|Tsorva/Tsorva (Halcyon 0916)|
|Classic Era (1115)|| |
- Hellworlds often offer daily, and sometimes hourly, life-threatening situations to their inhabitants. Survivors often form intense survival skills and tend to be grim realists.
- This world has no free-standing water.
- It requires extensive imports of outside technology to maintain a modern, star-faring society. Having to import most manufactured and high tech goods drives the price up for these items at this world.
- This a "low technology" world with technology competency well below technology standards for Charted Space.
- It is a Non-Aligned world dominated by human sophonts located in the Tsorva Subsector of Halcyon Sector.
- It is a Voluntarily Regressive World
- 1 Description (Astrography & Planetology)
- 2 History & Background (Dossier)
- 3 References & Contributors (Sources)
Description (Astrography & Planetology)
Tsorva Monostellar System Star Name Hierarchy Color Classification Remarks Tsorva Primary Orange K8 III Note
The primary is Kadarr, an orange giant star. It has a luminosity of 410 Sols, a mass of 5.78 Sols, and a diameter of 76 million km – the corona extends to 0.25 AU, beyond orbital position (I). The inner system consists of (IV) a dense rocky planetoid belt, (V) a trace atmosphere inner world, (VI) a vacuum inner world, (VII) a corrosive atmosphere inferno world, and (VIII) a thin atmosphere inner world – orbital positions (II) and (III) are empty. (IX) Tsorva orbits in the habitable zone and is designated the mainworld. (X) a large exotic atmosphere world and (XI) a small vacuum iceworld form the outer system. Many of the worlds retain satellites. The iceworld has one unusually small satellite, which is called Cryophage.
(IX) Tsorva is designated the mainworld and orbits Kadarr at a mean distance of 21.2 AU (3.17 billion km), within the habitable zone. It has an orbital period of 40 years 220 days and a rotation period of 18 hours. The axial tilt is 31 degrees. Tsorva has a diameter of 8,434 km, a density of 5.48 g/cm³, and a surface gravity of 0.66 G. The world is geologically active. Its atmosphere is rated as Standard, Tainted, with a mean surface pressure of 0.72 bar and a composition of 83% nitrogen, 14% oxygen, 2% carbon dioxide, and 1% argon, carbon monoxide, neon, sulfur dioxide and other trace gases: the taint is caused by the very low percentage of oxygen and by fine airborne dust particles. Approximately 3% of the surface is covered in lakes of liquid water. Mean surface temperature: 48°C. The atmosphere is active and strong weather systems, driven by the star, drive across the globe. The climate is seasonal.
- (IXa) Falchio (UWP Y100000-0, orbiting at 15 Diameters/127,000 km)
- (IXb) Mustell (UWP G200000-0, orbiting at 25 Diameters/211,000 km).
Mainworld geography and topography
Total surface area: 223 million km², Land surface area: 217 million km², Water surface area: 6 million km².
Tsorva has extensive but primitive native life, entirely consisting of extremophile microscopic organisms that exist anywhere that they can find liquid water. Their metabolic functions drive the process of atmospheric renewal. Tsorva is a dying world, its atmosphere and hydrosphere being stripped away by the relentless stream of energy pouring off of the star. Geological evidence suggests that millions of years ago Tsorva had substantially more water, a denser atmosphere and more complex forms of life.
An important corporate subsidiary Covington Harbor and Crate holds development charters for trade and cargo services in and around this system. An independent prospecting firm Lucite Margins is engaged in mining operations in the asteroid belt.
Tsorva has a poor quality starport.
- A Class-D Starport Facility has minimal if any shipyards and can only perform extremely limited repair work.
- This facility has many skilled personnel who can perform minor repair work.
- This facility has refueling infrastructure and limited refining capabilities. One may purchase unrefined fuel here.
- Starports of this class very rarely have both a Lowport and a Highport.
World technology level
- Common Communication technologies for this TL include: Telephone and telegraphs, widespread printing.
- Common Power Generation technologies for this TL include: Early electricity, hydrocarbon internal combustion.
- Common Transportation technologies for this TL include:
- Government is by a company managerial elite and citizens are typically company employees.
- The typical power source of this government is an Oligarchy.
- The typical power structure of this government is a Hegemony.
Small units of mercenaries are employed to ensure corporate interests are secure. Security contracts are awarded to low bidders and may last several years. Some locals are recruited to fill out these units. Patriotic civil defense is not a hallmark of these units. Hard won cynicism seems more prevalent. Most are company and platoon sized units used to secure vital infrastructure.
Various corporate interests maintain a fragile economic ecosystem in the name of planetary development. Technological restrictions and cultural taboos make rapid development challenging. This necessitates a generational, gradual approach and vision. This is turn concentrates power into the hands of a few powerful groups with the will and resources to see that vision come to life, regardless of the cost in human suffering. The local unit of currency for trade and barter is as expected in units of water. One day's water for a single person is the basis for all purchases.
