Confederation and Empire:Far Traveler Campaign
TO: The Crew of the F.T.V. Marathon
RE: Mission Objectives
(Intel Level=Eyes Only)
The crew of the FTV Marathon have been given control over a small sector of space, bordered on 4 sides by a dark nebula. It is their job to keep the peace, control the pirates, explore the place and find any new stuff they can (in the name of the Far Travelers).
The Tolkien Sector
The sector of space they are in charge of is known as the Tolkien Sector, due to the fact that the Imperial Survey Commander who first discovered it was a serious J.R.R. Tolkien scholar, consequently he named most of the important objects in it after places in Middle Earth. This is a small, otherwise unimportant sector of space in the DMZ, at one time hard to find, these days just slightly off of center and full of potential. Though, at one time this was in the heart of the Old Imperial Dominions.
The closest currently important (for the Far Travelers) Sector of space is the Deradhune Sector. This is a major Far Traveler base and the former center of several major Independent Conflicts. By space-flight it is about 3 weeks travel-time away.
The Tolkien Sector contains three inhabitable systems and about a dozen uninhabitable ones, along with one Interstellar Enigma (which is apparently only important to one race, the one that wants everyone to ignore them).
The Mountains Of Mordor
- The most massive astronomical formation that they have to worry about is the nebula, named the Mountains of Mordor by the original survey team. It is a mass of dark nebular matter, bordering in the North, East, South, and Up directions in the Draco Arm of the galaxy (looking towards Galactic Center). To all intents and purposes it cuts off all interstellar spaceflight in those directions for several parsecs. While it is not known for sure, it is suspected that there are one or more 'corridors' through the nebula known only to the pirates and smugglers.
The nebula is a suspected Pirate Haven but nothing more is known about it as the density of the gas clouds makes long-range surveys impossible. The only way to know for sure is to go there and check it out in person.
Lothlorien System (NGC-9952-L)
- The first and most important system in the sector is called Lothlorien (aka Lorien by the natives). This system has 12 planets in it; 5 gas giants and 7 hard-matter worlds, along with an impressive asteroid belt located between the seventh and eighth worlds. At the time of its discovery (Middle Imperial Period) the inhabitable planet (3rd from the Yellow-Dwarf sun) was covered in huge, pale trees with yellow-gold leaves (hence its name). About half of its Temperate areas still boast these massive Mallorn trees. These trees can grow to hundreds of meters in height and employ assorted heavy-metals (pulled from the mineral-rich soil) in their impressive construction. They are unique in Known Space for this reason, if for nothing else.
- The planetary politics are about equally divided between two mutually antagonistic governments. These two countries (Nova and Alt) heartily hate each other, and have done so for centuries. It is rumored that both sides are hiring offplanet mercenaries to help fight the war that is inevitable. Both sides understand their planets potential uniqueness, it's just that they both want to profit from it, and both governments are willing to see it die just to gain an advantage over the other.
- For the Far Travelers this is a potentially ugly situation that can only get worse. Logic dictates a full-scale intervention to protect the biosphere, however politics have assured that this is impossible. This situation needs to be defused as quickly and painlessly as possible, otherwise full-scale war will reduce this planet to useless ashes.
There are approx. 2.5 million non-human natives on this planet, mostly divided into racial enclaves across the planet. This includes several thousand Ka'bu'taa (Kay-Boo-Tah), otherwise unknown in Known Space.
- The Ka'bu'taa (former home planet Mee'ga) were dispossessed when their home planet was 'sanitized' during the Fall. This is the first time their descendants have been discovered. As a race they look like long, low, shaggy ten-legged dachshunds. They have an unequalled sense of smell and use it more than most races use sight. Their first two sets of (four-fingered) legs are used for manipulation. They are a long-lived race and reproduce seldom.
- The Far Travelers have several bases in this system, due to its importance. The first is the office and landing field at the starport on Lothlorien, on an island (Emin Muil) dedicated to the (Class B-Commercial) starport. The port office has about twenty beings working in it and access to a Free Trader-class starship.
Second is a publically known mining base in the asteroid belt (Tol Falas), crewed by less than a hundred beings with one Bulk Free Trader-class starship at their disposal.
The third is a secret base, located far out in the systems Oort Cloud (over one Light-Year away), this is a military base. It has no less than 4 fully-crewed Far Traveler 'warships' attached to it at all times. Its existence is to remain a secret at all costs.
- For purely ecological reasons it would be a good thing (nay, a great thing) if war could be avoided on this planet, if only to preserve a unique biosphere.
Numenor System (NGC-9954-L)
- The second system in this sector was named Numenor by the first Imperial Survey team. It has seven planets in the system, 5 hard-matter and 2 gas giants. It has no appreciable asteroid belt and an impressive Cometary Halo. Its inhabitable planet (4th from its Orange-dwarf Primary) is covered with a massive ocean, dotted with tiny to continent-sized islands.
To this day, this planet is still called Numenor by the natives. It is currently ruled by a single planetary government. They even play lip-service to the Emperor, to the point where they still elect an Imperial Governor (the only planet that has done this since The Fall). As far as the natives are concerned, the current Imperial Governor (the family scion of an old and impressive Noble clan) is still receiving political commands from the original Fraser Emperor. Numenor was originally designated as an Imperial Military Reserve Recreational Enclave (i.e.-Retirement Planet), because of this thousands of ex-Imperial Military soldiers were settled in this system.
