Gengfok's lack of any appreciable atmosphere leaves it in a perennial icebox
state. There are no gas giants in the system, but half the world is covered by
ice, thus providing its residents an easily accessible source of volatiles and
fuel. It wasn't until the Vilani developed two parsec jump technology that the
First Imperium colonized the system.
Although the asteroid belts provided plenty of usable ore for Sharusharid, the Bureau considered operating costs too high and sold mining leases to those belters who thought the system was worth the effort.
The world entered a prolonged depression with the fall of the First Imperium. Under the Second Imperium, Sharusharid was not permitted to operate as it once had and could not be counted on to subsidize operations at Gengfok. Once the Second Imperium collapsed, the lawlessness of the Long Night drove the belters away and the world shut down.
The world lay unclaimed for centuries. Corsairs and heavily armed belters were the few who would enter the system. Finally in 821, Dae Gengfok persuaded the Kedhnang Combine to provide protection to his small mining corporation in order to take advantage of the still unexploited resources within the system's three belts. He kept the operation small so as to minimize costs and named the world after himself.
After the Kedhnang Combine joined the Ngath Confederation, word got out that there was work to be had on Gengfok. While the opportunity present was exaggerated, it put the system's potential on the Confederation's radar. Eager to protect its natural resources, the Confederation constructed a naval base and began to recruit heavily from the mainworld. With their protection, a new Belter licensing program was established to exploit the system's asteroids. Gengfok hopes that the extra revenue and traffic will spur the upgrade of the starport to a B rating and provide capital for much needed technological investment.
Mining and ore refining continue to be the two top industries and have provided many jobs for working class vargr. While there aren't any environmental concerns, Gulius Gengfok has decreed that worker safety is important. However, the limitations of the local tech level makes for ingenuitive solutions and offworld imports of safety equipment. However, these considerations make life on this miserable world tolerable.
This is a frigid world orbiting a pair of wet matches. Its very thin exotic
atmosphere is composed of chlorine, argon, krypton, and xenon. However,
atmospheric pressure is so low that the chlorine is a minor irritant at worst.
While orders for these gasses are few and far between, the system's two asteroid belts and three gas giants constitute 99.9% of the local economy. In the past, the world was nothing more than a fueling station or a place for interpid belters to test their mettle. But all that has changed. While not as successful as Igvaellrarr (Windhorn 1736), the locals are doing their best to emulate that business model. While they have a long way to go, there's a clear path now, something that this world has lacked.
During the Ziru Sirka, Ksogzgoghokh—back then it was
Lashagushishla— was an agricultural products exporter. The world orbits
its sun far closer than one might expect, thus providing sufficient warmth
during the day. Nights are rough due to the thin atmosphere. Temperature
sensitive crops are grown in greenhouses.
Like so many worlds in the area, the arrival of vargr during the Long Night gradually saw the vilani population emigrate rimward. There is still a small human enclave on the world. While the aggregate number is small—the world only has 9,000+ sentients—humans make up 33% of the total.
There were far more vargr on the world at one time, but a mutation in a protozoan that has a symbiotic relationship with local food crops has led to an allergic reaction among mammalian species, including human and vargr. The protozoan attacks hair and fur when temperatures are above 0°C, and its activity is directly proportional to temperature. Besides patchy hair loss, the victim must endure relentless itching in the afflicted areas. Humans have adapted by shaving their bodies during warmer months and thus are spared. As shaving is anathema to vargr, they emigrated en masse. The few who remain have resorted to various tactics to cope, some going so far as to withstand the humiliation of being "hairless" until cooler days return.
The resultant population is now far too low for the world to be the agricultural powerhouse it once was. New strategies are being considered to cope with the situation.
The system existed as nothing more than a refueling stop for centuries and was abandoned during the Long Night. Some enterprising vargr moved in looking to monetize the system's resources. It worked well enough to support several families for generations, but disgruntled elements utilized the small security force to overthrow the government and institute more aggressive revenue generating policies. So far, it has met with limited success.
