Dusk

Dusk System

Dusk.jpg

Ruler Domitor Kerima Vajra (Abwehr), Duke Theodore Heidgard (Sayshel), Duke Leander Kiergard (Delphian)
Cathedral none
Agora Aesir
Garrison 7
Capital Northblock Central (Sayshel Collective), Kozhikode (Abwehr Citadel), New Andyra (Delphian Alliance)
Tech 6
Human Population 2.9 billion
Alien Population Unknown
Jumps: 2
Resources: industry, ores, minerals (deuterium, neuronium), slaves
Exports: None

Solar System

Star: Mercy (white star)
Planet Name Distance from Star notes
Morning 0.152AU
Axion 0.655
Dusk 1.244AU
(Cyx) moon
(Negril) moon
(Anvil) moon
(Heydrich Defense Space Station) spacestation
(Caliburn Defense Space Station) spacestation House Heidgard - wrecked
Dolorius 21 AU over 40 moons
Night 38AU 12 moons
Jump gate 51.65AU

Beyond the Romagnol Jump gate looms a new barbarian threat to the Galactic Imperium, the paranoid and highly militarized world of Dusk. Isolated since the Fall of the Second Republic, the people of Dusk, divided into several opposing nations, have brought their world to its knees through nuclear war and now survive in a world spanning atomic winter. Brutalized, desperate, highly motivated and more technologically sophisticated than the average world under the Star Throne, Dusk could equate any Galactic Imperium Major House in firepower and determination. If allowed to roam free into the Empire Dusk would seriously shake the foundation of interstellar civilization, but who has the power to put Dusk in its place, denying them escape to livable territories?

Dusk is completely shrouded by a blanket of thick rolling clouds, here or there, gaps in the clouds reveal patches of snowy white or frosted black maxicrete. From space, it does not appear like a candidate for habitation, but Dusk teems with a vast and restless subterranean population, making it a dangerous sleeping giant. It is a bitterly cold arctic planet, virtually devoid of vegetation or natural atmosphere, although giant atmosphere processors create breathable regions underground and in some surface urban areas. The planet’s wintry condition is the result of nuclear winter, and permanent damage is evident in most major landforms, cracks showing in the planet’s crust.

History

Bleedtouched rebels who had resisted the governing corporations of Romagnol and neighboring worlds accidentally discovered Dusk early in the 27th century GD. Having been defeated by pantheon forces, the surviving rebel ships fled to the Romagnol Jump gate to escape to the Gwynedd free zone, but something went wrong and the revolutionaries found themselves in a strange new system containing a hospitable First Earth-like planet orbiting a young, white star. Having eluded their pursuers, the dissidents went about setting up a small colony, and Dusk soon became a magnet for dissidents from a dozen systems and the population grew fast. With a relative low population and plentiful resources, the anarchistic model of non-government flourished for over 150 years.

But late in the 28th century GD the external pressure from noble houses proved too much, and the rebels negotiated their surrender. Eventually the nobles’ power waned and the Republic’s rose. Dusk, by now a center of commerce and learning, thrived as a liberal democracy and vigorously resisted the growing encroachment of the Sectus and nobility, and with the Fall Dusk fielded an advanced fleet to preserve its autonomy. Despite a strong Dodekatheon presence on the world, the Dusk government resisted external threats from the ascendant Ten Houses and, rather than capitulate to what it saw as a prevailing feudalism and religious fanaticism, closed the Dusk system gate – seemingly forever.

As the New Dark Age spread throughout the Galactic Imperium, Dusk fell prey to its own problems behind its sealed Jump gate. Formerly a major export of military and domestic goods, without its customer base the planet slumped into a centuries-long depression. Even worse, the local star has become dangerously unstable, turning depression into desperation. Soon, conflict followed, and then a civil war lasting 7 centuries as the planet broke into a hundred warring factions. The situation worsened in the 48th century GD as the Northern Hemisphere stabilized along three axis of power: the remnants of the Second Republic government, which held power on the continent of Croven; the Sayshel Collective on Tsaerdik continent; and the White Tigers, a noble alliance of Dodekatheon descendants on the continent of Delphia.

The stakes were raised as competition for resources, fueled by ideological hatred, drove the planet into a centuries-long nuclear arms and shelter race. Vast underground complexes were built as the northern countries prepared for nuclear war, their war-machine industries taking complete control of most government functions.

In 4785 GD a minor skirmish between the Croven Republic and the Tsaerdik Navy escalated into full-blown nuclear war. Taking advantage of this conflict, Delphia entered the war on the Tsaerdik side. The Northern Hemisphere erupted into a nuclear conflagration that lasted over a month. Tsaerdik and Delphia became wastelands, while the Croven Republic ceased to exist.

Reval, one of two nations in the Southern Hemisphere, blamed the northern countries for the planet’s ruin and has now become a brutal military dictatorship under the Abwehr Citadel. After attacking its fellow southerners in the Zigo continent, the Abwehr Citadel now eyes the weakened and divided north with fanatical race hatred. Feeding its population’s sense of xenophobia, paranoid and inherent superiority, the Abwehr Citadel has become the world’s preeminent military power, the war machine kept funded by resources captured and using war-prisoners as slaves.

Desperate for outside aid the White Tigers fleet of Delphia managed to skirt the Citadel’s space blockade and reach the Jump gate, sending envoys into both neighboring systems sometime in the final years of the Primacy Wars. In the Romagnol system the White Tigers made contact with their Dodekatheon distant cousins, but little aid could be spared as the world was heavily mired in the Primacy Wars. Still, Romagnol sent what it could, enough to stave of Delphia’s annihilation for a few more years. With Chryselios’ peace in the Galactic Imperium Romagnol was able to increase its support of Delphia while keeping the existence of Dusk secret, hoping to eventually adding a new planet to the Dodekatheon fold. Around the turn of the millennium however, the secrecy failed and Dusk became known to the Galactic Imperium.

