Ruined Cosmos

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North-West Sector


Explored by: Acatalepsy
Described by: FBH
This blue giant star system contains no habitable planets in its life zone. It's inner system, less than two AU from the star, is dense, having four burning hellholes for worlds, all containing hot, dense, incredibly corrosive atmospheres. It seems improbable that the surfaces of any of these planets is habitable.
Nonetheless, this system is inhabited by a group calling themselves Alignment Emerges From Decision (rough translation). The third planet from the sun, called Beacon by its inhabitants, has six major aerostats with populations around fifty thousand, and the other planets each have at least a minor airborne settlement. The residents vary in body plan, but wings are nearly universal; some essentially large terragen birds, others more exotic shapes with six wings, and still others essentially feathered humanoids. Genetically, they seem related to Earth-originating life, but have little identifiable human sequences. Technologically, they possess sophisticated miniaturization suites and extremely advanced avionics and stealth technology. They're not native to this system, but are reluctant to discuss their exact origin, other than that it's not nearby.
All signs indicate that they are using remote operation technology to search the surface of all three planets, and are using at least some pre-Event armored suits to assist. They are friendly, and willing to trade, but deny access to their dig sites wherever possible. If they have interstellar space craft, you haven't seen them yet.
The outer system is, as far as you can tell, unremarkable, containing a single superjovian with a pair of large moon and dozens of moonlets. The polar regions of one of the moons contains what was probably a massive mining complex that might make an acceptable site for a naval or resource base of your own with its extensive warrens and tunnels, but your teams report that it was evacuated centuries ago, and completely stripped of valuables by scavengers for centuries after that.

BG-111 'Anomie'

Explored by: Acatalepsy
Described by: FBH
This system appears to be fairly average-nine planets orbiting a red dwarf. Of these worlds, four are noteworthy.
The second planet from the sun is by far the most promising. It is capable of bearing sapient life, and clearly did in the past. Scattered antediluvian cityscapes dot the continents of this world, and deep scans indicate several other such cityscapes exist underneath the dark oceans of this world. These cities are in ruins, but initial scouting reports indicate that they are still patrolled by a variety of robotic guardians, and in some the electrical grid still functions. The largest of the robotic guardians observed is twice the size and height of the average human. While the robotic guardians do not appear hostile, they have been spotted engaging an unknown foe in the darker areas of their cities. Attempts to investigate these darker spaces have not born fruit, as they either produce no results of note or result in the disappearance of the scouting crew. There is an extensive complex of bunkers, subways, maintenance tunnels and other facilities beneath each city. The robotic defenders of these cities appear to have abandoned them entirely, and any attempt to scout them results, uniformly, in the disappearance of those dispatched.
This world has a fairly cold climate when compared to Terran norms, but remains habitable by the human species and it's ever-growing variety of offshoots. The plant life of the world is uniformly black in color, and the animal life also sports darker shades. It is speculated that this might be due to the fact this worlds days might be more comparable to early twilight on your average earthlike world, bright colors would be something of a disadvantage in such an environment. Robotic guardians are only rarely encountered outside of the city-complexes, and only in advanced states of disrepair. The darkness outside of the cities appears to be entirely safe...beyond the occasional encounter with the more predatory forms of animal life.
The fourth planet from the sun appears to be locked in a state of perpetual twilight, as the weak red light of the sun struggles to reach it. But it is far from lifeless. In many ways, it a more sparse mirror of the second world. Forests of black vegetation poke up from "islands" in the frozen seas that make up the majority of this world. These oceans appear to bear animal life, as do the forests that cling to the islands, but this life sparse and it's existence fairly hardscrabble. Of note is the fact that derelict craft of immense size and advanced design have been spotted adrift on the seas of this world. Some of them are still operating under their own power-but their crews are nowhere to be found, and it is theorized their continued operation is due to advanced AI and absurdly paranoid construction techniques rather then their state being the result of a recent disaster. Only three of these craft have been boarded to date, and the closest thing to life aboard them has been a variety of maintenance robots in varying states of repair. The last of these craft to be boarded contained a fairly substantial anomaly however-every inch of it's interior facilities were covered in crude carvings in an unknown language-or what is speculated to be a language. No maintenance robots remained in operation aboard this vessel.
The third planet of interest, and sixth from the sun, is little more then a frozen desert. While there might be a wealth of minerals to be found beneath the thick sheets of ice that make up the planet's surface, this has not been determined. The sole objects of interest upon this world are a variety of great mobile AI-driven walkers. These walker-platforms, each the size of a city, traverse the frozen wastes of the planet in no particular pattern, though there does seem to be a certain sort of robotic intelligence to them, as they make every attempt to avoid obstacles during their journey. At one point, it would appear these walker constructs were inhabited-as great ramshackle cities, crafted from, evidently, metals hailing from the first two noteworthy worlds, make up the majority of their interiors. Robotic guardians still patrol these rusting heaps, and the more well-kept corridors of the walkers proper. These guardians remain non-hostile to humanity and it's offshoots-but any other lifeform, sapient or not, is exterminated.
The fourth noteworthy planet, and the last from the sun, is a dark ball of ice roughly the size of a small moon. The only object of note upon it is the remains of an ancient space station, long ago dashed against the planet it had once orbited. Little of use has been recovered from the remains-but very few of the remains have been probably scouted to date. There might yet be technological wonders hidden away.
The remaining worlds are simply barren rocks of varying temperature. They might contain some amount of mineral wealth or they might be entirely worthless.

BG-281 'Anomie'

Explored by: Deathstroke
Described by: OOM-01
The system has 10 planets (5 rocky and 5 gas giants), in the inner system, and a second system based on a dark Jovian mass in the outer system. Planet 3 appears to be in the midst of a nuclear winter, but has a Terran like environment amid the ice and radiation (or the remains of one) there's remains of a 20th-early 21st century level civilization on it, and the wreckage of various satellites and what appear to be space vehicles (relatively primitive pulse drives and chemical rockets.) The destruction is strangely patterned, and does not show a clear set of targeting priorities. For instance there are numerous intact missile silos and air bases, while other areas of what appear to be normal countryside have been intensively nuked. The number of warheads deployed is huge, with well over 100,000 weapons of yields from 10 to 100,000 kilotons.
Evidence from the planetary surface suggests that there were survivors of the apocalypse in various bunker complexes, but these were violently breached by some form of high technology attackers. There are no bodies within the bunker complexes, and record banks seem to have been systematically destroyed or removed. Your intelligence believes that there may be additional groups of survivors somewhere on the surface or in hidden subsurface shelters.
Various probes are also found on the other rocky planets.
Near the Dark Jovian mass there is some kind of neutrino source, however skip drives inexplicably fail when they approach within around an AU, so any experdition will take a while and possibly require building some kind of forward logistical base.


