Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Neferre

System: Neferre
Hex Location: 2229
Star Type: Single M6 V
Number of Worlds: 7
Gas Giants: N
Planetoid Belt: Comet belt and three asteroid belts

Starport Type: C
World Size: Moon-sized
Atmosphere Type: Earth-like
Surface Water: 50%
Population: Super-populated (unknown; more than 10 billion)
Political Affiliation: Voormellei Federation (Allies of Carrick Grand Duchy)
Notes:  For many years, Neferre was little more than a planet sized prison.  The worst of prisoners (or the most dangerous) were deposited on its surface and left to their own devices, trusting that the primitive environment would render them unable to escape, and orbital robotic satellites targeted any potential cobbled-together craft that the prisoners might have been able to make.  With the fall of the Marian Empire, the planet was no longer used as a prison, and the robotic satellites were allowed to degrade and falter, due to there not being anyone around who cared to maintain them.


The prisoners (and their descendants) on the other hand were gripped in the hands of barbarism.  Criminals and political prisoners who had no shortage of loyal fellow prisoners to call on, established themselves as warlords and did as they pleased on the surface of the planet, marshaling the intelligent to build brutal yet effective poles of civilization on the surface.  Balkanized to the extreme, and usually along racial lines, they developed a strange warrior-ethos planet, usually barbaric, but with pockets of surprisingly effective technology (not unlike Mongo of Flash Gordon fame, in many ways.)  But the natives hadn't quite managed to get back off-world—and nobody on the surface remembered in person, anymore, the greater Marian society that their ancestors had lived in, except in legend—when greater trouble struck.

Neferran dog soldier
Reavers started raiding the surface, killing, looting, and enslaving the people.  The Death Sages started kidnapping them for slavery as well, or killing and then reanimating them.  Dhangetan criminals saw them as rubes under no protection other than their own.  The people became even more feral, if possible, turning their balkanized kingdoms and fiefdoms into enormous fortresses, to better ward off attack by their rivals on surface, or their enemies from off-world.  Between these gargantuan fortress-cities with their teeming billions of citizens, the planet is divided into feral no-man's zones; hostile and crawling with bandits, and genetically modified predators, and worse.

Finally, the former prisoners were able, after reverse engineering spacecraft shot down by their defenses, to themselves get off-world and reintegrate into interstellar society.  But even today, there is no one government on Neferre, and although it's considered part of the Voormellei Federation, it's more accurate to say that some of the independent nations on the surface are part of that federation, while others are doing their own thing.  Their legacy as a people with no rights at all shows on the inhabitants of Neferre; many of which are experimental cyborgs, or travesties and abominations of genetic experimentation that no civilized nation would have allowed.  Even today, it has a reputation as a lawless, feral place; worse than a hive of scum and villainy; a nest of the worst of vipers, and a place that is little better than a death sentence to visit, except for the exceptionally prepared.

That said, the wars that constantly range across its surface have not only created a demand for mercenaries, but also given local soldiers experience that they can bring to bear in the service of more cosmopolitan warlords, and the feral, often cybernetic dog soldiers of Neferre, as they call themselves, are now seen in many places in nearby systems, especially among the Dhangetan worlds, who are as a rule less scrupulous about their vassals anyway.

There is, however, a more cosmopolitan and urbane elite who rule the megacity nations, and more than just soldiers and criminals have reason to come to Neferre.  Industry, agriculture, fish "ranching" and other trades provide sufficient incentive for many to come buy.  In fact, it is exactly these cultured and sophisticated elites who pushed for the alliance of the Voormellei Federation with the Carrick Grand Marches—in general, the death sages were largely indifferent, and many of them yet oppose the alliance privately.

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