonesse. While they possessed the larger armies, the Zujan Union suffered from the higher technological development and hit-and-run tactics of the Northern League. However, after 11 years and a crushing defeat at the Battle of Vout, the Northern League appealed to the Li Halan for aid. The Li Halan crushed the southern despots and remained as lords of Midian. The Northern League they left largely alone, merely acknowledging a sworn oath to House Li Halan. Zujan they divided into large estates, despoiling the minor noble houses there, a few of which were assimilated through marriage.Alone among provinces of the Li Halan worlds, Lyonesse remains governed by a democratic constitution. Orthodox belief finds more liberal interpretation here, and the Li Halan have never been harsh in their rule. That is because the greatest scientists, weapon builders, engineers and doctors tend to come from this continent. The citizens are treated well and in return, they have been loyal, if somewhat resented by others. The two times that zealous reformers attempted to crack down on Lyonesse, they were met with resistance by those house members who worried that such censure would cost the house vital tech innovation. Lyonesse holds the weapon factories and manufacturing plants of House Li Halan, and the technicians from here supervise fleet construction in Zujan, at the Lextius shipyards. Ironically, the religious fervor which caused uprisings on Midian swept through the Orthodox populace of Zujan. Lyonesse, with its democratic traditions, remained untouched.

Rampart

This frontier world was once owned by the League but was seized by the Li Halan during the Emperor Wars. The independent guild that once ran the planet is still powerful, but choking under the reforms of the Li Halan governor, who seeks to clean up what she perceives as social decay and moral licentiousness. The Li Halan are attempting to enforce onto the frontier-minded residents of Rampart the sort of social laws they expect on their other, better-behaved worlds. But the rigid caste structure they impose is resisted by the residents, and the call for a major uprising is spreading despite the best efforts of Li Halan information police.

This League world was seized by the Li Halan during the Emperor Wars to increase their technological base. Despite Li Halan reforms (often an attempt to civilize largely unruly frontier people), there are seeds of rebellion in the air. Small skirmishes between the Li Halan military authorities and "Leaguers" have occurred in the Nordrist region of the tundra world. The technology gained from Rampart has greatly added to the strength of the Li Halan fleet.

Ungavorox (Vorox)

The homeworld of the Vorox is a vicious environment composing many conflicting biomes. The planet breeds some of the fiercest and most dangerous predators in the Empire, many of them poisonous with toxins even most assassins dare not use lest they be turned against them. Amid this chaos of competition, the Vorox reign. While not as big as some Voroxian predators, they learned early on to use teamwork to take down their prey and defend themselves from their own predators - on this world, no one is above the food chain. The planet is owned by Li Halan, who are careful only to allow civilized Vorox offworld.

The homeworld of the Vorox is protected from its dense and turbulent star by a highly charged ionosphere several hundreds of kilometers thick. This layer disperses excessive radiation in auroral lightshows, sifts successive waves of interplanetary dust into ribbed dune-drifts of magnetic longitude, and blasts apart showers of smaller meteors with lightning storms that spread like spiderwebs. Beneath the ionosphere, the air of Ungavorox is fundamentally Urth-like in every other respect.

Ungavorox has two moons, Unjaabu and Unweema. Unjaabu is a small irregular lump of ferrous red with an eccentric orbit that causes drastic tides when it looms large in the sky, approximately seven out of every eighty-three days. Unweema is larger and more evenly spherical, with a more regular orbit, comparable to the moon of Holy Terra save for mottled hues of deep blue and green.

The main continental mass is Ungava. The capital city of Ungavorox is New Kowloon, overlooking the Bay of Hong on the temperate southwestern coast of the Luran Peninsula.