Explored by: Zeronet
Described by: Bossmuff
The Byblos System is a single, young star, surrounded by no fewer than four dense asteroid belts. Preliminary surveys are difficult due to the sheer quantity of radiation and other static jamming most signals, complicated further by the system's only inhabitants, a series of space-faring miners who primarily frequent the outermost, largest belt. Superstitious and xenophobic, they tend to resist any attempts to explore the belt, though they lack organization or numbers to pull off any coordinated military manoeuvres. They avoid the other belts with religious terror, particularly the system's only planet, which resides second from the sun.
Byblos' second world is overwhelmingly green, even seen from space. The planet has far less ocean than Earth, primarily land-masses that appear bright emerald. Great jungles and vibrant forests cover the entirely of the planet, forming a dense and lush ecosystem teeming with life. A wide assortment of animal, plant, and insect life teem in the planet, thriving on a seeming abundance of resources and energy from the nearby star. The planet seems perfectly balanced to attain long summers and to keep winter weather localized closer to the poles than on more Sol-grade planets.
What's more, obvious structures can be located from orbital viewing, revealing several large structures rising out of parts of the forests and jungles. They are hard to view, however, as many are heavily integrated with their surrounding environments – great terraces rising out of jungle canopy, themselves laden with parks, or carved out of the tree-coated mountains. Dubbed 'Hanging Gardens' by the natives who observed it, these structures carry their own fast parks and small towns of heavy green-space. The culture present seemed to have a heavy love of gardens and horticulture, as evident from photos.
The unsettling element comes from long-term obvervations – no people seem present in these cities, with only some animal life moving among them. Most of the natural predators and larger herbivores ignore the human-made strucutres entirely, shunning them for the wilder expanses. Though deserted, the cities seem timeless, never fading to wear. No radio or other broadcasts can be heard, save for a few automated messages of terrible quality. The only signal achieved from space is a greeting, welcoming newcomers to 'The Five Gardens of Byblos', and giving broken account of several landmarks. The only truly clear one, mentions “The Master Library of-” before cutting off – the outer belt natives tell stories of this Library, legends that it contains all the secrets to life, the heavens, and hell.
There are two moons orbitting Byblos, both awash in greenery, though lacking any oceans. One is largely like the main planet, possessing only a few visible structures largely the same as its parent. The second, however, is a tangled haze of aerial fungus, spewing off into space before fading as it goes dormant and freezes in vacuum. A few broken structures can be seen with proper radio-scanning, crushed by the plant life, but the overgrowth makes such studies difficult.


Explored by: Lokar
Described by: Shrike
Once a smoky and all but uninhabitable volcanic world, in the distant past the Overculture turned its attention to the virgin globe. Deploying magma engines, terraforming towers and other esoteric machinery of vast scope, the world was tamed for Man. With rich volcanic soil, Cracyi became the breadbasket of local space and like so many other worlds, it was decimated in the War. With a population scattered mostly in farms and small towns with just a few major urban centers, it took a mere handful of dirty fission bombs exploding over the cities to irrevocably shatter technological civilization on Cracyi. A few biomechanoids were landed to deal with anyone foolish enough to try and salvage what they could from the wreckage of the cities, but otherwise Cracyi's unimportance saved it from a more thorough scouring.
Cut off from the galaxy, the survivors - of which there were many - turned inwards. Using their machinery while they still could, the Cracyians constructed vast numbers of fortified redoubts in the irregular rocky outcrops that seemingly grow out of the fertile plains like so many lost teeth. By the end of the first century post-isolation, Cracyi had collapsed into a crazy-quilt of independent feudal domains - some barely stretching to the horizon as seen from the local cragtop castle. This lasted for six centuries of complicated and often petty politics and warfare, with the slowly fading radioactivity of the former cities shunned as placed to avoid.
Cracyi's main landmass is in the southern hemisphere, with the continent of Pieniy centered on the mid-lattitudes and sprawling more than halfway around the globe. Much of this continent is one enormous plain, the famous volcanic whitesoils of Cracyi. The geography of Pieniy gives most of it a humid continental climate, with warm to hot summers and cold winters. Most of the rivers flow south to north and became natural conduits of commerce over the centuries. An overlapping chain of rocky islands extends north from the western periphery, crossing the equator before terminating in the smaller northern continent of Karpatok, a rocky and rugged landmass home to less than 1% of the planetary population. Seen from space, these form roughly the shape of a J on its side. A handful of uninhabited island chains and microcontinents dot the world-ocean.
While Karpatok and intervening islands were never substantially inhabited and consequently were heavily forested with old-growth timber even before the fall, Pieniy was comprehensively cultivated for centuries. The fall changed that; not only was the planetary population reduced - if not by a catastrophic amount - but there was no more need nor ability to export food off-world. Vast fields were simply abandoned and soon colonized by forest. Cracyi's landscape as of the Grunefelder recontact at the end of the seventh century AC was very much one of castles (often on stony hilltops) surrounded by or associated with towns which were in turn ringed by cultivated fields and pastures, surrounded in turn by forests with scattered trails and freeholds. Even today this still adequately describes Cracyi, though paved roads for groundcars have replaced mud or stone trails and cleared right-of-ways for power distribution lines cut across the interstitial wilderness.
Cracyi was 'discovered' by both Grunefelder and the Impiragh almost simultaneously and soon became a battleground between the two. For half a century the Impiragh occupied part of the eastern end of Pieniy and small-scale clashes between Impiragh and Cracyi/Grunefelder forces were common in the eastern plains. Today Cracyi is a staunch ally of Grunefelder, though one that still needs to import much of the highest-technology items despite the past century of technological catch-up. The very oldest Cracyi centenarians (having taken advantage of Grunefelder medicines) can still recall using muskets as youths, while today Cracyi is known more for a proud tradition of 'mech-fighting power troops.

FURY-10 'Pasargadae'

Explored by: Hollewanderer
Described by: General G
FURY-10 is a desolate system centered around a lone Red Dwarf that is best known as being the last stop before arriving at the swirling vibrant madness that is the pirate haven at Magellan. It possesses a few debris belts, a single unremarkable Jovian planet, and a few small rocky planetoids. none of which presently have any known settlements. Few ships linger long, mostly because there's simply no reason to but also because local spacers are generally aware of the superstitions that have grown up around the system. A few attempts to set up fueling stations or outposts have suffered various mishaps, and automated satellites left in the system never seem to live up to their expected service lives. Rumors persist that a number of passing starships have simply vanished while passing through and of massive stonework structures sighted on the surface of a planetoid or moon.
Naysayers point out that it's certainly not hard to explain why ships might vanish near a port frequented by rival pirate factions, and that there's no proof of any mysterious ruins. The stories about the ruins never even agree on which minor world possesses them. Nevertheless, most spacers try to avoid lingering in FURY-10 longer than they need to.


Explored by: Duncan Idaho
Described by: Beetz
In this system, you have three worlds. One is a small moon sized planet made out of a single material, which seems to be a iron alloy of some sort. On this artificial planet, there are occasional entryways into it's guts. Robotic probes reveal that the iron corridors are in a dire state of disrepair, and every so often a long preserved corpse of a humanoid species can be found.
Whenever a living individual attempts to go into the Iron Planet, however, they begin to suffer vivid hallucinations and increased agression. This effect wears off if they leave for a few hours, though individuals exposed to this phenomina suffer from extremely vivid nightmares for the next few months.
Another planet seems to be a former life bearing world, judging by the long empty ruins. However, the atmosphere has turned incredibly toxic, producing a sort of 'miasma' that makes traversing the surface difficult without specialized equipment to allow for seeing through the poisonous fog. The ruins, and the mummies found therien, seem to belong to a psuedoamphibious race, resembling large toad like organisms with a turtle-like shell attached. Interestingly enough, the most advanced technology seems to date from the species industrial revolution.
The last world is a odd gas giant, which, upon occasion, emits odd frequencies from it's core. Orbiting it is large debris fields formed out of the remains of what appear to be violently rended apart space stations.