Essentially everyone on the planet knows that the Old Empire fell hundreds of years ago, however no one (except a few serious conspiracy-theorists) are willing to publicly admit it. As the planet was originally colonized by a few old Imperial scientific oceanographers and a lot of retired soldiers (all of whom were unfailingly loyal to the Empire) it is no surprise that their descendants were willing to turn a blind eye to the fact that there were no Imperial Military vessels calling at the starbase for a few hundred years.
The current planetary governor was overjoyed to accept Far Traveler visitors, just so long as they held a treaty with the Emperor. The fact that there was an over two-century discrepancy between the Old Imperial Treaty and the New Imperial Treaty was, once again, overlooked by almost all the inhabitants. Those in charge on Numenor just look at it as the winds of politics.
- The Far Travelers have only one base in this system, the one at the (Class C) starport. The natives have 'claimed' all other potentially important places in the system (in the name of the Empire) and tend to get stubborn when confronted with this fact. This includes the two Imperial-Era Bastion-Class Defensive Starbases that orbit the planet, the only ones that haven't been claimed by either Confederation or Imperial Military Forces. These remain derelict, despite the planetary claim.
- There were rumors of a Grey Fleet being prematurely activated in this system. Until now, the Far Travelers have been unable to substantiate this rumor. Any information concerning this story would be greatly appreciated. Especially any information concerning what happened to the starships in the fleet that might have been revived.
Jennifer System (NGC-11463-L)
- The third system in this sector was named Jennifer by the Imperial Survey Team (this was a Late Imperial Period team, over a hundred years after the first team passed through). The Commander was obviously not a Tolkien scholar and it is thought that he named the system after his girlfriend. Also, this system is located very close the Mountains of Mordor Nebula and may have been difficult to spot by the instruments of the time. It has 6 planets in the system, only one of which is a gas giant. It also has a sparse asteroid belt between the second and third planets and a more impressive one beyond the orbit of the last planet. Due to its out-of-the-way location the Jennifer system became an Imperial R&D world, specializing in non-military genetic engineering (Oh, let's call it like it is and just say 'Recreational' Genetic Engineering). To this day it is one of the few systems that still has some Human genetic offshoots still living; such as mermaids, centaurs, and the satyr and nymph family. All of which were extremely popular in the Imperial Core Worlds just prior to The Fall.
The planet boasts several national governments, all of which tend to get along. Geologically, the planet is unremarkable.
- The starbase insystem is Class C. It should be lower, except for the alien presence in this system.
- In addition to the 'Created' Human offshoots, the Jennifer System boasts the only 'permanent' Children of the Blue Suns base known of in Known Space. It is located on the outermost planet. Control of this planet was granted to 'The Children' during the Late Imperial Period and no one has seen fit to argue the right to this day.
- There is also a small enclave of Meersha in this system. According to planetary archives, they have inhabited this system since before the Imperial Era. As is typical of this race, nothing more of any use can be learned from them.
Additional Systems of Note
(NGC-16644-E) Wild Space
- This is a sector of space where the normal laws of space and time do not apply. There is no star or any other stellar creation in this system that can be consistently charted. However, it is considered a major Hazard to Navigation by all races. Perhaps by sheer coincidence the only other sector of Wild Space known in this galaxy is near The Pleiades Sector, right next to The Children of The Blue Suns home planet.
- Be that as it may, avoiding this part of space is a good idea.
(NGC-16754-S3-I) The Back Alley
- This is an otherwise unremarkable uninhabitable system, containing a trinary system of yellow-dwarf stars, two brown-dwarf stellar bodies, six gas-giants, four hard-matter uninhabitable worlds, and thousands of asteroids scattered across the system. Except for its location (near the mouth of the Tolkien System), it has no obvious tactical advantages.
- Binary Yellow-Dwarf system with no planets and hundreds of thousands of asteroids.
(NGC-9959-V) The Silmaril
- This is an uninhabitable system with a blue-white Cephid Variable star. It has no planets, but a large asteroid cloud far out from the Primary.
(NGC-99561-A) Grey Havens
- A Blue-White Giant star with no worlds and millions of asteroid-sized worldlets. It is very close to Imperial dominions.
(NGC-10051-E) The Furnace
- An old Nova-remnant with no planetary system and an impressive gas-halo nebula.
- Orange-White star with at least ten hard-matter worlds and hundreds of thousands of asteroids, none of which can support life.
(NGC-0044-Pr) Nowhere IV
- An uninhabitable system with a protostar. It is listed as a Hazard to Navigation by Federation of Worlds, Imperial, Confederation, and Far Traveler records.
(NGC-99501-S3) The First Palantiri
- Blue-White-White Trinary system with no planets.
(NGC-99532-S2-I-A) The Second Palantiri
- Red-Giant/White-Dwarf Binary system with 2 Gas-Giants, 5 hard-matter worlds, and 2 asteroid belts. Also the 'Claimed' base of a known Privateer Fleet; "The Big Fish." This pirate-hunter group is known to consist of at least twelve FTL vessels. They carry 'Letters of Marque and Reprisal' issued by The Far Travelers. Despite this fact, they bear watching.
(NGC-99154) The Third Palantiri
- Red-Giant/White-Dwarf Binary system with no planets.
(NGC-99155-Pr2-I-A) The Barrow Downs
- Binary Protostar system with more than 12 hard-matter worlds and an impressive asteroid belt, surrounded by nebulous energy fields.
(NGC-12564-Pr-G) Lonely Mountain
- Single Yellow-White Protostar with 4 Gas-Giants and 3 hard-matter worlds, the second of which supports non-intelligent (Hydrogen3-Based) life.