Church Worlds

Artemis

Home of the head Sanctuary Aeon monastery, Artemis is a holy world with strict immigration policies. While nobles and guild members live on Artemis, they must follow church law, which imposes strict behavioral rules. Every law is designed to minimise conflict, including such penalties as exile to far continents if the two parties cannot govern their relationships with each other. Despite the seemingly harsh rules, the best medical technology in the Empire is found here. The sick and the dying who can afford the journey to Artemis for healing usually return whole again (although with a samritan penance they must perform as payment).

De Moley

An inhospitable and barren planet, De Moley has little atmosphere (about as much as Mars). Terraforming was incomplete when the Second Republic collapsed. Nonetheless, De Moley is home to the prime Brother Battle monastery. Visitors must negotiate the treacherous paths up the high crags to reach the monastery, since the howling winds are too much for most skimmers to handle. The valleys between the high mountains are calmer, hosting the atmosphere domes in which a small population lives, helping to reap De Moley's resources. A hard life is all the peasants of De Moley know. Those few who escape from this world are valued for their hardiness.

  • Brother Battle monastery

Holy Terra (Urth)

Also known by its old name, Urth. It is the capital of the Church and the cradle of humanity. But the planet is overcrowded; teeming masses of the faithful crowd into the cities that dot the globe. Immigration is strictly controlled by the Church, and those born on Holy Terra are given special consideration over foreigners. It is the prime planet for pilgrimages, however, as holy sites important to human history are found on every continent.

Pentateuch

Terraformed by the legendary Doramus, Pentateuch is considered by many to be a magical planet, the ultimate wedding of magic and technology. There seems to be strong evidence that Doramus deliberately designed the terraforming to create ley lines and energy centers, although most of these are little understood today, for Doramus left no records of his secrets. The Eskatonic Order claims the cathedral and rulership of this world, although the planet is a frequent target for Inquisitorial scrutiny. Capital: Heliopolis.

  • Weltgeist phenomenon (Weird Places)
  • Basilica of Saint Paulus and Horace

Pyre

Home to the famous Burning Desert, a hot-house hell that proved unterraformable, this world is claimed by Temple Avesti, which is allowed to rule it in the name of the Patriarch. The sect's main monastery lies in the harsh desert, but there is little tech to aid the monks in surviving the heat. Most are forced to relocate to the milder habitats by the sea The planet is considered Inquisitor central, but most Avestite Inquisitors leave the system to look for sin elsewhere, never suspecting it might reside on their homeworld. As a matter of fact, at least one secret laboratory operates on the southern continent, far from the eyes and attention of the monks, who do not have the facilities to monitor all space traffic to and from the world.

League Worlds

Bannockburn

The headquarters of the Muster, who co-ordinate their efforts against both the Symbiots and the Vuldrok raiders from this planet. It is also the homeworld of the Gannok, devilishly clever tricksters with a penchant for invention and high tech jury rigging. Most of the inhabited sections of the planet are rugged and craggy high lands with broad moors. Strange Ur ruins can be found in various places, most long since stripped of their valuable artifacts.

Kordeth (Ukar)

Now owned by the League, Ukar (Kordeth) was once a proud if fractious world. Homeworld of the Ur-Ukar and capitol of their former empire, it is still an autonomous region for Ur-Ukar although it is monitored heavily by the Church. The planet's surface is rocky and without arable soil, covered with craggy gullies and sharp cliffs. Life exists only in the vast underground tunnels that comb the planet. Here grow thousands of mosses and fungi, and indigenous predators and prey - both insect and mammal crawl in the darkness. See Children of the Gods sourcebook.

  • Ukar main world
  • League-controlled

Leagueheim

No other planet in the Empire can claim to have as many technological wonders as Leagueheim. No other planet can claim to have politics as vicious as Leagueheim, either. With several hundred guilds represented on the planet, anything can - and does - happen. Here anything that can make someone a firebird is legal and already being done. Still, discretion is the key word here. No one wants the Inquisition ruining the fun. Much of the surface is covered by megalopoli of towering spires and sweeping arcologies. Areas exhausted by years of industrial activity, or no longer useful, are abandoned as wasteland. Some nature survives as parks and preserves for the wealthy.