Explored by: Lokar
Described by: General G
Rügen is a binary star system comprised of a yellow-orange-primary and a red dwarf companion lying on the route between Grunefelder and the worlds beyond the Jasmine Nebula. Five terrestrial planets orbit Rügen-A, three small airless and sun-baked inner worlds, a hellish fourth with runaway atmospheric pressure and boiling oceans, and the somewhat cold but inhabited Rügen-A-5 at about 1.2 AU out. Evidence of historical habitation of the system is limited, with only a few small pieces of artificial debris found scattered around Rügen-B. It is generally believed that there was no permanent Overculture presence in the area at the time of the ancient catastrophe, although dissenters suggest that Rügen-A-5 was in the early stages of terraforming at the time of the disaster.
Rügen-A-5 is a chilly world with a vast ocean that covers nearly eighty percent of its surface area and a handful of desolate rocky continents that vanish beneath its considerable polar ice caps. It is however, inhabited, and work is underway to make it a more hospitable place. Ninety years ago, a breakaway sect from Grunefelder calling themselves the Third Way landed on the planet following their flight from their home system. Believing that co-existence between humanity and artificial intelligence was possible, and even desirable, the Third Way traveled to Rügen with hopes of building their ideal society. Unfortunately the limited resources of their colony ships combined with the challenges of establishing a human foothold on their barren new home has left the pursuit of that goal a somewhat forgotten pipe dream as the new colonies these days are mostly busy with localized terraforming and industrial development.
Nevertheless, there are those on Grunefelder who believe that their hated AI enemies might yet survive among the Rügen settlers, perhaps even disguised in human form. Perhaps even believing themselves to be human.

Sargon I 'Spyglass'

Explored by: Deathstroke
Described by: Screwball
Spyglass is a pleasant yellow star with four rocky planets and three gas giants, two of which boast impressive ring systems. The rocky inner worlds and the giant planets are separated by a moderately dense asteroid belt.
The star system is inhabited by a technologically sophisticated civilisation on par with the interstellar average, and until recently was embroiled in a complicated, multi-sided conflict between over a dozen different major national factions and a multitude of smaller groups, often over totally different issues. As far as any outside observers can tell, the 'Great War' was more a case of several dozen entirely unrelated wars occurring at the same time and blending together into a mess so incomprehensible that even the various Spyglass factions had difficulty keeping track of who was actually at war with who. There are multiple recorded instances of 'allies' realising mid-battle that they were actually supposed to be on different sides, and at least two cases where this occurred to both sides at once.
Such a chaotic situation could not last forever, and out of the mess of internecine conflict emerged a pan-system federation, built on the mutual desire of everybody in Spyglass not to have to put up with such a situation again. This is not to say that the various members of the Spyglass Federation particularly like each other, as they do not, just that they have generally decided that cooperation is preferable to skirting the perilous edge of total societal collapse and knocking their civilisation back into pre-industrial subsistence agriculture. The Federation supports a considerable military force that is theoretically politically neutral, and operates a firm legal system that goes out of its way to apply equal treatment to everybody.
Neither the Federal Navy nor any of the other forcibly downsized national militaries in the system operate FTL craft, and neither do any civilian organisations or individuals. The people of Spyglass are firmly of the opinion that the Ancients had good reason for the destruction of all records pertaining to FTL and related technologies, reasons almost certainly related to the collapse of that civilisation, and they have no desire to see such things happen to their system after their flirtation with annihilation. They will engage in peaceful trade and dialogue, but FTL ships arriving from outside the system are required to transship any cargo at platforms near the starway terminus, and any cargo or visitors moving further into the system must travel in Spyglass hulls.

Sargon VI 'Empty Quarter'

Explored by: unreasonable-o-matic
Described by: NikolaAnicic007
The Sargon VI system is a large binary system, with both binaries orbiting around each other in giant elliptical orbits, completing a revolution each 144 years. The binary pair is made of a K2sd II and G8V I couple. During their closest approach, the stars exchange material and the planets in both systems get heated proportionately to their distance from their parent star, their size and the star they're orbiting.
The first star emits an orange-red hue, with a considerable portion of it's light present in the infrared spectrum. The system has three planets, a Hot Jupiter, a large, warm desert and a frigid ice world. The system has no asteroid belts, and it's native Kuiper belt has been stripped by it's companion after numerous fly-byes. The star has frequent, large coronal mass ejections and an extremely strong magnetic field. Occasional collisions with comets from it's partner provide the star with hydrogen, oxygen and elements such as carbon, nitrogen and silicon.
The second star is very much a Sun-like star, with a temperature of 6425 K. It is quite stable, with a 18 year period between magnetic field switches. It's system has only two planets, both gas giants, with numerous moons. The system also possesses a large, outer asteroid belt that spreads from the main star and merges with it's Kuiper belt, forming a cone connected to a spheroid. Both gas giants are located in the systems habitable zone, and are currently present in a 2:3 self-correcting resonant orbit, where the planets switch orbits every 2.93140 million years.
Both stars have several planets, but none are hospitable to life.

Sargon XII 'Basil'

Explored by: unreasonable-o-matic
Described by: Screwball
Basil is a binary system with no less than three habitable planets - and a number of moons that are survivable with only minimal technological assistance, being prime candidates for terraforming - several gas giants and four dense asteroid belts. Unfortunately for would-be colonisers, the system is infested with the warped descendants of self-replicating pre-Cataclysam defence systems. The drones are not necessarily hostile; indeed, they will allow ships to pass through the system freely and will even appear to 'play' with ships in transit. Estimates amongst the experts who have studied the unique techno-life of this star system have concluded that individual platforms are roughly as intelligent as the average dog, and individual platforms have demonstrated recognition and memory for ships that are often present - in several cases even, apparently, affection, including aberrant behaviour like waiting at the entry point of the stellar current the target ship departed the system from until the vessel returned several years later on a fresh mission.
The platforms are, however, incredibly territorial, and will respond harshly and with immediate (usually lethal) violence to anybody attempting to approach 'strategically important' areas of the star system, including the habitable worlds, terraformable moons or any of the apparently intact pre-Cataclysm stations distributed about the system and which serve - along with other, more recent construction - as hives or dwellings for the techno-fauna. This makes exploitation of otherwise prime real estate effectively impossible so long as the techno-fauna remains.
As far as the habitable planets themselves go, all are pleasant worlds that have clearly been terraformed, all bear signs of obvious bombardment from orbit, and all bear human civilisations ranging from the bronze age to the early industrial era. Observations using long range methods suggest that most of them are aware they didn't originate on their current planets, but that the specifics have been either lost entirely or integrated into religious dogma. The inhabitants of Basil AII, the most advanced society, divided amongst a number of colonial empires established by early industrial nations, appear to be aware that the other two worlds are inhabited; the state of affairs regarding this subject on the other two are unknown.