Since then the military machine of the Abwehr Citadel has also become aware of the aid being funneled to Delphia and has secured the Dusk Jump gate behind a massive mine field making access to the system extremely hazardous and cutting the Dodekatheon supply lines.

The remains of the Delphia fleet is now scattered about the Dusk system engaging in hit and run tactics against their enemy. House Heidgard has all but lost the war, until recently it maintained the Caliburn Defense Station in Dusk orbit, but this structure succumbed to sabotage in late 5009 GD and was destroyed by the massed Abwehr Citadel Fleet. The hulking wreck of the station can still be seen orbiting the primary planet.

The people of Dusk, estimated to number about 2.9 billion, were divided into polarized states looking at their neighbors with paranoia, race hatred, self-righteousness, and jealousy. Through war, poor environmental practices and sheer bad luck, Dusk’s citizens face a planet that is breaking down on almost every level. As the planet spins farther away from it’s star and volcanic clouds fill the sky, the world suffocates in an eternal soot-laden winter. In this toxic, frozen atmosphere, plant life has become virtually extinct on land. Ocean life survives only in those few pockets where volcanic vents produce enough heat without too much radiation.

Vast subterranean hydroponics farms and atmosphere processors provide the breathable air, although those who wish to leave the civilized areas must carry their own oxygen supply as dangerous gasses and “grit” pollutes the atmosphere. Furthermore, the cataclysm has shaken the planet from its orbit so that it travels a little farther away from the sun with each passing year, the average planet temperature dropping by about one degree Fahrenheit every year.

Locations

Dusk has seven major landmasses: Tsaerdik, Torga, Reval, Zigo, Nir, Croven and Delphia, surrounded by largely frozen oceans. Though the entire planet shares the scars of nuclear war and winter, the Northern Hemisphere is far more damaged than the South.

Tsaerdik
Tsaerdik is ruled by the Sayshel Collective, a highly organized despotic plutocracy (the wealthiest), a corrupt government ruling through brute force, propaganda promoting the collective’s political objectives (including that religion is a lie), and generally keeping the public down trodden, too weary and demoralized to rebel while accepting whatever work offered as a means to earn the day’s meal. The land was heavily bombed during the war, and vast portions of the continent are totally uninhabitable due to radiation poisoning. Few citizens have private access to running water or electricity, and large portions of the cities are clogged with human waste and are breeding grounds for disease. Mining, heavy industry and underground collectivized factory farming forms the basis of Tsaerdik economy, while the plutocrats accumulating almost all profits. In the last decade one third of the continent once belonging to Tsaerdik has been conquered by Reval Abwehr Citadel).

Togra
Togra has been controlled by the Syshel Collective for centuries, and is a frozen hell at the planet’s northern pole. There is little activity beyond a small enclave of gulag prisons and mining facilities harvesting the rich mineral resources in the area (including neuronium, a natural, room-temperature superconductor).

Reval
The nation of Reval, the nexus of the Abwehr Citadel, is the undisputed superior power on Dusk. The nation avoided the worst effects of the nuclear war 22 decades ago, and is today mostly clean and orderly, with a certain degree of technology permeating the general society. Indeed, in terms of technological sophistication, Reval exceeds most places in the Galactic Imperium. Despite this, a sense of paranoia prevails among the citizenry. Assured of its holy destiny by its priesthood, Reval sees its complete domination of Dusk as the only way to save the dying world. All aspects of daily life – education, family, work, sexuality, science and religion – are subordinated the service of the state. Reval is militarily superior to any other power on Dusk, with a spacefleet technologically comparable to most house armadas, though smaller in size, yet growing with every season. The state religion is a “blood and soil” faith, seemingly blending pagan reverence for their land – blessed by the blood of its martyrs – and bastardized Universal Faith elements (with its own patriarch and inquisition). The continent of Zigo, once a peaceful and agrarian society who allied with Reval in defense against the northern powers, has in the last years been completely conquered by Reval. It is now ruled by a puppet regime answerable only to Reval, although several impotent rebel cells are trying to regain control.

Nir
Nir, Dusk’s southern polar region is not really a continent at all, but a massive ice sheet. It has no notable resources, although the Abwehr Citadel has long since claimed it for themselves and Nir now host a strange luxury hotel (the Panglossia) where generals, officials and VIP families retreat to rest and party. Panglossia also sometimes serves as a diplomatic meeting place, and is designed to demonstrate Citadel esthetics, ethics, and superiority.

Croven
Croven was the former seat of the surviving Second Republic governorate, but now it is a twisted necropolis of fetid radioactive lakes, sunken ruins and blasted stone. Background radiation still paints the region an eerie blue at night, and only certain Misfits or those shielded by protective clothing can survive here. Volcanic instability and numerous gas vents adds to the radiation dangers here, and the “Well of the Infernal”, a gigantic whirlpool that is slowly draining the surrounding sea into the bowls of the world through a great fiery fissure, threatens to slowly destroy the very planet. All three of the planet’s major powers have used Croven’s coastal regions as dumping grounds for their waste, both industrial and human.

Delphia
Delphia is the sole seat of noble rule on Dusk, and perhaps the most familiar place for Galactic Imperium visitors. Once the domains of House Heidgard, House Kiergard Clan, and the House of Gualdi, these powers have now been completely occupied by Reval soldiers and it is believed that the surviving population is forced to choose between taking their chances in the radioactive hell above ground or face Reval re-education camps. Many have chosen to take their own lives instead.

Dusk

Silver Age Beyond brightwyrm