  • Agora: Emporium
  • Garrison: 8
  • Capital: Kesparate
  • Jumps: 2
  • Solar System: Midget 1, Leaguehiem 2 (Racer), Darkside 3, Gasbag II 4, Gasbag (The Nuggets) 5, Asteroid Belt 6, Ghost 7, Niven 8.
  • Tech: 7 (some 8).
  • Human Pop: 4 billion
  • Alien Pop: 4 million
  • Resources: Mineral ore, oil, manufacturing, trade
  • Exports: Industrial goods, financial services

Madoc

This aquatic world is a rich resource for the League. The vast majority of the surface is covered by water, and the marine life is varied and wondrous, producing many delicacies. However, this cuisine is hard to ship offworld, so the rich who desire it must come to Madoc. Rumors persist of a sentient race living in the oceans, but no definitive proof has been discovered. This is one of the rare worlds which required little terraforming, and is said to hold many undespoiled secrets beneath its waves.

Vau Worlds

Apshai

A joint human and Vau world. Apshai has many citizens of the Empire living upon it. The Vau rarely leave the one continent they forbid humans to enter, where the G'nesh live. Human colonisation of Apshai was allowed during the Second Republic, a secondary result of years of diplomatic negotiations concerning an affair long since forgotten. Empire spies are sent here to observe the Vau, but they are never allowed close enough to see anything of worth. A 'mission to Apshai' is equivalent to a vacation or retirement.

Manitou

A joint human-Vau protectorate, Manitou is home to some of the few psychic covens which dare to operate openly. The Vau do not allow the Inquisition to enter the system, and so criminals and outcasts from across the Known Worlds desperately seek to find their way here. The Vau either do not care or have planned it this way, using the world as a viewing glass into the underbelly of human culture. The human government is run by a local guild, although it has strong ties to the League and claims fealty to the new Emperor.

In theory anyone can be elected to a seat on the Joint Administrators' Guild, but in practice open elections never take place anyway. Seats are created or deleted on a vote from current JAG members, votes and seats are constantly traded as favours, and some seats carry more votes than others. As a result, it is difficult to known who really controls the JAG at any given moment.

  • Manitou
  • Haunted Chapel (Weird Places)
  • Edward Perkins' The Dark Between the Stars notes on Manitou
  • T'shrang'ameen – the arcology where Vau presence is concentrated

Vau (Shaduveen'Lan Tuomani)

A closed world; nobody is allowed into Vau Space without diplomatic permission. They rarely kill invaders, though. They simply snatch them up with their plasma nets and deposit them back on their side of the border. Repeated attempts to enter, however, may be met with deadly force. This said, black market trade does take place between the nations, but mainly in Human Space, on worlds such as Manitou or Vril-Ya Vau is home to the mandarins who venture into Human Space on missions for their leaders. It is rumoured that one of the Vau leaders is placed on this world, sent from one of the many Vau worlds beyond the planet's border.

  • War in the Heavens: Hegemony

Vril-Ya

The Vau ambassadorial world. Humans are allowed here to discuss matters of state, but they must stay on the single island reserved for their use. Certain lower caste Vau run a secretive blackmarket, selling Vau tech items to those who can afford them and are discreet enough not to bring the deal to the attention of the mandarins. They rarely deal openly, using alien go-betweens instead, such as Hironem or other minor races.

Plus a bunch of planets in the Hegemony which no player character will be invited to for a while.

Symbiot-Controlled Worlds

Absolution

This world has been compromised by the Symbiots. It is outside the Stigmata Garrison's direct influence, and the people of Absolution have been abandoned by the Known Worlds. Travel to Absolution (and all compromised worlds) is forbidden. Any ship caught trying to enter the Known Worlds from these planets is destroyed by the Stigmata Garrison.

Abydos

Symbiot-infested Lost World with night roads to Hargard (Vuldrok) and the Lost World of Eridol.

