Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Draconis III

System: Draconis III
Hex Location: 2433
Star Type: Double (distant) B5 V, B2 V
Number of Worlds: 12, 15
Gas Giants: 3, 1
Planetoid Belt: Cometary and asteroid belts (x2)

Starport Type: D
World Size: Earth-sized
Atmosphere Type: Earth-like
Surface Water: 90%
Population: Small settlements (c. 800,000)
Political Affiliation: Vorgan Than Viceroyalty (Seraean Empire)
Tags: Quarantined World, Forbidden Technology, Warlock Academy
Notes: (As an aside, there's some funny results here.  What is a quarantined world and what is forbidden technology, when next door neighbors to the Vorgan Than Viceroyalty is the Voormellei Federation, who buy or capture slaves, kill them and reanimate their corpses as undead servitors, for instance.  You'd think that some of the Lovecraftian elements might be forbidden, and they are to most civilized peoples, but the Seraean and Old Ones cults both seek out Lovecraftian secrets as a matter of religious doctrine.  So, rather, I think it has to be something somewhat like nukes during the Cold War; controlled and forbidden by those who have them and everyone's afraid to use them, generally.  Any other solution runs into bizarre doctrine of social justice fallacies that ignore human nature; if the Seraean Imperials are supposed to be an evil empire, then they won't hesitate using forbidden weapons if they're effective, and the Bernese or Cilindareans, etc. can hardly ignore them if they will save their people from the worse fate of being conquered by the Imperials.  Weapons of mass destruction are not inherently evil, contrary to social justice fallacies.  They're just unpalatable, and we use them as a last resort.)

Draconis III, unlike the rest of the Vorgan Than, is a small research facility, and although it is administered and protected by the Vorgan Than satrap, it is in fact an important world to the Seraean Empire overall.  By law, the system is off-limits to any but authorized personnel, and authorization includes only military science officers, and other military units.  Other than the existence of the system, which can hardly be hidden given that it can easily be spotted by telescope, and it was known based on old star charts from the Marian Empire or immediately afterwards; before the Imperials claimed it.

While there are many projects in the Seraean cult to contact beings from the Outer Darkness and bring their alien, hideous form of life to the material universe, the project on Draconis III is among the most exciting—or dreadful and alarming, from the point of view of everyone else, should they but learn of it.  Vast beings of alien energy breach the boundary of the material universe here, maintained and controlled (somewhat) by the technology and float in space near Draconis III, making a frightening show of light and sound in the sky.  These beings find that solar energy empowers them; it is like a drug to them, and they absorb it at a terrific pace.

The theory is that these solar parasites, as they are unofficially called, could be unleashed on a star and within weeks so deplete it of energy that its shell would collapse, it would be unable to maintain fusion reactions, and it would go nova (or supernova, if sufficiently massive.)  This would obviously have a devastating effect on the system around the star, and even neighboring systems (well, within a few years).  In reality, the most likely result is that most stars would quickly burn out these solar parasites and kill them with nothing more than a little wobble in solar radiation.  But the theory is valid; just that they can't yet find sufficient numbers or sufficiently powerful solar parasites to actually blow up a star yet.  Much of the research done is more thaumaturgical rather than technological and tens of thousands of warlocks (and warlocks in training) work on the project, creating a de facto warlock academy; one of the most productive in known space, actually—although few are allowed to pursue other careers after their involvement in the project here.

This is "civilization ending" weaponry here, and the Seraeans are obviously quite discrete about it.  The research done in the Draconis III system is among the most secret in known space, and those who inadvertently find their way into this system without leave are usually destroyed with extreme prejudice.  The military presence here is quite strong for a frontier system, making this one to avoid.

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