This article originally appeared in the May/June 2018 issue.
The League of Antares
The League of Antares is a common-interests alliance within the Third Imperium, in Antares Sector and Subsector. The twelve member worlds were originally collectively known as the Antarean Cluster, prior to the Julian War, during which they were occupied by the Julian Protectorate. Upon the conclusion of that war, and the return of the worlds to Imperial control, the peace terms required that these worlds be given limited autonomy for local control of trade and commerce, and internal affairs. The League sits astride the junction between the coreward and rimward lobes of the Antares Main, and is also a gateway between the rimward portions of the Imperium and the sector capital at Antares proper.
Alnimes (Antares/Antares 2326) C587732-7 Ag Ri Im 304 G1V
Alnimes is a member of the League of Antares. The Alnimes system has a main sequence white sun(G1V) and five planets, four of which are gas giants suitable for skimming fuel. The only habitable planet in the system is Alnimes I.
Alnimes II – Barnum (Medium Gas Giant)
Barnum is a medium gas giant composed mostly of hydrogen and ammonia, with other trace elements. High amounts of tritium (3H) in the atmosphere make it a prime planet for skimming fuel. It has a ring composed of frozen water and frozen ammonia. Barnum is approximately 5 AU from the sun.
Alnimes III – Maejjun (Medium Gas Giant)
Maejjun is a volatile gas giant with raging storms in its upper atmosphere, that may extend downward hundreds of kilometers. The atmosphere is composed mostly of nitrogen, helium, and hydrogen, with other trace elements. It possesses 13 moons none of which has any atmosphere. Maejjun is 11 AU from the sun.
Alnimes IV – Tereil (Large Gas Giant)
Tereil has an atmosphere composed mostly of chlorine, methane, hydrogen (with a high fraction of deuterium (2H)) and trace other elements. It has 16 moons all of which are barren and largely unexplored. It is 19 AU from the sun.
Alnimes V – Deritius (Medium Gas Giant)
The atmosphere of Deritius is composed mostly of ammonia, bromine, hydrogen sulfide, and methane with some other trace elements. It has no moons and lies 28 AU from the sun.
Alnimes I – Alnimes (C587732-7)
- Routine quality space port, unrefined fuel only, Berthing cost 200 credits, routine repairs
- Planet diameter 8,250km, gravity .62 of normal
- Dense atmosphere 1.6 of standard. Low gravity coupled with the denser atmosphere leaves the sea-level pressure essentially standard, but the rate of pressure decrease with altitude is slower, with scale height at 1.6 of standard.
- Approximately 70% of the surface is covered with water.
- Population ~32,000,000, 99% human, 1% Vargr
- The hereditary oligarchs are led by one of their number holding an Imperial Barony; the remainder receive Imperially-recognized knighthoods.
- Known as an open planet, most personal weapons are unrestricted.
- Planetary manufacturing is relatively low, this is by choice. All goods of TL8+ are imported, with tariffs that effectively double the cost.
A temperate world located in the middle of the habitable zone (orbiting at just beyond 1 AU), Alnimes I has an axial tilt of 17 degrees providing moderate seasonal shifts and wide temperate zones with long growing seasons. The one natural satellite is a small, irregularly-shaped rock in a two-day orbit which has little influence on local tides. Alnimes is an agricultural world rich in resources.
Culture and History
Alnimes was largely settled by a ‘back to the land’ movement. The society is ecologically-aware, and wishes to keep the planet free of pollution; local development, including energy production, is developed along clean lines. There are many solar and wind farms near the major cities, and all roofing and street material is composed of solar capacitors in some form.
The population is primarily farmers, ranchers, and deep-sea fishers built on strong family/clan lines. It should be noted there is no open animosity among the various families or communities. All work at their profession and all strive to ensure their work is in cooperation with nature. While the population prefers an agrarian lifestyle they are not blind to the advances of technology. They just do not see the need to have a high degree of technology in their lives. Every family is headed by a hereditary noble.