Chernebog

The Symbiot homeworld. Little is known of Chernobog, for the last humans to set foot upon the world never returned. The Jumpgate to Chernobog from Stigmata is blockaded: no one is allowed in or out, although the occassional Symbiot force breaks through nonetheless. It is said that the planet is a steamy jungle teeming with Symbiot lifeforms of all kinds, fighting each other tooth and claw for dominance.

Daishan

Compromised in the Symbiot War, Daishan was scorched by the Stigmata Garrison. Symbiotes cannot grow anything on scorched worlds, but neither can humans. Daishan has sinced been recolonised by a small force of soldiers and Brother Battle monks, operating out of atmosphere facilities built on the planet. The planet seems to have been deserted by the once prevalent Symbiot forces, but the Imperial Army is not stupid - they know Symbiot seeds surely lay waiting to burst forth tendrils of new horrors. But there may also be a clue to beating back the monsters, and for such a clue the faithful will risk all.

Independent Worlds

Grail

Ruled by House Keddah (a minor house), Grail's vast forests and mountains are home to the Etyri, a sentient avian race. Grail is where the Prophet was healed by Amalthea of the darkness which had infected his soul on a Lost World beyond the border. The planets name comes from the symbol for the Amaltheans, and there is a Sanctuary Aeon monastery on the planet at the site of the Prophet's healing.

Grail is the only planet held by the Keddah. Hardwoods from their vast estates, especially the beautiful red-gold Baryana, are much prized on Kish, Pyre, Cadavus and other planets whose wood resources are severely limited. Blue veined marble from the Etyriani Mountains is sold throughout the Known Worlds, and even appreciated by the barbarians of the Kurga Caliphate. Keddite, a rare metal, was once used extensively in Second Republic manufacturing, but is now used to make adornments.

House Keddah has ruled Grail since the Fall, but its other holdings have been consistently eroded. Now it only has Grail, and a few other minor fiefs on other planets. The Keddah are determined to defend their last world against all those who would rob it from them. Taxes are presently high, fueling the build-up of the navy and army. The Keddah are aware that the Jacobian Agency has its tentacles firmly wrapped around every level of government. They have begun a program of counter-intelligence, rooting our the cancer. It is slow work, but already they have had some small successes.

The cathedral, situated in the capital, Copher, is a beautiful structure, the second highest in the city. Although not as large as some of the cathedrals on more prosperous worlds, some of the tapestries are preserved from the time of Nicholas the Second, the famed artisan-king. Many pilgrims stop by here on their way to the site of the healing of the Prophet.

The agora is quite large, and very rambling. There is much in the way of spices, and Etyri curiosities. The Muster have a firm grip on the economy at large, due to the massive labour requirements due to the extensive mining and ship-building programs.

The garrison is quite respectable for a minor house, although many of the ships date back to the Second Republic, and are in desparate need of repair or replacement. A small force hunts smugglers and pirates through the asteroid rings, a dangerous and underpaid task.

The route from Pyre carries much traffic from Byzantium Secundus and Criticorum. Despite the slight increase in the level of Avestite scrutiny, the Keddah largely manage to avoid the worst suspicions.

  • Dais 1, Grail 2 (Kale, Aragol), Old Man Red 3, Agamemnon (Spire, Marshall Station, Orb) 4
  • Edward Perkins' The Dark Between the Stars notes on Gemini Station
  • Pilgrimage site: the Prophet's Healing
  • Etyri homeworld

Kurgan Caliphate

Al Fashir

Beliah

Hira (Kurga)

This world can be reached through the Vera Cruz jumpgate. It is the Lost World being fought over by the Hazat and the Kurga Caliphate (a barbarian regime beyond the Lost World). The world actually has many names, depending on who you talk to (a native, a Hazat soldier, or a Kurgan); whomever wins it will surely rename it anyway.

