Dpres Subsector

Background Information:

Dpres subsector is an anarchic wasteland. There are a few lightly populated worlds, but no multi-world confederations or interstellar governments. The coreward end of the subsector is dominated by the Trojan Bight, a starless region of space (the term Outrim Void is applied to the Bight as well as the coreward subsectors of the Trojan Reach as a whole). The Bight is a near-impassable region, devoid not only of settled worlds, but of stars. The native race of Tktk tell legends of a time when warring gods ‘put out the eyes of night’, and fringe scientists have speculated about an Ancient weapon capable of snuffing out a star, and that there might be frozen planets in the Bight that were lost when their star was destroyed.

There are three Imperial client states in Dpres – Gabriel and Dostoevsky both contain research centres, while Dpres itself is an outpost of the Imperium intended to defend shipping and civilise the subsector. The Gabriel facility specialises in genetic engineering, while Dostoevsky’s researchers are exploring an underwater site believed to be of Ancient origin. The government of Dostevsky is divided on how to deal with the Imperium, and the world’s long-term status as a client is very much in doubt.

291-540 is an automated highport built to support trade links with the Florian League (291-540’s Red travel code refers to the world below, not the starport).

The world of Tktk is shared between human colonists and a native non-human species, also called the Tktk. These creatures resemble Chirpers and may be a genetically engineered variant of that race. The Tktk are unlikely to have evolved on this small worldlet, but human scientists have so far failed to find the Tktk’s world of origin. The Imperial Scout Service is currently considering mounting an expedition to Tktk and declaring the world a Red zone to safeguard the primitives’ culture.

Outside these small Imperial enclaves, the rest of the sector is in a state of near-chaos. The chain of worlds from Janus to Acis – officially the Sindalian Main, but also known as the Dustbelt - has been the site of hundreds of minor wars over the last few centuries. These conflicts began when expansionists took hold of Tyr and invaded neighbouring worlds. At the height of their power, the Tyrian Lordships held the entirety of the Dustbelt, as well as Dpres, Connaught and Solaria, but then exiles from Acis brought in Aslan mercenaries from the Glorious Empire. The Tyrian Lordships ended in a bloodbath, but the ensuing wars continue to this day.

Janus and Sagan in particular have suffered horribly from these conflicts; Janus was nearly depopulated by raiders from Tyr. Currently, Tyr and Acis are the two dominant worlds among these warring states.

Subsector Map:

Subsector Summary:

Name Location Bases Statistics Trade Codes Travel Code Allegiance Gas Giant
291-540 206 EABA000-0 Ba G
Acis 809 B885796-A Ag Ri G
Caldos 507 B530879-6 Na Ni Po De G
Connaught 205 D431153-9 Po Ni Lo
Delta Theta 410 B501610-9 Ic Na Ni Va G
Dostoevsky 308 R B678673-A Ag Ni An Imperium Client State G
Dpres 105 N B631689-A Na Ni Po Imperium Client State G
Gabriel 304 C310100-B Ni Lo Imperium Client State G
Hecarda 609 B560332-9 De Ni Lo G
Janus 406 C575321-7 Ni Lo
Lacidaeus 509 D100786-7 Na Ni Va Lt G
Sagan 607 C796453-8 Ag Ni G
Solaria 104 B665734-8 Ag G
Thalassa 803 B88A889-8 Wa Ri G
Tktk 808 D542640-6 Po Ni G
Tlazolteotl 604 D5409CD-7 In Po De Hi A Na G
Torrance 409 E560256-4 De Ni Lo Lt Na G
Tyr 608 A551557-B Ni Po Na G

Map Codesplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigBase Codes:

General Codes

Naval (N): A naval base is a supply depot, refuelling station, repair yard or fortress of either the Imperial Navy or the local sector navy. Naval vessels can obtain refined fuel and supplies here. Naval bases are always guarded by armed vessels and fixed defence. Ex-Naval Travellers may meet Contacts or Allies here, and mercenary Travellers can try to pick up work. Naval bases also have an advanced hospital, although it is normally available only to naval personnel. …

Subsector Worlds:

Dpres is the oldest inhabited world in the subsector, and was the capital during the fading days of the Second Imperium and Sindalian Empire. Since those days, Dpres has suffered terribly. The planet slipped into a minor ice age, sending glaciers rolling down over the once-fertile southern plains and freezing the harbours. The elected government collapsed, taking the electoral system with it, leaving the planet under the control of an unelected bureaucracy dedicated to perpetuating the status quo. Without an effective government, many of Dpres’ naval admirals fled the world. Torrance, Delta Thega and Caldos were all settled by unofficial expeditions from Dpres.

Through it all, the people of Dpres never lost their pride, and tried to maintain their reputation as a bastion of civilisation and culture amid chaos. It was especially humiliating, therefore, when Dpres was conquered by invaders from Tyr. The Tyrians held Dpres for over two centuries, during the period known as the Tyrian Lordships. During this time, many of the monuments and art of Dpres, including artefacts from Terra, were stolen and brought back to Tyr, where they decorate the palace of the Tyrant of Tyr to this day. The occupation was ended when Acis deployed Aslan mercenaries against the Tyrians, forcing Tyr to pull its ships back from Dpres to defend worlds closer to home.