Sargon VIII 'Manhoam'

Explored by: unreasonable-o-matic
Described by: Shrike
Sargon VIII is a medium-sized red dwarf, one of uncountable similar within the borders of the long-lost Overculture. It is a minority of these though, as it is home to a habitable (and inhabited) world.
Sargon VIIIa is the innermost world, orbiting approximately 0.1 AUs from Sargon VIII itself. The inhabitants commonly know it as Manhoam in the primary language, a corrupted and drifted version of Imperial. Manhoam is tidally locked to Sargon VIII, with the light side mostly split between oceans, fetid wetlands and rocky uplands. Atmospheric circulation keeps the dark side from freezing and with the exception of the antipodal ocean, most of the dark side is a mixture of nightland deserts and fungoid xenomats. Squeezed between the two of these is the 'terminator' zone, the broad ring where the inclinant light comes in at a low angle, moderating the unrelenting light. This extends to about 20' N lattitude (local coordinate systems using the hot pole at 'north') and is the primary inhabited zone where most of Manhoam's estimated 350 million live.
Sargon VIIIb is an icy rockball about three times as far from the primary. Smaller than Manhoam, it is known locally as Glint. It is unremarkable save for several major cometary impacts all dating to circa 2,000 years previously.
The third and final major world is Sargon VIIIc, called Weil by the locals (etymology unclear). It is a moderate-sized gas giant and has a large, disrupted ring system and several dozen small to moderate moons. Metallic shards and wreckage of unmistakably artificial source are scattered throughout, including the shattered remains of what may once have been an Overculture warp gate.
The outer system is poorly swept and is rich in KBOs, including a small methane giant on an eliptical, 17,000 year orbit. Orbital backtracking does not support a hypothesis that orbital disruptions by this provisional planet caused the impacts on Glint.
The population of Manhoam was knocked back to the Iron Age by the destruction of the Overculture and has spent the subsequent 2,000+ years recovering. It is currently on the cusp of the industrial revolution, though it has been undergoing anomolously rapid technological development over the past three decades - hydrogen-filled airships, fossil fuel burning and primitive radio broadcasts can be detected from low orbit.

North-East Sector


Explored by: Silence
Described by: Shrike
Elissar was one of the first worlds to be (re)contacted by the Lighthuggers of Nova Carthage. A primitive, poor world who's most notable cultural innovation was a particularly intricate and ornate system of vengeance, it offered little to the sophisticated Phoenicians save furs and a few noxious plants of interesting use. This poverty meant that Elissar was generally passed over even after the recovery of FTL reduced the time and cost of space travel by orders of magnitude. A few token innovations were sold to the local elites, some baubles and conveniences far beyond their ability to replicate, assuming they could even understand their operating principles.
This status quo continued for centuries, the Elissarans sometimes making token efforts to play catch-up with the ever-distant Phoenicians but in general minding their own affairs. It was the actions of a previous Archon that changed this; coming to the conclusion that the Phoenicians could no longer allow the Elissarans to practice slavery now that they had achieved space-faring capability - if only via the acquisition of a few hulks crudely refitted - he gave them an ultimatum: Free their slaves or their system would be blockaded and further sales outlawed.
Perhaps not so unexpectedly, the Elissarans attacked. It was hopeless, in the end, they had badly underestimated the power of the Phoenician fleet but their code would allow no other option. The peace was humilitating, and the second war a generation later was even more lopsided.
Now, the Avatar of Elissar plots his own vengeance on Nova Carthagos.

PRISM-077 'The Shoals'

Explored by: Arc
Described by: Duncan Idaho
Perhaps no system in known space is as powerful a witness to the great cataclysm (whenever it was) as the Shoals. The system takes its name from the eight huge belts of asteroids and wreckage that ring its dull red sun, all that remains of the several planets that once orbited there. Mixed in among the rock and metal is a staggering amount of destroyed ships and space habs, utterly unexhausted despite centuries (or millennia?) of salvage by adventures from beyond the Shoals - and by the inhabitants of the Shoals themselves.
For the Shoals are inhabited. Indeed, they teem with life. Though no one has really attempted a serious estimate of the native population, it is almost certainly several billion at least. These are the Bullwi.
The Bullwi (singular, Bullwu) are a squat, bipedal, toad-like race quite comfortable living in hard vacuum. They stand between four and five feet tall, and are extremely tough, if not particularly strong, intelligent, or fast. Communicating primarily through workaday telepathy and chromatophores, Bullwi have little sense of history. Epic "oral" tradition claims that their system was destroyed in a war that broke out among the gods at the moment reality came into being. The last dying breath of the divine courier, Amalwi, crystallized among the ashes. In time these crystals moldered into the Bullwi, who have lived among the Shoals ever since (7,000 years, by their reckoning).
There are countless tribes and clans among the Bullwi, engaged in a constantly shifting dance of raiding and dynastic politics. Most groups are ruled by queens, who forge coalitions through strategic marriage of their daughters to the male heads of war/scavenging bands. Free Bullwi males salvage, tinker, and raid, but the great majority of Bullwi are essentially serfs, farming a variety of space algae and lichen with the most primitive tools and working menial jobs in a vast, jury-rigged, salvage-fueled manufacturing economy. The Bullwi are not particularly hostile to visitors from out-system, so long as these visitors do not attempt to undertake salvage missions of their own; the Bullwi are fiercely territorial among themselves and against any who seek to despoil the wreckage that belongs to the (free) Bullwi by right (that is, every scrap of it). Nevertheless the Bullwi are eager to trade.
There are many extremely small populations of humans hiding out in the Shoals' innumerable nooks and crannies. The Bullwi hate these, regarding them as interlopers, and seek to kill or enslave them whenever possible. Their origins are, obviously, mysterious.

PRISM-117 'Ironbar'

Explored by: 100thlurker
Described by: Shrike
A star in the southern sector of the Aral Cloud, Ironbar is host to an unusual gas arc following the gravitic distortion of the star current through the orange primary's goldilocks zone. The only habitable worlds are a scattered disk of irregularly orbiting planetoids, none larger than 1,000 km and all cycling in and out of the gas arc, losing and regaining atmosphere in the process.
In the aftermath of the ancient cataclysm, civilization in Ironbar has split into two groups; the Electro-Farmers and the Riggers. The former inhabit the various planetoids, living underground in sealed bunker complexes during the airless 'winters' and surfacing to take advantage of the explosive fecundity of the 'summers' as the planetoids traverse the gas arc. Grown tall and distorted by the low gravity, they average three meters tall but barely the weight of a normal human half that. Outside of their bunker-towns they are almost never found without wearing full-body power suits.
The Riggers are the second group, nomads that inhabit the former gas and mineral production platforms ('rigs') that once dotted the system and harvested the immense material wealth blowing in from the Aral Sea and distant Gunpowder Nebula. These have long since become mobile towns, with the largest fixed structures becoming centers of power for the tribalistic and often beligerent Riggers.
Technology has regressed badly in Ironbar, with most common technologies being forgotten and only replaced thanks to ancient and incalculably valuable Overculture fabricators. Even otherwise common technologies such as Electro-Fisher powersuits, Rigger Warmechs (used as immense armed infantry onboard the Rigs), important components on the Rigs themselves and many other items would be irreplaceable without at least some parts from fabers, though both groups have gotten extremely good at minimizing this.
Ironbar has comprehensively lost FTL capability, and passing Nova Carthaginian merchants have so far avoided the temptation of selling them either working copies or full schematics.