The jump route from Vera Cruz to this jungle world has closed and reopened more than any other. House Chauki controlled this planet prior to the Hazat uprising, and before the Hazat could consolidate their hold, the Kurgans closed the jumpgate. When it reopened centuries later, the Hazat branch on the planet had changed dramatically, and controlled very little of it. The Justus branch sent a number of legions over to reassert control, and the jump route closed again. It reopened again shortly after the birth of Vladimir, and the Hazat found that something called the Kurga Caliphate had risen to power.This began the war between the two groups. During this 500-year feud the jumproute has opened and closed on numerous occasions - usually whenever the Kurgans are losing. The last reopening was almost 100 years ago, and Hazat scientists believe that the Kurgans somehow caused this change, and the house believes that only a concerted effort to retake the planet can keep it from happening again. Hazat holdings on the planet are centred around the uranium-rich mountains of the south, where they have made an alliance with House Shelit, a minor house which has long been at odds with the Caliphate. The Hazat have been trying to push into the fertile lowlands to the north of their holdings, and the farms here have been the scene of some violent clashes. Still, the Hazat are only now beginning to bring the full weight of their military to bear, and most off-planet Hazat feel a full offensive is imminent.

Irem

Khayyam

Rukh

Tsuma

Vuldrok Star Nation

A number of Lost Worlds exist past the Gwynneth and Delphi jumpgates which are ruled by a loose confederation of barbarians with jumpdrive capability. Not much is known about the worlds except that their natives are uncouth and savage, occasionally raiding the Known Worlds for plunder.

Fingisvold

Frost

Hargard (Vuldrok)

The world immediately past Gwynneth's jumpgate is called Vuldrok, and is the source of recent barbarian raids. The Hawkwoods are currently hiring mercenaries to take the raiding back to Vuldrok.

Raven

Wolf's Lament

Lost Worlds

"Lost Worlds" are usually worlds that used to be part of the Second Republic but lost or severed contact after the Fall have not been (officially) rediscovered and integrated into one of the main power factions: the Known Worlds, the Kurgan Caliphate, or the Vuldrok Star Nation. Night roads are jump routes that are still un(re)discovered, except perhaps by a secret few explorers. These are only a few of the hundreds of worlds that may wait to be rediscovered.

Antioch

Lost World with jumproutes to Twilight (Lost World) and Irem (Kurgan Caliphate). Allied with the Kurgan Caliphate, but fiercely independent, the planet of Antioch is ruled by the Paladindrax, a figurehead accorded the respect given a divine saint or luminary. The Paladindrax's wishes are carried out by the Antioch Diplomatic Corps, an intelligence and diplomatic agency composed of the genetically-altered, super-intelligent Qabarim. Diplomats, negotiators, spies, and intelligence agents, the Qabarim of the Antioch Diplomatic Corps are wealthy as a result of their talents, and are answerable only to the Paladindrax himself. Antioch's Qabarim raise their families with restrained luxury and extensive tuition.

Aspiration

Lost World with one jumproute to Beliah in the Kurgan Caliphate.

Dashwood

Lost Hazat world with one night road to Vera Cruz. Although the upper layers of the immensely thick atmosphere of the world is composed of a breathable oxygen-nitrogen mix, in its lower levels the presence of various exotic phosphates and chlorides in the atmosphere make life fatal for humans without heavy protective gear at 'sea level'. Only a few island-mountains stick out above the lethal mist cover and into the habitable layer. The cloud cover of the planet is subject to tidal ebbs and flows caused by the gravitational pull of Dashwood's large moon, the Oracle. When these tides of fog are at their highest the people of the cliff-cities stay indoors. As a result of the awkward topography of the planet land on Dashwood has always been at a premium and resulted in the early adoption of cliff-side and hanging cities. When the scientists of the Second Republic obtained anti-gravity technology from the Vau the inhabitants of Dashwood were among the first to adapt the technology to create more living space. Some of these cloud cities fell below the cloud cover after the fall of the Republic resulted in a lack of materials and trained personnel able to keep them aloft; however, others still float to this day.