Subsistence levels of food production mean that imports outnumber exports, for now. Plans to turn the tide are in development, as efforts to tame the chaos persist. Corporate efforts, from beyond the system, have contracts to interface with the local economy and provide off world transport for some small niche market products produced locally. One essential import is a high tech polymer coating. This is a carefully selective polarizing film applied to standard glass panes. The adjustable louver covers prevent the intense local sunlight from scorching the vital algal gel packs, necessary for oxygen production and essential for food production.
Some Esaran mercenaries brought in to quell disturbances and provide technical advisers, eventually went feral. As contract negotiations broke down, and the Esaran sense of justice was frustrated, they fled into the hinder lands to lead and mobilize the fringe elements and the economically displaced. As soon as the first worker's GenPods showed up to establish the colonies in this system, their Hopper nursemaids and care givers were there every step of the way. Some of the typical class distinctions between free born and what are locally referred to as vat born, persist. Generations later, it is largely impossible to distinguish who descended from which grouping, the amount of interbreeding during the Fringian Dark Age made that kind of record keeping essentially impossible. Some corporate power brokers insist that, using off world genetic analytics, they can divine which is which, and who is who. Many suspect that these selections serve other purposes.
The type of colonial efforts necessary on this world, required a subterranean cave culture. The inhospitable nature of the surface made underground structures necessary. Strange admixtures of technology are required to maintain the precarious balance required for survival. At the poles there are extremely limited pockets of surface and subterranean ices, some solid carbon dioxide and precious water. Ice mining is necessary to bring additional water into the colonies. Vast salt flats, remnants of ancient surface water bodies the million year old remnants conceal treasures. The extremophile microbial life persists below the surface in some of these "fertile" zones. Radiating from cities, peaked roofs of tempered glass reveal partially buried green houses. Several imported species were required to produce an artificial ecosystem loop capable of supporting heterotrophic macroscopic life.
In the waste lands around each pole are nomadic groups of people who have fallen away from the strict colonial hierarchy. These troublesome nonconformists have a problematic habit of constructing large vehicles. They typically employ a reversed tricycle suspension with a pair of large diameter (4m to 8m) drive wheels with a smaller, rear steering rudder boogie. They use a strange combination of sails, solar steam boilers and furnaces for power and electricity. They use hand ground glass lens, optics and parabolic mirrors to harness the punishing sunlight. They have wet cell acid battery technology and have some remote static arrays of crude wind turbines. The vehicles seem to wander between these caches of supplies and power. They use light weight steel tube frames combined with imported aluminum. They use fungal canvas sails, and weapons range from ballista, catapults, to crude hand cranked Gatling guns and small bore, solid shot cannons. Personal weapons include blades of every description and primitive, single shot hand cannons which fire shards of jagged metal filings and glass flechette and operate like unstable shotguns.
Corporate train lines run from the poles to the colony towns. Telegraph lines run parallel to the train tracks. The capital is the starport as the economic hub and trading center for the limited off world commerce. Most interface space craft land during daylight orders. Five km long runways, each 1km wide radiate along four cardinal directs from the hub of the port. Hydraulic lifts lower cargo into underground warehouses where the sweaty stevedores handle cargo module transfers. Conveyors and ramps run down sorting lines. Landing at night means igniting the methane powered landing lights and the blinking semaphore towers. This doubles docking fees and is treated as a special operation with workers on high alert for mishaps. Night operations are tense and fraught with danger.
Directly above the primitive down port, the Dark Mistress class Yacht hangs in a geosynchronous orbit as an orbital casino for tiny groups of the central business committee's most powerful members and their VIP guests. The Crew of the Dark Mistress is secretive group of casino employees. Most citizen employees have never left the surface. It is the off world trade that keeps the elites in power and if cutoff they wouldn't last long. They know this and are protective of their lines of control. The rails deliver ice and service the mines and foundries. The planets dense core and rich lithosphere means that exploitable surface iron deposits are accessible. The crude mining methods rely on primitive nitrocellulose and trinitrotoluene. The subsurface fossilized microbial life concentrated the hydrocarbons of life into a dense strata. Strip mines using steam powered excavators, cranes and shovels loot these deposits born when this planet had a more extensive biosphere. The iron and carbon lead inexorably to steel which powers the proto-industrial efforts of the corporate elites. The coal analogue is used to power the combustion and heat the steam. Water loss from these processes drives up the costs and the precious nature of water here means that few can afford the water to run steam powered things. Water, and electrical power monopolies among the corporate classes ensure economic slavery for most of the worlds tiny suppressed population. The elites total numbers are tiny as are the nomads. Although a true census of their numbers is problematic as they tend not to pay taxes.