PRISM-147 'Fentos'

Explored by: 100thlurker
Described by: FBH
Prism-147 is a 8 planet (4 rocky, 4 gas giant) system. The inner most Gas Giant holds the system's primary habitable world, a cool Terran class planet with a temperature of around 12 C (2 degrees colder than present day Earth.), on the gas giant's 3rd moon, called Fentos by its inhabitants. The Fentosians are a thriving fusion age civilization, with around 4 billion people split into several different nations. The dominant system is monarchy, though there are several aristocratic republics. More troubling is the Fentosian predilection to a kind of soft and throughly pseudo-scientific eugenics, with the quasi-priestly "expert" class deciding what families may marry one another for the good of civilization and the species.
Several million Fentosians are scattered on the system's other habitable world, Jurassic, the fierce, warm third planet. Jurassic is somewhat lower gravity than earth (though of similar size) with more oxygen in the air, it is dominated by various forms of megafauna, much of which is quite dangerous even to a prepared high technology party.
Ruins of a previous culture are common on Jurassic, and the Fentosian colonies are seeking to exploit them as much as they can. The Fentosians claim that their are also hidden enclaves of people they refer to as "The invaders" (The Chaniar in their own language). The Fentos claim they were part of an invasion force that drove them from Jurassic in the distant past. Your people have had few contact with the Chaniar, but they have attacked certain of your teams trying to explore over cultural artifacts. They appear to be of fairly low technology but some of them deploy advanced weapons and tactics in their attacks.
Fentosian legends say there are several clades of the Chaniar, including The Faceless, the Múspellsmegir, the Hrímþursar, the Automatons and the Fallen. Some legends speak of a sixth group, the Monochrome, who are at times either allied with or hostile to the Chaniar.
Both Fentos and Jurassic are marked with massive black basalt structures resembling cathedrals or henges. These seem to be empty but are thought of as places of ill luck by the Fentosians. The Chaniar also appear to avoid them. Some of them appear to be built in order to view certain of the stars.
Several areas of the system are filled with the hulks of ancient starships and drones, mostly ruined. It appears that at some point in the distant past, a great battle took place here. The Fentosians have tried to salvage these, but their technology is far higher and some of the automated weapons are still active

PRISM-357 'Tiburon'

Explored by: OOM-01
Described by: Fascinating Dakka
This system is devoid of any and all planets. It is a barren white dwarf star, of little importance or notice. However, the system itself is filled with ruins and wrecks from a titanic battle ages ago. Many of the tens of thousands of derelicts floating in orbit around this star are aged and damaged beyond recognition, only good for salvaging materials, but a rare few might have technological gems worth investigating.

PRISM-357 'Parabellum'

Explored by: OOM-01
Described by: Screwball
Parabellum is a seven planet system, with four gas giants and three inner rocky planets, two major asteroid belts, and signs of extensive orbital exploitation by the pre-Cataclysm civilisation. For the most part, however, the destruction and sanitation of the system was so thorough, only fragments remain, with the exception of the orbital region of the second planet.
The second and third planets are both life-bearing, although the third is close enough to the outer edge of the goldilocks zone that it is unpleasantly frigid. It is uninhabited and devoid of any apparent pre-Cataclysm presence. The second world, however, is occupied by an extensive human civilisation. Simple observation by the naked eye is sufficient to indicate the world suffered heavily in the Cataclysm, as flooded bombardment craters several hundred miles across distort the coasts or form large inland seas across every continent; the orbital bombardment was so heavy that it appears technological civilisation simply did not survive on the surface in any meaningful way. The natives have rebuilt themselves to the point where internal combustion engines are just being introduced and the first powered flight occurred a little over a year before the present. They are aware that they did not originate on the planet, but the details - even in the general sense most spacefaring powers are aware of - are a mystery to them, more the subject of religion and myth than history.
However, a second group exists, inhabiting the remains of the planetary defence network in orbit. Limited in number, this highly advanced population exploits their unassailable position and advanced technology to meddle freely in the affairs of their ground-dwelling cousins. As far as Network is concerned, it is their duty to protect the world and its inhabitants, as their ancestors did during the Cataclysm, both from external threats and from themselves. Network has made contact with external polities visiting the system, but has no FTL capability of their own - deliberately so, in fact, as they have indicated they have the necessary knowledge and technology to construct extremely capable slipstream drives. They are generally polite with outsiders and can see the benefits of peaceful contact, but attempts to approach Parabellum II or make contact with the surface civilisation are invariably met with a hostile response... and, given that they possess functional pre-Cataclysm weapon platforms, the results are almost always lethal.

PRISM-357 'Parabellum'

Explored by: OOM-01
Described by: Deathstroke
This particular system appears to be a typical astronomical object, with five planets orbiting around a red giant star.
The system's first three planets are hostile, uninhabitable places. First planet is a barren rocky planet, which the initial survey indicated presence of rare minerals in rich quantity, but only if one could establishing a mining operation so close to the sun. Second one is also a barren world although it lacks mining potential vital to a spacefaring civilization. The third one is a Venus-like planet with very hot and dense atmosphere. Due its volcanically active nature, it has a partially molten surface and a great number of active volcanoes dotting all across its planetary surface.
Conveniently situated in the goldilocks zone, the fourth planet is a life-bearing terrestrial world with abundant variety of flora and fauna although it is currently uninhabited by sentient beings. The survey team, however, picked up a minor pre-Event presence on one of its continents: a long abandoned city-sized settlement that remained surprisingly intact despite having been mostly swallowed up by the wilderness. The archeological team that went down to explore the ruin was able to date it at around 11,000 years old, and their further examinations led them to conclude that this place used to be a research and development location, abandoned when the corporation got busted for cooking the books and subsequently dissolved shortly after declaring bankruptcy. Their conclusion was further confirmed when they found a graffiti scrawled inside one of the buildings, most likely done by an angry employee, and it was later translated as 'Thank, you greedy bastards'. Unfortunately, they reported that the ruin was mostly stripped by its original occupants when they vacated the site a long time ago, and that they were unable to get into the ruin's underground levels despite their best efforts of trying to break through nearly impenetrable security barriers.
The fifth planet, and the last from the sun, is a cold gas giant with four moons of vary sizes. It is the home to an automated long-range communication relay from the pre-Event days, and it has been left alone by pretty much everybody throughout time due to the value it bring to this region of space.

Typhon-1 'Rubicon'

Explored by: Rabiddog
Described by: Shrike
An inviting system on the near side of the Far Cloud, the Rubicon system has a single yellow star and six planets; a large giant, three ice giants in the outer system, a superheated near-solar cinder and a waterworld in the habitable zone - Rubicon itself. Drifts of gas from the cloud form slowly shifting routes for migratory starlife, roughly paralleling the star current to PRISM-337.
Rubicon has two smallish continents lying roughly antipodal to one another, both crossing the equator. The remainder of the world is seas and oceans (locally, 'seas' are shallow while 'oceans' have depths measured in kilometers) broken by a large number of coral atolls and volcanic island chains. Rubicon has two small natural satellites, one barely large enough to gravitationally relax, the other not even that. A third, artificial satellite is an immense city-sized structure shaped rather like a sunflower; the flower component is a massive crystalline dome under which is an exquisitely cultivated city and the stalk contains various support hardware. This structure - Ill'ya - is gravitationally stabilized in geosynchronous medium orbit over the primary inhabited landmass. Ill'ya is the primary (and only) starport port and seat of government.
The government of Rubicon is known as the 'Biotech Masters'; this is in fact a serial mistranslation of the appropriate Rubicon term which, in Imperial, means more properly 'Masters of the direction of human events', instead of 'Masters of human life' or 'Masters of artificial living things'. This error has become commonly repeated; most Rubicans simply refer to them as 'The Masters'. The population is broken into several morphological groups, the two largest recognized ones being on Ill'ya and normally known as the 'Starborn' with the ones living on the surface or under the waters in the shallow seas commonly called the 'Seaborn'. All share a general hedonistic approach to life.
Rubican technology is highly advanced; almost everything they use is derived from their incredibly sophisticated biotechnology. This is not immediately obvious though, as they prefer (for aesthetic reasons, mostly) to use biological byproducts as opposed to actual living technology, save for the construction or repair phase. Most Rubican consumer items and structures will be constructed out of extremely strong crystals and metals, seamlessly grown into a single artistic whole.

