|Primary||K8 V M9 V|
|Army Size (BEs)||150000|
|World Trade Number||4|
|Trade Volume (MCr/year)||498|
|Building Capacity (Tons)||84,000,000|
|Port passengers (annual)||0|
Borlund is a high-population world with a billion or more sophonts in population size. This world designated as an Amber Zone. Caution is advised since the world has an environment, laws, customs, life forms, or other conditions that are not well understood and might be a danger to a visitor. It is a member of Third Imperium in the Lamas Subsector of Deneb Sector and in the Domain of Deneb. Borlund, as a member world of the Third Imperium, holds the estate of an Imperial knight and the feifdom of a count. Both are members of the Imperial Nobility charged with overseeing the world. This is the homeworld to Lurent, a Minor Race.
|Army Size (BEs)||150000|
|World Trade Number||4.5|
|Trade Volume (MCr/year)||1,383|
|Building Capacity (Tons)||15,600,000|
|Port passengers (annual)||2,100|
Era: New Era
Borlund is a high-population world with a billion or more sophonts in population size. It is a member of Regency of Deneb in the Lamas Subsector of Deneb Sector and in the Regency Frontier. This world contains a Regency Scout Base, capable of handling Scout Service starships and personnel. This is the homeworld to Lurent, a Minor Race.
Description (Astrography & Planetology)
Boland has one moon and a year of 231 standard days; its actual day length is 19 hours. The average temperature is 14 degrees C, with a temperature change of –7 degree C per kilometer altitude.
Binary Solar System
Borlund Binary Star System Star Name Hierarchy Color Classification Remarks Borlund Primary Primary Orange K8 V Borlund Companion Secondary Red M9 V
Borlund is in orbit 1 around the primary star Crotiv. That half-dead star, Idanoll, is in orbit 5. Borlund does have a trivial satellite barely worthy of being called a moon (Symot: YS00000-0), about 115,200 km from Borlund.
Because of the placement of Idanoll, there is a real, black Night for only half the year. For other half of the year, there is this dim red glow instead, brighter than Earth's moon, but nowhere near Sol, or Crotiv. The shadows and other light-effects of these two star can be quite pretty.
History & Background (Dossier)
The mainworld is notable as the homeworld of the Lurent, a Minor Race adept at interstellar trading. The Lurent jump their billion-ton planetoids from system-to-system as they travel to and from the Borlund system. Extrasystem trade is not done on the planet; all interstellar goods are traded aboard planetoid spacecraft, which can be found sharing the mainworld’s orbit, orbiting the mainworld, orbiting its natural moon, or elsewhere in the system.
This world's 70 billion inhabitants are governed by an extremely popular dictator, known as Thabian, and his Council of Seven Lights. Strong customs against breach of privacy and against the use of force keep crowded conditions from becoming maddening.
Despite its massive population, Borlund has always been a world of minor importance. The world's current condition is already described in the Library Data under the Borlund Abandonment. The world receives little offworld contact anymore by traders, and local hospitality industries often go overboard in an effort to attract further trade. Most of the world's native population are old people who were left behind by the Abandonment, and these are catered to by government and medical personnel imported from offworld and paid for by a respectable Regency government subsidy.
The Founders - who arrived here from Corridor in 151 - were originally a well financed group of several thousand colonists, led by about 30 wealthy men. As they grew old - and the rapidly growing colony needed more manpower than either immigration or normal population growth could provide - these folk chose to solve the problem by generating hundreds of male and female clones of themselves offworld, and shipping them over to Borlund (solving both the manpower shortage and satisifying their infinite egos).
By the 230's, over 80% of the resident population of 80,000 people were clones of the 30 colony leaders. As the non-clones swiftly fell in social status and wealth, the Truechildren - the clone's name for themselves - grew to dominate the economy and culture, not only of Borlund, but of the entire subsector. (Borlund was named the subsector capital in 302: the subsector was also renamed Borlund at the same time)
At the system's height -- at about 700 ...
(UWP at the time: Borlund Borlund:Deneb/1406 B454999-C N Hi Cp 101 Im K8V M9V)
Borlund was the dominant financial centre for Pretoria, Borlund and Antra subsectors. Borlund was also noted for its famed "Table Towns" (actually looking closer to mushrooms, to this scout's eyes). Basically, a Table Town was a 500m diameter plate suspended on a squat, 100m diameter base. On the plate you could put a small town, a landing field, or most any reasonably-sized building. The ruins of these Table Towns can still be seen, quietly disintegrating as the locals no longer have the tech to maintain them.
Borlund's proudest achievement was in protecting its ecosphere: its easy mixture of high civilization and African-veldt feel was unique in the subsector, and one of the ways that made Deneb Sector *Deneb*. Now even that's gone: the immense increase of the population, coupled with bouts of large-scale starvation during the late 700s finished the old plains forever.