The inhabitants trace their heritage back hundreds of years, and yet, despite all the time that has passed and the many changes that have taken place in society, they still live and work much as their forefathers did. For the people of Alnimes, family and farm are top priorities. Communities give freely of their time and skills to help each other, often coming to the aid of those in need. This in turn has kept the cost of an actual government to low levels, something the planetary nobility has encouraged.
Over time the ‘natives’ have adapted to the lesser gravity, and generally run taller and slimmer than the theoretical ‘Imperial norm’. Visitors are often referred to as ‘shorties’, and are easily discerned from natives by their poor coordination as muscles adapted to normal gravity often over-react in the lighter environment.
Alnimians wishing to travel off planet usually spend up to six months in special gravity domes (only available at the starport) to try and acclimate themselves to a near normal gravity field. The governor’s palace and most of the hereditary nobility have facilities built in the residence to generate a normal gravity field as they often travel off planet.
There are three continents on Alnimes. The largest continent, Kershan, stretches across the northern latitudes and has two significant projections toward the equator. Western Kershan has two major mountain ranges. There are several farming and ranching communities scattered throughout Western Kershan.
The major manufacturing center of the planet is located in the city of Barant, south of the equator on Western Kershan, with about 10% of the world’s population. Most of the Vargr population live in Barant.
Eastern Kershan is significantly smaller than Western Kershan but has a higher concentration of farming and ranching communities.
Between Western and Eastern Kershan likes the continent of Salliant. There are several farming and ranching communities on the continent. The planetary capital, Mimarrt, is also the site of the spaceport. About 12% of the population can be found here. The class C starport only offers unrefined fuel, but is capable of handling most repairs short of jump drive issues. There are no bases on the planet, and no TAS.
Avinor, with about 10% of the planetary population, is located on the eastern shore of Salliant. Avinor has an extensive food processing and packaging industry as well as a growing textile industry.
The continent of Morgenz is located east of East Kershan. It is not significantly settled though there are some ranching communities established here.
Flora and Fauna
Two noted fruits that grow only on Alnimes are preciples and orangles. Both are exported throughout the League of Antares.
Preciples are a fruit native to the planet. They have yellow-green skins and a taste that is reminiscent of an apple with cinnamon.
Orangles are descended from a sweet orange introduced when the planet was initially settled. Over countless years it has now adapted to the habitat and hybridized over multiple generations to become the fruit it is now. Still retaining its orange color, it has a sweet flavor with hints of cocoa.
The kuhfel is a long haired xenobovinoid animal, native to the plains and low hills. It stands 2.5 meters at the shoulder and has 3 horns on its head. Two major horns extend out from either side of the temple and a third smaller horn juts up in front of the nostrils. The two primary horns have an average span of 2 meters. Unlike many bovinoids, the kuhfel does not have hooves, but has three toes on each of its six feet with shovel-like nails to aid in keeping traction in the low gravity of Alnimes. The kuhfel is normally a passive creature preferring to run than to fight, but it has been known to turn and fight if the young are endangered, or if it has nowhere in which to run. In domestication it is used for its meat, hide, and hair. The hide and hair are used in the textile industry. Some ranches also use the kuhfel as a beast of burden. The average kuhfel has a mass between 2,500 and 3,000 kilograms.
The arelian is a large xenofelinoid predator inhabiting the plains and some mountain regions. They sport thick coats striped in light brown and pale yellow, though running somewhat darker among mountain arelians. The arelian is approximately 1.8 meters tall at the shoulder and masses 1,500—2,000kg. Like most native animals, it is a bilaterally-symmetric hexapod. The arelian is not a sprinter, but does possess a sudden burst of speed it uses when it has snuck up on its prey. Ranchers and farmers have to keep a wary eye for arelians as the beast hunts not on only kufel but human and Vargr as prey. They have been known to hunt by day or night. Arelian are predominately territorial and solitary creatures. They are favored creature for nobles to hunt; they are considered ‘good sport’, and the locals will encourage Travellers to go on safari to hunt the arelian.