Typhon-3 'Steel Yard'

Explored by: Rabiddog
Described by: Dream Omen
Typhoon 3 is a trinary star system, Typhoon A, B and C. Two Sol mass stars orbiting each other at the two AU distance and a third one a red dwarf orbiting Typhoon B. Typhoon B and C have no planets orbiting them, unlike them Typhoon A has four planets. Three of them are small rocky Earth like planet, while fourth one is a Neptune like gas giant.
Some of the rocky planets have interesting minerals, but thinking much more. The most fascinating feature of the star system is the mega structure left there by some ancient builder. The mega structure is in ruins now and is unclear how it still manages to remain in one piece, further research must be done. The structure is a ring around the entire trinary system. It still rotates in the same direction with the rest of the stars and planets. It's is clearly abandoned long ago. Some areas have holes the size of gas giants, some have things of unknown origin, type, or material sticking out of it. The most frightening thing are the evidence of space battles on a scale unimaginable by races of today.


Explored by: Silence
Described by: Arc
Come here, traveler. Look at these mighty worlds and their coronets of moons, enormous and whirling with furious winds- everything bound to them kept in perfect sychronous harmony, or carried down to be unmade in their unknowable depths. There is beauty there, in those banded clouds, that will persist through the life of the universe. Defined by its very nature as something intagible to grubbling mortal hands, it will be forever unspoiled by things that emerged from eons of bacterial cruft. So too will our works, and they will outlast you and your entire race.
The gleaming white Neptunian world of Amirus is home to the Aerists, whom rule all their lessers of Tyre with an iron fist. Thousands of glittering space orbitals hang above the placidly turning cloud bands, linked together by gilded filaments into a lattice that rings the planet's equator. Cold, distant, stark and beautiful, it mirrors its inhabitants perfectly.
Tyre's other worlds and captive moons are host to a carefully manicured and cowed society of human descent, whom build sleek and shining towers in cities that are designed purposely to be a pale echo of the grand orbitals of Amirus. All traces of their precursors and the calamity that destroyed them have been completely erased over the last thousand years, as the Aerists will tolerate not so much as a hint that something grand existed in Amirus- or anywhere else- prior to their coming. With little power and self-determination, many liken the populations of Isholm, Mooren and Litor as the pets of self-appointed godlings. Though there are no gentle benefactors here; access to Amirus is forbidden and carefully guarded. Every piece of the Aerists' works in their human sprawl speaks of disinterest and quiet contempt.
The Aerists themselves interact with their subjects, and virtually all others, by proxy or not at all. Tyre as a whole is flourishing under Carthaginian trade, though it is clear its masters are immeasurably displeased that not only that contact by explorers from other stars took them by surprise, but also that these visitors have expanded an enormous network of contact and trade.
On the surface the Aerists claim they desire only peaceful cooperation, though they have been known to engage in ruthless subterfuge with their neighboring states and they are implicated in a number of conspiracies despite spurious evidence. Most recently, bioroids have been found on Nova Carthago, convincingly programmed as doppelgangers of certain governmental officials. While each one captured has thoroughly self-destructed, it is quite clear that it is beyond the ability of the Phoenicians to create such things themselves. How long they have been in place and how many still roam Nova Carthago is a subject of intense contention.

South-West Sector


Explored by: Bossmuff
Described by: Acatalepsy
This system is a high-mass main sequence star with no rocky inner planets, instead it has a thin inner asteroid belt and five gas giants. The innermost gas giant, called Xerxes by its inhabitants, has twenty four large moons with at least half of a standard gravity and breathable atmosphere. This is an improbable configuration, and suggests that the moons were artificially constructed, or at the very least, moved here from somewhere else and then terraformed.
All twenty four moons are inhabited by a weakly space-faring culture whose technology has just now reached the era where experimental fusion drive torches have become available for commercial use; until now travel around the gas giant has been via chemical rocket and (more rarely) fission pile. Each world has its own political culture, and a half-dozen ethnic groups (with varying levels of minor genetic enhancement) are scattered across the moons. The increased ease of travel has enabled large-scale migration between moons for the first time, enabling cultural exchange and trading, but also contributing to tensions.
Local governments are mostly built on a patronage system. The largest government is a confederation that stretches most of four moons, but strong executive power is rare. Political corruption is so widespread that it's hard to know where politics ends and corruption begins. On contact, most immediately began thinking of ways to turn the outsiders to their own advantage against their local rivals. The common low gravity has made the people long-limbed, and their structures have an organic look, with even dense urban structures blending into each other, as roads and byways are tunneled or through or bridged over structures.
The outer system's four other gas giants are home to a more secretive band (estimated population, twenty six thousand) of nomads with access to pre-Event spacecraft and religious devotion to an entity that they believe represents Time and Cycles. Contact with them has not been made (you know what you do know from contact with the Xerxians), but you know that they return periodically to the second gas giant, probably for refueling on He3.

CHIME-22A 'Cantor's Anomaly'

Explored by: General G
Described by: Arc
CHIME-22A is a genuinely worthless star system, occupied most notably by its namesake red dwarf star, barely massive enough to sustain stellar fusion, and it's co-orbiting brown dwarf sister. Such a thing is rare amongst dim stars, exciting for astronomers and disappointment for everyone else. Three small rocky planetoids orbit the binary pair in sweeping, chaotic elliptical orbits through a large debris field of comets and icy asteroids, though no major planets are present.
Pitiable resources led to the system being rarely visited and poorly charted, until by happenstance, an object was discovered in the gravitational locus point between the red dwarf and its companion. A curious field exists there, somehow canceling the enormous tidal forces exerted on the point in space, forming a bubble few hundred kilometers in diameter where normal material might exist without being torn apart and consumed. Trapped within that space lies the ghostly wreck of the star ship Cantor –the only vessel to ever enter the field- and the Anomaly that bears its name. The Anomaly is a spherical object some twenty five kilometers in diameter of unusual density, orbited and surrounded by layers of gapped concentric rings and shells of intensely artificial construction. These objects spin in a gyroscopic fashion around the Anomaly, rotational axes tumbling, and often orbit in opposing directions at differing altitudes, never losing speed or diverging from their paths in the slightest. The labyrinthine mechanism prevents detailed observation of what lies inside, and emits wild magnetic fields that influence solar weather on the nearby star and drags a trail of massive electrical storms along the facing side of the brown dwarf.