Borlund started to fall apart at 721, when the upper classes started to take wives and sire children by normal means, rather than by clone tanks or by implanting cloned eggs. The regular folk, quite envious of this upper-class privilege, insisted that they should be allowed to have "Traditional" children too. The upper classes, supported by the government, said no: to have normal children between such closely-related parents took careful, very expensive, DNA level therapy and the government couldn't afford to provide this service to the entire population. Moreover, they didn't want to pay either the financial or social costs such a widespread change would cause (from at least a temporary surge in unemployment to changing a host of laws to the need to import lots of very expensive equipment from the other side of the Claw.)
Class acrimony and strife became rampant. In protest, many started to illegally remove their contraceptive implants, and bear large numbers of children in defiance of widely despised laws. Large numbers of the more well-to-do middle class learned to view their government as unjust and oppressive, and left, taking their skills and money with them. Still others shouted about "Reproductive rights", and began a series of confrontations with the government, eventually growing more and more violent. The end came suddenly, when in 757 a ship's boat from the S.S. Bride of the Stars - charted by covert terrorists - crashed into Desomi City, detonating the 20MT nuclear warhead in its hold. With the capital gone, the government collapsed, replaced by a pro-birth revolutionary council. The population soared as everyone imitated the large families of the elite. Since so many were clones - and thus too closely related to have genetically normal kids - the population soon became dominated by physically and mentally handicapped people. Borlund's economy - and the economy of the entire subsector - soon started to sink like a stone, as the cost of caring for/adjusting to these people grew exponentially. The situation became so bad that the Sector Duke petitioned - and received - a massive amount of Imperial Aid in the early 800s to deal with "the Borlund Problem". The Imperium soon had to struggle against mass chaos, starvation, and sudden epidemics. The Imperium managed to restore some sense of order by the 820s, and even brought back the Tech level to 11.
NOTE: Because of Borlund's lack of genetic diversity, the system had always been prone to epidemics, but the chaotic situation made things a good deal worse.
When the new Sector Duchess ascended to office in 828, however, one of her first acts was to cut Imperial involvement in the Borlund Sinkhole. She further signaled the Imperial abandonment of Borlund by shifting both the subsector capital and the subsector name to Lamas.
Borlund simply could not afford to maintain a TL B standing: a major depression fell on the world as soon as the last Imperial Relief Freighter left, and the patched together coalition the Imperials left to rule the world quickly collapsed in savage infighting. After the Weeping War ground on for a decade (providing some of the most shocking war footage in Deneb Sector history), decisive battles were won by the Brandon fraction, and they finally secured overall supremacy in 839.
The Brandoni were basically a cultural group who managed to create a working alliance between its physically and its mentally handicapped fractions, successfully using each group's strengths to cover the other's weakness. To their lasting credit, they managed to integrate AI, expert systems and old, abused robots to rebuild some semblance of a real civilization. As a culture, they eventually faded away, but their achievements remain the basis of current Borlund civilization.
However, from about the Fourth Frontier War period to now, the Borlundlanders have turned away from contact from the outer world, which is quite hostile to them. Borlund endures, but does not grow.
Borlund is on the edge of the coreward border of the Regency, and directly faces Virus. However, RQS security at the recently established RQS base is only 'average': no Virus ship has crossed the boundary in over 20 years, and the subsector is rather on the low-tech, low-importance side. Indeed, considering the low esteem that Borlund is held throughout Deneb, some people feel that it would be no great loss if security on Borlund slipped up one day: others say that the Borlundlanders wouldn't even notice if Virus DID take over...
As you arrive at Founder's Harbour, you are rather shocked by the extremely small port, the only one on Borlund. It is barely enough to hold 5000 dtons of ships (This, in a world of 200 billion people!)
As you look around, you note that just about everyone resembles everyone else: not clones, but almost. Also, just about everyone seems to be a cripple of some kind or another: some suffer from mental handicaps, others from physical ones, and still others suffer some hideous combination of both.
When generating Borlundlanders, remember to deduct 3 points of every attribute, to model the effects of extensive inbreeding.
Everyone seems to avoid you, except a very few "Customs" personnel: they treat you more like Aliens from Outer Space, but seem a lot more smarter and intact than their brothers - even if they insist on wearing bulky TL 9 space suits, complete with oxygen backpack and bubble helmet, tinted coal black.
Almost all traders to Borlund are chartered by the Borlund government, carrying specific freight.: Speculating on cargo is vigourously discouraged on Borlund, as the government wishes to discourage as many visitors and traders from coming to Borlund as possible. The visitors - when they can resist gawking at the natives, who will be openly gawking at them - will have a very difficult time finding room and board. They will also have severe communication problems: the Borlundlanders have developed their own language over the centuries [Called "Words", it only contains 300 words], which has no relation with Anglic at all. Still, it is possible that they may come across someone whose handicapped only in the body, not the mind. Such people speak a convoluted, difficult-to-decipher form of Old Anglic.
There is very little for the adventurer to do in this overcrowded asylum: the world is dirt poor, and - after a while - the entertainment/shock value of so many handicapped folk wears off. There is precious little to be traded: Borlund's entire industrial product is used simply to maintain the current standard of living. Moreover, the starport is on an island, hundreds of kilometers from the mainland: the only connection is by zeppelin transit.