The gotanaffe most closely resembles arboreal homindae such as the orangutan, though it, like most native animals, has six limbs. Its two upper arms stretch out longer than its body—over two meters from fingertip to fingertip—and are used to employ a “hookgrip”. The secondary arms are not quite as long but still quite strong and used in locomotion. When on the ground, they walk on their feet and primary arms, using their palms or their fists. Gotanaffe are covered in coarse hair ranging in color from brown to grey. They have tremendous strength, which enables them to swing from branch to branch and hang upside-down from branches for long periods of time to retrieve fruit and eat young leaves. Their brachiating is aided by having four upper arms. They are mostly solitary; however, dependent offspring will stay with their mother for the first two years. Fruit is the most important component of the gotanaffe’s diet; however, they will also eat vegetation, and smaller animals. Males range from 1.5 to 2 meters in height and can weigh between 130 to 180 kg. They are aggressive and often hunted for sport by nobles and travellers.
A rich agricultural planet, Alnimes’s main produce exports are wheat, barley, and fruits. There is also a thriving export business in meat and seafood as well as some lumber. There are no travel or trade restrictions. As a member of the League of Antares the planet has limited autonomy for control of trade, commerce, and internal affairs. With the relatively low gravity there are many larger than normal predators on both land and sea. This has made for a thriving hunting industry with the baron promoting several safari excursions every year.
Alnimes is something of an open port because of the relatively low law level. Many cargos are traded and moved from ship to ship. There may be an above average amount of pirated goods being exchanged at the port.
Farming on Alnimes often produces bountiful yields because of the lower gravity, long growing season, and relatively normal atmosphere. Produce, in the form of grain and native fruit, is the number one export of the planet. In addition, the slow falling rains (due to the lesser gravity) often make the growing season beautiful to watch.
The active military of Alnimes is relatively small. There is a single Patrol Corvette that the planet is responsible for manning and maintaining. In addition, the League keeps at least one additional Patrol Corvette in system to help maintain the space-ways, and collect refueling taxes if a ship tries to refuel at one of the gas giants. The space navy is bolstered by one squadron (24) of light fighters based at Avinor.
The active ground military is practically non-existent. However, there is a vast militia scattered about the planet. Due to the independent nature of many of the inhabitants almost everyone has some form of firearm at their home. Many will carry a weapon with them, as the wilderness is still largely untamed. For some reason inhabitants of Alnimes do not feel the need to maintain a low tech level with regards to their weaponry. Therefore, when the militia is called out the ground forces can easily reach 5 million, assembly can range from a few hours to a day.
The extensive farming communities are serviced by a constabulary based out of each major city. These police people offer aid and carry mail as often as they enforce the few laws of the land.
Cautions and Hazards
Off world visitors will suffer a DM-1 to all physical skill checks until they acclimate, a process which takes 1D weeks. Travellers with the Athletics (dexterity) skill do not suffer this penalty. It is recommended that travellers not staying for a protracted period, or planning to travel off-world frequently, maintain a program of physical exercise and sleep in normal gravity environments or suffer re-acclimation requirements when returning to their normal gravity.
Because of its out of the way location and its low law level, visitors are advised to go armed but be civil.
- The adventurers could be contracted to bring in a group to go on Safari in the ‘back’ country. They could be drafted to help with supplies and portage and may want to go hunting themselves.
- An off planet industry has been granted lots of favors and tax breaks to set up on the planet. It is conducting pharmaceutical experiments on the native flora to find new drugs. But they could also be involved in illegal research or testing on some remote farms or ranches that the gets discovered by the adventurers.
- The adventurers have heard that the spaceport is a place where pirated cargo is transferred, bought, or sold. They could be hired to find a special cargo.
- The adventurers decide to stake out the port to try to cash in on some high end bounties from visiting pirates and/or criminals to try and extract them for Imperial justice.