Fearing another occupation by Tyr, Acis or even the Glorious Empire, the Dpres Continuity Government sought allies, and eventually negotiated client state status with the Imperium via Gazulin subsector. The coming of the Imperium and establishment of a small naval base at Dpres was welcomed, and seemed to herald a rebirth of Dpres’ supremacy over the rest of the subsector. So far, though, Imperial policy has centred around protecting trade routes with the Floriani and keeping the Glorious Empire and other Aslan clans in check, not building a new confederacy ruled from Dpres.

The oceans of Thalassa cover the entire planet – the only dry land is an artificial island bearing the planet’s spaceport, and a few tiny islands too small to support any sort of civilisation. The Thalassan cities are built on huge floating platforms of woven reeds, some of which are more than twenty kilometres across and support hundreds of thousands of citizens. Thalassan technology is almost entirely organic – the waterworld is rich in life, and the Thalassans have learned to use the alien biosphere to support their agriculture and industry.

One of the chief Thalassan industries is snail farming. The sea-snails of Thalassa have been bred for size and strength, and grow up to six metres in length. Their shells are water-tight and strong as light steel, and the Thalassans have developed organic compounds allowing them to cut and bond the shell material much as other cultures cut or weld metal. Various forms of seaweed are cultivated for use as plastics, clothing, food or medicine. There are a few resources the Thalassans cannot obtain from their watery world – they mine the asteroids and moons for vital metals, and trade with other worlds. One key technology the Thalassans obtained from the world of Neumann was a genetic modification allowing humans to breathe underwater. The amphibious families of Thalassa comprise a special caste, respected but also feared by their fellows.

The Thalassan government is made up of a series of councils, each overseeing a particular aspect of Thalassan society. Membership on a council is given to those best suited to it – a Thalassan may apply for membership when an opening arises, and is given a gruelling series of exams and tests. Only the best and most suited serve on the councils, and even being accepted for testing is a huge honour.

The most important is the Council of Cycles – as the cities of Thalassa drift on currents at different speeds and in different directions, correctly calculating where each city will be and how it should interact with its neighbours is vital. A city in the doldrums might run low on food, so the Council of Cycles will arrange for food to be transferred along a chain of cities to one which will soon drift near the stranded community. The Council of Cycles effectively specialises in using weather and the mechanics of currents to optimise the planetary economy.

Their experience of anticipating and co-ordinating events has given the Council of Cycles a talent for manipulation and subterfuge that even a Hiver would envy. Thalassa will never be a military power in this war-torn subsector, but Thalassan envoys and trade representatives have the ear of every ruler from Dpres to Acis.

This world was named Burgundy when initially colonised. Most of the colonists were Terrans from various European and Asian countries, as well as humans from second-generation worlds like Mars or the Centauri colonies. There were also a few special-interest groups of a few hundred people, each who bought space on the colony ships – fringe religions fleeing persecution, obscure subcultures looking for space to grow, explorers and adventures, and other splinter factions who thought a new life out on the frontier was preferable to life back in the Rule of Man.

One of these groups was an almost-forgotten band of a few dozen settlers originally from Central America on Terra, who were devotees of the vanished Aztec culture. They intended to build a community modelled on the Aztecs in the jungles of Burgundy, and vanished into the thickly forested wilderness of the western continent.

The colony thrived for hundreds of years, and was part of the Sindalian Empire until its fall. Then, around fifteen hundred years ago, Burgundy was hit by a double catastrophe. Pro- and anti-Sindalian factions within the Burgundy government went to war, and the war quickly went nuclear. Simultaneously, the Burgundy star entered a flare period, scrambling computer systems and causing massive desertification. The planet collapsed into anarchy, and the people were open to any authority who could bring order and peace, no matter how strange or cruel.

From out of the jungle came the descendants of the neo-Aztecs. Their population had grown hugely, and they were much more adept at using low-technology weapons than the other factions. Within a generation, they were able to pacify the war-torn world and establish a new order on Burgundy, then renamed Tlazolteotl.

Today, Tlazolteotl is a major exporter of low-technology industrial goods to all the worlds of the Sindalian Main. Aztec-inspired culture and art is everywhere – the factories that rise out of the desert sands are more like temples than industrial facilities, stepped pyramids decorated with coiling dragons and leering warriors. Human sacrifice is practised extensively, and the government is in the hands of the priest caste. The average citizen of Tlazolteotl knows nothing about the larger galaxy (history books and educational texts were purged generations ago), and believes the universe is full of space devils and demons who the priests ward off with their magic. Visitors to Tlazolteotl are advised to land only at the starport/temple – landing elsewhere on the planet is likely to result in bloody murder at the hands of an ignorant mob.

Two hundred years ago Torrance’s star entered a period of intense flare activity. Plumes of flame licked out, incinerating the closest planets and searing the world of Torrance. The oceans boiled – not quite literally, but rising temperatures and radiation wiped out most life forms, including a species of algae native to Torrance. The rotting remains of the algae poisoned the seas, leaving the planet’s water undrinkable without extensive processing. Electromagnetic interference ruined the planet’s technological base, destroying computers and plunging it back into a pre-industrial state.

Other worlds have investigated Torrance, and found no survivors. According to most Travellers, Torrance is a dead world (and is noted on many charts as Peroi, a Sindalian word meaning lost). The solar activity is still so intense that the chances of a ship making it to within the hundred-diameter limit of Torrance's main planet without suffering severe damage to its sensors are slim.