Transportation on the planet is as problematic as the question of living space and has been solved by a number of ingenious expedients. Only the wealthy are able to afford the various skimmers, flitters and flightsuits constructed in the flying cities. For the more humble inhabitants of the planet the main recourse for moving between the island-mountains is to turn to a number of guilds have arisen on Dashwood. These guilds are famous for training various native and imported flying creatures as riding and cargo animals.

The culture of Dashwood differs from that of the Known Worlds in several respects. The major differences stem from the closely-packed nature of life on the planet, the lack of a monolithic and persecuting church, the endurance and common acceptance of some Republican technologies and institutions, and the acceptance of psychic abilities. The native language of the Dashwooders is a varient of the Urthish spoken in the Old Republic, but has deviated from the standard under the influence of the mathematically-based 'Perfect Tongue' of the Choronese cult. As a result it is considered sufficiently different from Urthish to constitute a distinct language (much as do Vuldrok and Kurgan). The nearest Dashwood has to a single ruling body are the talking shops of the Council of Cities and the Freemans Council which have always been run on a basis of the consent of the governed.

Dogen

Legendary world ruled by Saint Lextius

Egg

Lost World with a jumproute to Rukh in the Kurgan Caliphate. The product of mixed Human-Akraeii blood, the seemingly primitive Primaries of Egg are considered harmless and simple, but are in actuality resilient and dedicated to returning their planet to the paradise it once was. Quiet, even a little shy, they cooperate well together and feign weakness and ignorance, the better to pursue their own goals unmolested.

Epiphany

Lost World with jumproutes to Fingisvold (Vuldrok Star Nation) and Sky Tear (Lost World). Caught between Vuldrok and Kurgan colonists, the Epiphanians maintain the facade of a relatively primitive culture, while hiding their technologically and scientifically advanced culture far from prying eyes, beneath the waves. Many (but not all) Epiphanians are Changed. A number of Epiphanians, primarily among the inhabitants of Deep and Seahome, are radically Changed, and fully adapted to aquatic life. A handful of priests dedicated to the Aquaean religion developped theurgy rites similar to those of Gjarti.

Eridol

Lost World with jumproutes to Collier's Landing (Lost World) and Wolf's Lament (Vuldrok Star nation), and a night road to the Symbiot world of Abydos. Lost homeworld of the Thana noble house, Eridol is home to a ragged band of peasant descendents, Vuldrok traders, and hedonistic Elysians.

Gizeh

Lost World with one jumproute to Delphi. Nomads of the Deep Desert, the Durgwhallah survive in a harshly barren realm, and bear a great, abiding respect for the alien Ming. A hospitable people, they are, nonetheless, fierce in their opposition to those who would exploit of harm the Ming.

Heaven's Ridge

Lost World with one jumproute to Hira (Kurgan Caliphate). Formerly ruled by the Hazat.

Iver

Lost World accessed through Pandemonium. The people of Iver deliberately cut themselves off from the chaos of the Second Republic after the Fall, attacking any ships that entered their space. But But as the years passed their own jumpships slowly broke down and no one remembered how to fix them. Successive generations yearned to reach the stars again, but they were beyond reach. Then a couple of years ago the second Pandemonium jumpgate was discovered, and the Charioteers wrangled the co-ordinates of Iver from it. Since the Charioteers' first visit, the populace of Iver has been lining up for off-world travel. But the League has been careful taking barbarians off-word until the Church has approved them – it is against the law to bring heathens into the Empire, for their belief could taint the Faith. In addition, Iver's royal family claims to be the last scion of House Chauki, a claim which could cause considerable political turmoil in the known worlds. The Hazat originally claimed their own royal status by exterminating House Chauki, and survival of the lineage could be found grounds to strip the Hazat of their status and holdings.