Explored by: Bossmuff
Described by: Arc
Warning beacons line the busy navigation routes through this quiet dwarf star's gravity well, drawing passers-by into a cumbersome path that circumnavigates its planetary bodies through its outer reaches. Five in all, three are ordinary gas giants with their halos of moons, and two terrestrial orbiting a comfortable distance from their parent star. Sparsely explored, No Man's Land is legendary for the frequency of ship disappearances. Enterprising souls have marked the safe paths for the public good given its location as a trade lane hub, though they increase transit times by a factor of five.
It makes for a tantalizing incentive to take alternative routes. Those who take the risk of passing close enough to the inner system report a transmission commonly known as the Siren's Call. The innermost world, possibly habitable once, is a gloomy rock surrounded by a network of geosynchronous satellites, broadcasting an as of yet undecipherable repeating signal at high power. Its oceans swell a sickly grey and its lands are stark and barren. Most believe the oceanic cruft is the remains of nanomachines and lingering amounts of atmospheric oxygen suggest at one point the world sustained photosynthetic life. Presently the world is, by all accounts, completely dead and inhospitable. Surface temperatures are decidedly unlivable and steadily increasing as a runaway greenhouse effect is taking hold. It ominously bears the name No Man's Land.
The second terrestrial world, with a wispy atmosphere and ice-choked features, shows no outward signs of contamination, though its surface is marked by a number of wreckage sites from crashed star craft. Although ships are advised not to stray from the shipping lanes under any circumstance, responders to distress in the vicinity of that world have noted that the crash sites seem to disappear over time. Traders have attempted to regulate traffic through the system and improve safety, constructing two space stations at the ends of the shipping lane, however smugglers and pirates frustrate all attempts at enforcement as they follow their own paths. They too, however, have something to fear in No Man's Land and rarely stay long.


Explored by: General G
Described by: Shrike
Tyrol was once one of the shining centers of the galaxy - a world-city that never slept. Its shining towers reached the sun and its foundations were the very deepest of bedrock. A hundred - a thousand - languages were spoken by its inhabitants both human and not. If its leaders were not always infallible, they were at least accountable - more than could be said for so many others.
All that ended.
Only a tiny fraction of Tyrol's population escaped the siege and subsequent scouring of Tyrol, a rounding error in a population of forgotten trillions. The rest perished directly at the hands of the invaders' biomechanoids or indirectly from the collapse of the planetary weather control network, famine or simple failure of essential services.
Now, a millenia later, Tyrol is a desolate world all but unfit for human habitation. Tendrils of gas from the Gespensterwald have curled into and through the Tyrol system and transformed its climate and atmosphere. This nebula gas has dimmed the light reaching Tyrol but at same time insulated the world, leaving it with a global surface temperature that rarely deviates from the single digits. The surface is an imperceptibly crumbling mass of towers, craters and rubble with the remains of ancient war machines or the skeletons of the invading biomechanoids scattered at sites of major battles. Above all this the pearlesent skies are constantly rippling with aurora but few watch them - on the surface the partial pressure of oxygen is much too low to permit unaided breathing to say nothing of the exotic compounds filtering down from the Gspensterwald above. It is only in the vast underground techno-caverns that lie deep beneath the slowly collapsing rubble of Tyrol where both heat and air is comfortable, with many of the more noxious chemicals having condensed out on the trip downward.
In these vast geofronts the real business of Tyrol goes on. Those selfsame noxious exotic gasses are, once purified, an important source of valuable chemicals. Immense processing plants have recently been erected with gleaming condensation piping heading to the surface via dscovered tunnels, a stark contrast to the greys and browns of ancient ruins. Most of this product is packaged into fusion premix and shipped out regularly on tankers to feed the voracious demands of the PDRG. The remaining and most valuable gasses is pressurised and used in manufacturing, arms and similar exotic roles.
All this does not mean that Tyrol is dead, however. While the original biosphere has long since collapsed, strange nebula life has seeded itself all across the world. This alien ecosystem has taken over the surface, with bizzare plant-analogues sprouting out of towers and spreading across the rubble and even more alien creatures lurking among the ruins. A number of scholars believe that some of these - almost invariably the most dangerous and elusive types - are also the descendants of the biomechanoids that destroyed Tyrol originally, though how exactly they survived a millenia is a mystery so far unsolved. Most of these creatures (and much of the surface in general) are entirely unclassified, though a small number of hardy adventurers has taken it upon themselves to scour both the surface and the subsurface of Tyrol for surviving ancient technology or, less commonly, biological curiosities.

South-East Sector

BLR-1G 'Hollis'

Explored by: NikolaAnicic007
Described by: Shrike
Hollis is a dark system, its primary star having anomolously large amounts of carbon dust - soot - in its chromosphere, leading to an unusual drop in emitted visual light. Thermal emissions are the same however, meaning that in the goldilocks zone ambient light even outside of any atmosphere is akin to twilight. On the surface of Kaliya, the system's sole habitable world, daytime is dim indeed.
This world is home to the Mambate, a matriarchal empire of nagas, bizzare human-serpent hybrids. The small male minority is sequestered away in boudoirs, living pampered lives as breeders - it is uncommon for most females to encounter a male naga, and simply unheard of for offworlders to do so. Intricate dealings and exchanges over breeding rights for male lineages are one of the stereotypical diversions of families both large and small. At a first glance Kaliya is pre-industrial, almost pre-technological, but upon closer look the nagas are masters of mysterious and exotic arts. Even feats such as levitating crudely-constructed (by the standards of space-faring cultures) spacecraft is not beyond them.
In addition to the nagas, Kaliya is also home to a large population of humans, enslaved since the dawn of recorded history more than ten millenia in the past. Untouched by the blessing of the serpentine goddess of the nagas, they are clear inferiors and exist only to be pets and servants, generally of the household sort.

HCT-3F 'Ouroborous'

Explored by: Screwball
Described by: Duncan Idaho
The system of Ouroboros is a relatively desolate one, with a single large habitable world and a couple of mid-sized gas giants in the outer system.
On this habitable world, a harsh desert planet also known simply as Ouroboros, one finds an old and populous human civilization. The Kingdom of Zur was ruled for many centuries by an aristocratic class that carefully controlled access to its signature genetic modification, immortality. The right to receive these treatments was long subject to byzantine rules of heritability and, for the great majority of commoners, extremely long (or often permanent) servile status in the household or clientage network of the sponsoring noble family.
Recently, however, the ancient kingdom has been overthrown by a popular revolution. The nobles long ensconced themselves within impossibly high towers (or deep subsurface palace-caverns), indulging in esoteric arts, pedantic philosophy and mysticism, and decadent pleasures ranging from drug-fueled orgies to gladiatorial fights. The groaning masses, doomed either to die or, at best, live forever in shameful servitude, finally had enough. So far, there has been only an initial, relatively contained burst of violence, which has catapulted a coalition of middling, relatively moderate representatives into incomplete (if significant) positions of power in government, military, and security.
The hold of these moderates is highly tenuous, however. Finally possessed of a relatively strong position vis-a-vis the nobility, the revolution's representatives are only now learning just how little these nobles understand about how the immortality treatments work or even where power in "their" society truly lies. A few of the highest nobles, caught between the demands of the populace and a mysterious fear, have begun to refer vaguely to some other intelligence or organization, largely inaccessible even to the nobles it appears to patronize, perhaps hidden deep in the planet's core or somewhere else in-system.
The situation is extremely precarious all around - the commoners are losing patience with the excuses of their representatives and the nobility, and even the threat of the mobs is doing little to dislodge the nobility from its reticence. What this mysterious other power could possibly be threatening with keeps many of the currently-ruling moderate revolutionaries up at night.