Ngudhae is a young world. Volcanoes are still quite active in building land
masses and bulking up the atmosphere. Yet half a million people are brave enough
to eke out a living here. To those vargr and humans (5% of the population),
there is a treasure trove of mineralogical wealth to be had.
The geological instability has inhibited the development of infrastructure. As such it lies in a paltry state. The downport has room for only 1000 dtons of vessels on its landing platform. The governing bureaucracy is consumed with accounting for the excavated ores, making sure miners pay their share of export tax on said ore and mapping the latest archipelago to emerge from the sea. Permanent settlements are risky on the surface; undersea communities seem to be better suited to the tumultuous conditions.
An agricultural world in its early days, Aeksongangdzatsae has since grown so
much that it welcomes food imports to assure that its burgeoning population is
adequately fed. In areas where agriculture is unprofitable, manufacturing has
taken over, leading to a world with a well-balanced global economy.
Unlike many a former vilani world, Aeksongangdzatsae has actually made plenty of technological advances and has become a leading research and educational center in the Confederation. While it can not compete with the likes of recently captured Gemid (Vland 1903), it offsets its technological disadvantage by being open and welcoming to all Confederation citizens, unlike the secretive administration controlling Gemid.
With the recent rise in tension with its trailing neighbor, the 17th Disjuncture, the Ngath Confederation has fortified its border with naval assets. The base in the Aeksongangdzatsae system is meant to secure this prize and deter any foolish attempts to expand spinward.
Largely neglected by the Ziru Sirka, Oerrghollrroedh rose to prominence
during the Rule of Man as a tourist destination during local summers (36°
axial tilt) and aquacultural exporter year round. When the Long Night kicked in,
vargr moved in and displaced a majority of humans. Still, a number of them
refused to leave a place they considered paradise. They live amicably with the
There are a vast number of island archipelago nations, floating city-states composed of fleets of tankers, underwater cities, and a few large islands that make up the largest nations. There are also several city-states among the asteroid belts where belters haul their ore in to be processed. Aeksongangdzatsae (Windhorn 1634) is the number one destination for their exports and the number one source for the tourists.
Uenggvuenug stands in direct contrast to Ikhog. While the populace there
frowns on corsair activity that strays from traditional practices, there is no
such compunction here. Still, the corsairs obey the Confederation's ban on
attacking Confederation shipping. Unike the base at Angvae (Vland 2203), there
is no real sense of camraderie. There is a fair amount of competition over who
got the better haul from the pinkies, and they are not above settling things
with teeth and claws.
In the background lies the small belter community, primarily made up of the few humans that call this place home. Their taxes go towards paying for a small security force which ensures that the corsairs don't accidentally mistake these Confederation humans for the Imperial variety.
Based on library data that appears in "The Flaming Eye"
There are many misperceptions about the vargr among humans. One of them is that all corsairs are ruthless thugs. While it is true that many are, piracy in the Extents has been an honorable tradition. It is the hunt extrapolated to the space lanes. It has a romantic air to it, akin to the novels and movies about buccaneers of old Terra. While many have eschewed this path, the denizens of Ikhog prefer the traditional view of that occupation.
That isn't to say that the Ikhogians are all pirates. The opposite is the case. Ikhog's prosperity is the direct result of many successful business enterprises. It has a healthy manufacturing base, but to maintain its appeal to tourists, the nations have agreed to avoid the trap of rampant industrialization and abide by mutually agreed upon environmental regulations. As an added benefit, Ikhog's has a thriving agricultural industry. This diverse blend of corporate endeavors manifests itself in the uniquely vargr art and architecture which has blossomed over the years.
So the Ikhogians have taken to sponsoring several corsair bands who meet their strict criteria for personal conduct. These patrons live vicariously through these swashbucklers, savoring their tales of mischief. That isn't to say that all corsairs found on Ikhog are savory characters. It just may be that their cunning is such that they are able to keep their dark deeds hidden and they'll do anything to maintain that ruse rather than lose their adoring public.