Nominally ruled by House Chauki, but controlled by an elected senate, Iver is a fiercely independent world and hotbed of contention and intrigue between many of the Known Worlds' factions. With its equal-rights treatment of aliens, and Incarnate-dominated religious base, Iver has caused further consternation among Known Worlds' factions, because most of its population actually live like freemen, irrespective of their thinly held serfdom to House Chauki.

Iver has a significant population of aliens, primarily Etyri. The teachings of the Prophet remain strong, spearheaded by the Incarnate sect although it is not recognized by the Universal Church of the Pancreator as of yet. But atheism is also very popular on the planet, creating another danger in the process of integration with the Known Workds. Although the majority of the population is loyalist, a small but significant anti-royalist faction exist as an underground current of rebellion.

Khotan

Lost World with jumproutes to Frost and Hargard (both in the Vuldrok Star Nation). A planet of plateaus, Khotan's inhabitants experience radically different standards of living, depending on if they are the plateau-top dwelling, technogically-savvy, "Highfolk", ground-dwelling "Lowfolk", pursuing lives as farmers and nomads, or the secretive, subterranean "Underfolk". The majority of highfolk settlements jealously guard themselves from their neighbors, and local lowfolk, but one highfolk settlement, Sovereign Sky, operates a meritocracy that allows especially talented lowfolk to pass a series of tests, and thereby gain citizenship.

Most lowfolk live a tough life as farmers or nomads, but one lowfolk stronghold is seen as a utopia of sorts, united by good works and faith in the Lumina religion, a liberal version of Universal Church doctrine. This democratic settlement, Freehold, is open to all lowfolk of good heart and faith. All Freeholders, young and old alike, are educated in literacy, science, and Lumina doctrine. Luminous Ministers are the clergy of the Lumina faith, and preach a doctrine of mercy, inclusiveness, and the importance of good deeds. The Sidanzi are the holy defenders of Freehold, similar in many regards to the Battle Brothers of the Known Worlds, though they are notably more selfless, and obviously far, far smaller.

Practically unknown to the lowfolk and highfolk above, the ground beneath their feet is riddled with ancient tunnels, disused mineshafts, and so on that are home to a motley array of humans, Changed, and Ur-Ukar underfolk, dwelling together without conflict, and only rarely venturing to the surface at the behest of their hidden masters. The changed underfolk are the descendents of miners genetically-altered to work well in the subterranean environment, and are a short, powerful folk, with hulking torsos, and yellow-umber skin.

The seafolk of Khotan stand apart from the divisions of highfolk and lowfolk, living as sea-going nomads, trading with coastal lowfolk settlements.

Kun Lun

Lost World with one night road to Leminkainen. So far undiscovered by any of the major star-faring empires, Kun Lun features a staggering concentration of psychics, coupled with a respect for science, and atheistic ethos, making it a potential powder keg when its existence is revealed. Kun Lun's psychics are organized into castes, and have recently rediscovered the Known Worlds, sending covert teams of elite psychic "Jaunters" out to quietly gather information. All Kun Luners, psychic or mundane, grow up in a society with a higher technological base than most of the Known Worlds, and all are taught the basics of resisting and noticing, psychic power use.

Kun Lun's psychics are trained to utilize their powers from an early age, joining specific castes that focus their particular talents, laying the basic foundation for their further psychic development. Kun Lun psychics have no Urge. Kinetics use their powers to perform much of Kun Lun's manual labor, especially in cases where the direct handling of an object or substance is perilous, or dangerous construction work is being carried out. Although slow to develop their powers, Oracles are the leaders of Kun Lun society, using their powers to aid them in their decision making. Seers use their powers as part of Kun Lun's defense force, determining threats, and operating as scouts and security specialists. Speakers stand a little apart from much of Kun Lun society, but use their powers to operate as skilled investigators.