Luxor 'Lysander'

Explored by: Silence
Described by: FBH
Lysander is a large but problematic market for your commerce. They are lower tech than you, (~traveler/Gurps TL9) with only one FTL star ship, a larger freighter which mostly flies to your planet, and a very large population (on the order of 15 billion on the 4th planet, a hot, fairly lush Terran world with around 40% Land surface but a large number of marsh lands and huge forests which trap moisture) and on space platforms and oceanic colonies.
Most of the population is baseline human, but there are several tribes and nations of transhumans, who it is claimed descended from visitors (or invaders) in the distant past.
However while they have the makings of an excellent trade partner (high population, abundant primary resources to sell you, unable to compete in those areas that really matter), they are ruled by an unstable and aristocratic system where voting is allowed only after a series of rigorous mental and physical tests. This has lead to frequent instability and revolts by the lower classes, most of whom do not have the resources or time to study for said tests, and extremely unequal distributions of wealth and market distortions, as well as occasional atrocities by both sides.
Currently, the planet is nearing civil war, with several outer districts in open revolt, and security forces shooting up demonstrations (and sometimes, the demonstrations shooting up security forces.)
Things seem to have coalesced round a masked rebel leader known as the Dragon of the Woods, a woman who it is claimed is desended from one of the transhuman clades and thus ineligible for testing. Regular video messages from her (often also featuring some unfortunate Lysandian army captive suffering some imaginative fate after a revolutionary trial) are regularly circulating local information networks. The dragon always goes masked.
Your government is bracing itself for Lysander in revolt round 27, while your military is wondering openly whether you shouldn't send in the fleet to restore order.

SCP-1N 'Scorpion'

Explored by: FBH
Described by: Screwball
This uncategorised system is mostly unremarkable. A single yellow star with a closely orbiting 'hot Jupiter' gas giant companion and three smaller gas giants, all with extensive moon systems. Some of the moons are candidates for terraforming or show evidence of having been terraformed in the past, but pre-Cataclysm surface ruins are isolated and ephemeral; it is likely that development of this potential real estate was halted by the Cataclysm. There is no extensive asteroid belt, although the system outside the orbit of the outermost gas giant is very rocky.
Of great interest, however, is the pre-Cataclysm space station in orbit of the hot Jupiter. The station is extremely large, and almost entirely intact. Ancilliacy facilities in the vicinity suggest that at least part of its purpose was gas extraction, although the extraction platforms themselves appear to have succumbed to friction and/or gravity and plunged to their doom in the atmosphere of the planet. Certainly, however, the station contains adequate docking facilities for all but the largest vessels, in numbers appropriate for entire fleets. Whether or not it was a military installation is unknown; certainly, there are the usual hostile automated defences associated with pre-Cataclysm sites, but no more or less than average, and certainly not the obviously military combat remotes or other explicitly military equipment found in other military sites. It is, however, almost entirely without power outside of the local backups for those defensive systems, and though multiple different teams hailing from various locations have tried to resolve the issue, all have failed. As far as anybody can tell, the power systems are perfectly functional, but every attempt to initiate startup of the main reactors aborts itself before primary ignition as a result of an automated safety shutdown.
The main computers have been almost entirely purged of everything except the programmes needed to run the station systems, including technical documentation and damage control guides, but unusually for pre-Cataclysm sites, there appears to be no battle damage. Clearly, there is a major fault somewhere in the power systems - or else in the fault reporting systems associated with them - but nobody has been able to isolate it thus far. Whether this is because of the unfamiliarity with the ancient system, the fault being difficult to diagnose or the technology simply being beyond current understanding is unknown, but almost everybody who ever set foot on the station has given the same answer when asked why they didn't stay longer; the station wanted them gone. Over multiple Tempesti expeditions, and a number of foreign missions too, no party has lingered on the station for more than two weeks. Despite there having never been a recorded instance of any serious injury - the worst being some broken metatarsals as a consequence of dropping a supply canister in the wrong place - almost everybody involved in the efforts aboard had reported a palpable sense of unease. At best, it is an almost constant sense of being watched, and at worst, when people are alone, it is movement in the corner of the eye where there couldn't possibly be movement, something darting into hiding where there is nothing to hide behind.
Nobody has ever been hurt, and anybody familiar with pre-Cataclysm relics appreciates the fact that anywhere people have been but are no longer is unsettling. There's something about the station, however, despite the pristine condition and lack of obvious danger of violence, that has convinced everybody who has set foot on it that it is a bad place. Something terrible happened there, they say, and people are not welcome.

VLK-QA 'Valkyrie'

Explored by: Dream Omen
Described by: NikolaAnicic007
The star system is dominated by a single, large blue star around which 6 planets orbit, 3 gas giants and 3 terrestrial worlds. The star has 3.35 times the mass of the Sun and is a B8 class star, with a surface temperature of around 11,627°C. It formed around 1 billion years ago and is currently nearing the end of it's life, estimated to be in 8 million years. The star has regular oscillations in it's luminosity and it's solar wind averages at around 8 times the speed of the Sun's, blasting planets that aren't shielded by an especially strong magnetosphere and stripping them of their atmospheres. It was projected that the star had a secondary companion that had been eaten up once the star had swollen up, heating it considerably, meaning the merging happened early in the systems history. The star's heliosphere is rather weak, which is to be expected of a large star such as this.
Inside the systems, there is only a single, inner asteroid belt, with most of the stars Kuiper belt blown away once the stars wind picked up. The inner belt extends from the 1st planet in the system, all the way to 5 AU, enveloping the 2nd planet in a blanket of iron and silicon rich rocks. The reasoning behind this is that sometime in the system's history, the first and third planet were on the outside and the 4th and 6th on the inside, but during the merger of the inner binary pair, the planets got shifted in their orbits, only leaving the most massive planet in the system intact. There is a number of theoresized planets that could've orbited the system, only destroyed once the system was destabilized by the central star's merger. The ring is not particularly dense, with the systems two inner giants completing large orbital resonances inside the belt. The belts mass is comparable to that of the Moon, with no larger bodies except the second planet in the system.
The system's main star has a total of six planets which alternate between gas giants and terrestrial planets (1,3,5 and 2,4,6). It is thought this order was caused by orbital resonances within the system that occured when the systems baricenter was shifted further inwards than before. Most of the inner terrestrial planets were stripped of their atmosphere in this event, which expelled a large amount of stellar material across the entire system, finally stopping at the Kuiper belt which it blew away into the interstellar medium. The only rocky planet that retained an atmosphere after this event was VLK-QAf which is characterized by an extremely strong magnetosphere and dense atmosphere.
The fourth planet from the star is a warm desert, a planet somewhere between Mars and Earth, with an average temperature of 31.84°C and large seas of liquid on it's surface, inhabiting the goldilocks zone of it's parent star at 8.9 AU. The planet has a thin atmosphere, only around 4% that of Earth, mostly made out of carbon-dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen. The planet has half of Earth's gravity, making colonies on the world particularly welcome. Features on this planet are extremely Mars-like, the planet possessing the same coloration as the Red Planet, yet still having somewhat larger polar regions containing liquid water mixed with carbonic acid. The polar regions are adorned by strong aurorae and are outlined by black mountain ranges, the only exception being a relatively new lowland in the planets north hemisphere that cut a small hole in the polar black mountain range. The planet revolves around it's host star once every 13.5 years and has a rotation period of approximately 22 hours (02 minutes, 14 seconds neglected). For it's size, the planet has a large number of moons. It has 3 moons larger than 500 km in it's orbit, keeping it stable as it revolves around it's star. It's theorized that the moons were captured when the system was destabilized and are in fact remnants of old planets, broken appart by the system's giants.