For the sociologist, however, there are interesting - if subtle - jewels to discover about Borlund. Most obviously, how can such a group of the blind, the insane, and the lame keep a TL 9 society going? What disaster happened that shaped Borlund to what it is today?
The Borlundlander's dress actually most closely resembles that worn by ancient Greek actors. The men prefer sandals, long to mid-thigh togas (in white or a cream colour), with simple bronze masks over their faces (with maybe a few bumps and lines). The women, in contrast, prefer wooden masks with metal highlights, and two-piece, brightly coloured tunic/dress outfits. The upper-class women also wear long white gloves and a cloak/hood combo. These masks are never taken off in public, or before strangers.
The more senior members of the Cult of the Bird dress rather differently. They prefer feathered dress - imitating some mythical Bird of Paradise, or perhaps something more simple like a Raven. The more noticeable aspect of them is their biomasks. Imported from Starn (Inar: Deneb/1417 B000996-F), 11 parsecs away, these masks cover the entire head, and can easily display emotions, lifelike reaction, etc. since they *are* alive. While their manufacturers recommend that they be removed one day out of five, the Borlundlanders prefer to leave them on, permitting them to bond inseparably to their heads.
Remembering that most Borlundlanders are suffering from some genetic malady or other, canes and wheelchairs are quite popular, ranging from simple metal versions to ornate, powered ones. Everyone is quite dependent on designated 'helpers', usually people with only mild (or, very rarely, no) handicaps. These helpers are usually known by the Red Cross symbol they wear on aprons.
The Customs personnel met at Founder's Harbour are among the most elite available to Borlund, with a minimum UPP attribute rating of 5 (rather than the average of 3). Dressed in 60's style shiny space suits, they are rather better equipped than that: Their suit has an armour rating of 1, and all carry a pistol in their holster (easily accessible, but hidden from casual view). Outside of duty, they dress normally, but keep their bubble helmets on.
While Borlundlanders are xenophobes, they're not very aggressive about it. They prefer to avoid strangers when possible, and many refuse to talk to them. Violence might occur if the strangers are perceived as threats, with unpredictable results.
Borlundlander society is able to function thanks to a number of tools that they have seized on. Almost all managers, supervisors and other important personnel carry small computers (AI or Expert Systems), either wrist sized or 'tricorder' sized. These well-written programs provide much needed support and guidance in operating equipment, complex calculations, etc.
Also, Borlund is probably the only world where robots are still in common use (although biogeneered monkeys and other 'organic robots' are slowly replacing them). True, almost all of these robots are at TL 9, and thus expensive and slow. Still, without them, much of Borlundland society would be simply impossible.
In Ancient Times (See note), the major religion was a form of Ancestor Worship of the original Founders, especially the people whom the population is cloned after. However, from about 830 the Cult of the Bird - one of the Servani Cults - grew roots on Borlund: by the Rebellion Period, the Cult had become the dominant religion on Borlund.
Unfortunately, the Cult - despite its off-world origins - is quite xenophobic. Moreover, its love of power, bizarre doctrines, mysticism, and basic cruelty has definitely hindered any cultural or technological renaissance of Borlund. Especially awful is their cosmology: their very bizarre theories about space travel, the Imperium/Regency, and spaceships have set back local knowledge of the heavens to the level of mere astrology. Their endless droning and recitations of supposedly magical words is quite annoying when in their company. (The phase "Wise and Cruel was the Bird. Wise and Cruel are the Sons of the Bird." is instantly recognizable across the Regency)
The Cult may loathe and dread off-worlders (called Demons by them), but they love starships, and anything else that can fly for that matter. Thus their continual demand for Bird biomasks - despite the exorbitant prices. They will also pay serious prices for anything with wings and feathers.
This love of flight - and more than a little of the Cult's ignorance and superstitions - also influences the upper classes (well, "Upper Classes" is a relative term: they're generally not the despised "inbred, moronic, chucklehead cripples" that most Denebi would call them, but they wouldn't have gotten past an entry-level position in most societies, either). The most wealthy individuals of Borlund generally travel to some high-tech world to have their legs amputated, and replaced with a grav unit. Almost everyone dreams of buying a Zeppelin, the most common form of long-distance transit on Borlund. Even hot-air balloons are more valued than the (extremely sturdy) cars that are available.
References & Contributors (Sources)
- Gary L. Thomas, Joe Fugate. "Data/Library: Deneb." The Travellers' Digest 19 (1990): 24-30.
- Rob Caswell. "Domain of Deneb: Sector Data." MegaTraveller Journal 3 (1992): 47-58.
- Dave Nilsen. The Regency Sourcebook (Game Designers Workshop, 1995), 53.
- Peter Gray - Traveller TNE Mailing List High Population Worlds of Deneb Sector Part 1 published 5 September 2001
- Mongoose Traveller: Deneb Sector (UWP only)
- External Link: Sunbane data
- External Link: RICE Paper #AWP-00314: Borlund - Author & Contributor: Alvin Plummer