Lamorak

Lost World with a jumproute to Frost (Vuldrok Star Nation). Once the center of the Second Republic's entertainment business, Lamorak is now a world wherein the stars of old holovid shows are worshipped at temples, and every youngster dreams of becoming a hero and gaining fame and fortune fighting wild beasts and Vuldrok raiders. Bards wander the lands of Lamorak, telling tales of heroes old and new in exchange for food and lodging. Some few even follow heroes around, glorifying their exploits. Heroes seek to create their own exploits, looking for wild beasts to slay, bandits and raiders to fight, and wrongs to right. Watchers are Lamorak's priests, maintaining the holovid projectors at each temple, telling tales of heroes old and new, and spreading the secondary creed of the Pancreator.

Novgorod

Lost World with a single jumproute to Fingisvold in the Vuldrok Star Nation.

Pandora

Lost World with one night road to Sutek. A technological hellhole, Pandora is a world of grinding poverty and ruthlessness, where life is cheap, technology grants power, might makes right, and only the strong and cunning survive. A large number of the toughest and wealthiest Pandorans use exotic cybernetics although most such cyberware is carefully disguised or hidden, lest the individual make themselves a target for those hoping to steal their tech. Cyberdocs are typically unscrupulous operators, running shady clinics for local criminals. They are usually cybered-up themselves, and inevitably have a few thugs on hand to deal with non-payers, or to rip off the weak. The archetypal street tough, the most successful gangers become cyberpunks, carrying an arsenal of hidden cybertech, making them even more effective killers. Some such gangers make a living fighting in vicious spectator pit fights.

Paradise

Original homeworld of House Justinian. It includes one inhabitable planet with three moons.

Ransom

Obun world, lost during Fall of the Republic.

Rimpoche

Lost World accessible only from Grail through a night road. Rimpoche has been rediscovered by an Al-Malik noble, a Charioteer, and an Engineer who have conspired to keep its existence a secret. This world holds a powerful Anunnaki artefact and a cache of Second Republic technology. Its thin atmosphere, cold temperatures, and lack of water make Rimpoche inhospitable. The Ur artefact is a Gargoyle that grants visions to visitors.

Sargasso (Collier's Landing)

Lost World with a jumproute to Eridol (Lost World) and a night road to Vera Cruz. An oceanic world, scattered with tiny islands, Sargasso (once known as Collier's Landing) is famed for the brash, adventurous spirit and piloting skills of its inhabitants.

Sherkaven

Obun world, lost during Fall of the Republic.

Sky Tear

Lost World with jumproutes to Rukh (Kurgan Caliphate) and Epiphany (Lost World).

Trikola

Obun world, lost during Fall of the Republic.

Twilight

Lost World with jumproutes to Antioch (Lost World) and Ravenna. A gloomy, subterranean world, Twilight is a technologically advanced, but ruined world, shattered in the aftermath of a nuclear war, split among rival factions of tyrants, plutocrats, and nobles. Descendents of the Hawkwoods, the Heidgard Clan noble house follows the same creed of honor and duty as Hawkwood is still renowned for, and has strong ties with the planet's diminished Ur-Obun populace. The Heidgard Clan produces many warriors and diplomats, and has the Hawkwood lion set within a jumpgate cross as its symbol. Ruthless and deceptive, the nobles of House Gualdi are nonetheless known for their panache and bravery, as well as their technological adroitness. House Gualdi's symbol is a swan bearing a sword in its beak. Nobles of House Gualdi usually pursue careers as diplomats, and duelists. Descended from Vuldrok barbarians, the Kiergard Clan of nobles is fierce, warlike, and direct, but honorable to a fault. Its symbol is a pair of ornate crossed spears, originally inspired by the symbol of the Vuldrok Star-Nation. Nobles of the Kiergard Clan are practically always warriors.

Ustar

Lost Ukari colony world with a night road to Ukar. It closed off its jump gate 900 years ago. See Children of the Gods sourcebook.

Yathrib

World where the Prophet saw the Holy Flame, nightside of Aylon

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