Food relies on strange life forms designed and introduced to take advantage of what this world offered, and to adapt that to the needs of the colonists. Native and enhanced imported alga mats are photosynthetically essential. Their primary function is oxygen production in developed colonial zones. They have a secondary food function. The greenhouses have steel frames and glass windows. They use tall steep peaked roofs to keep the drifting sand dunes from burying them. They are shallow and rows of them are added radiating out from every colonial hub as population demands dictate. Every organic material is completely recycled. To do otherwise would be unthinkable. Every useful organic molecule is essential for survival so nothing is wasted. The loop is basically closed and borne of star faring disciplines. A quasi native black anaerobic mold grows wherever human respiratory moisture accumulates in the caverns. Impossible to stop, it has been embraced.
A species called Flycas, are used to recover and reclaim moisture. They grow long tapering conical shells of secreted calcium carbonate. They have a muscular mantle and adhesive foot. They rasp the mold and have four filamentous wings during a breeding phase of development. The name is derived from flying cave spikes. They fly from beds of black mold which they consume and scour the walls and ceilings of the inhabited caverns sponging up all the moisture that condenses there. They return to their feeding nests which the humans cleverly keep flat on their roof tops. The mature spikes grow too heavy to fly and will grow large and gravid with egg masses as they age. The plunge down from above targeting a biomass with a crude IR sensor wand. As the shell spills open eggs parasitically burrow into the flesh of the target to grow the next generation of hatching nymphs. Natives are always quiet and observant to avoid spike drop. Visitors are strangely never warned about them. With sufficient herbal and mineral seasonings and lipid butters, the meat of the organism is delicious by most accounts. Full grown Flycas spikes can mass up to a kilogram. (Flying Gatherers 1kg Hits 2/0 None Wounds 1 "Horn" A8F1S1)
The normal target for mature spikes is a bilateral consumer with a jointed exoskeletal structure. They lay egg masses near moisture and have pincer chelipeds. They have five pairs of walking legs. These can mass up to 7kg for ancient specimens, few survive that long. These are detritivore scavengers. They are omnivorous and opportunistic. They eat varieties of fungus cultivated to reclaim wastes, they can consume hybrid microbial colonies which incorporate native anaerobic microbes with imported chemosynthetic forms. Any agro byproduct wastes are ideal for them. They also gobble up any insect pests which may be introduced by merchant traffic to the main starport. They wander freely in caves and aren’t raised as much as captured when needed. Raised walk ways and double air lock style doors and cavern moats keep them out of habitats. They are a meat staple to augment the green algae broths, crackers and chips. Their bland white flesh is versatile and absorbs flavors well. Appropriately seasoned dishes can adopt a startling variety for bolder pallets. Cisterns and storage tanks and steam tunnels and duct-works draw them. They must spend time where the humidity is higher than the planetary norm. This is why no containment is necessary. They cannot survive on the brutal surface of the planet for which they are not well adapted. They are designed to be symbiotic with their colonial hosts. Most refer to them as cave crawlers, or crawlers. Some say clickers when they are annoyed, as a curse because of the sounds their legs make on colonial steel gantries and walk ways. (Eater 6kg Hits 3/6 Jack Wounds 5 Claws A2F4S2)
Lower income tenements are made from fungal canvas tents stretched over hollow steel tent poles hanging suspended from steel anchor pitons pounded into cavern ceilings. Gang planks of light steel mesh hang from cables and fungal fiber ropes. The hyphae of the fungal growths are laboriously treated and pounded into a fibrous parchment like material which is loomed and woven into a coarse textile. Tall, dark and thin vat born and short, dark haired, pale skinned cavern people predominate. Their economics unite the worker classes.
The upper classes have estates of carved stone in remoter locations with private steam and electric rail spurs to shuttle goods and services back and forth. These grand facades look like blocks of cyclopean stones piled by long dead titans. The sense of scale and power is critical in the local aesthetic. The less glamorous truth is the ancient pyramid and temple lines with stone columns and pillars are superficial stone layers laid over steel frames with cement and concrete back fill. Servants and parties are used to communicate power and influence. The elite use a small fleet of dirigible liners to cruise and entertain. The brutal weather necessitates that these airships can dock with and shelter on huge hanger cars on the rail network. Their radius of operations must keep them in range of their rail tenders for refueling and shelter in the event of foul weather. Accidental airship crashes have cost the elites several famous lives. The chief director of the business council, Fenrig DuChamps has promised to form a committee to investigate what can be done about improving safety.
Rumors of vast polar ice wyrms persist. Some recently discovered zoological records from am Esaran science team, who were shooting a nature/entertainment media feature, stumbled across polar ice wyrms. The records and recording found at the scene seem to indicate they were attacked by a here-to-fore uncatalogued species of colonial life, segmented with four appendages per segment in an equidistance radial array to provide optimized subsurface tunneling. The size of the tunnels indicate a massive organism with a diameter of tens of meters and lengths of hundreds of meters. The mass would be several metric tons, 100 tons per 100m of length is the current estimate. The Esaran government refused to comment on what this team of naturalist explorers were doing on planet without official visas and corporate permits.
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