Monday, June 23, 2014

Strangers & Friends: Shining Lake Sector

Shining Lake Sector is a vast region of space located just beyond the Empire. Shining Lake Sector is a prosperous autonomous zone - one with many local conflicts due to the prosperity of the sector. In this politically turbulent zone, factional alliances are often quite fleeting, and the plethora of micro-polities that may rule one or several systems rise and fall quickly.

The sector has both human and alien species, with humans belonging to one of two gene lines:
  • East Asians who arrived in the sector on the free trader and colony vessels of the Early Diasporic Era.
  • Comet Barbarians whose clan movements crisscross sector boundaries between the Empire and the Shining Lake Sector. The most prominent clans include: 
    • Green Comet Barbarian clans that have migrated outward as the Empire's borders expanded; these tribes form the core of the Legio I Green Banner Army
    • The Black Comet Barbarian clans, who form the core of Legio V and Legio X; and 
    • The Gold clans who maintain several "independent" pirate fleets that invariably target any interests or powers that get in the Empire's way.     
Three prominent alien species also have a presence sector-wide, but none have their origins here. The sector's de facto capital, Kunlun Station, started its existence one million years ago as a vast refugee relocation facility. Built by the R.U.R., Kunlun Station was established using a slipknot connection from Fountain, an industrial system in a coreward region of R.U.R. space. Through the Fountain slipknot, three endangered species fleeing the Anti-Consciousness at the galactic core were evacuated from the Embattled Wavefront and helped by the R.U.R. to resettle in Shining Lake Sector:
  • Parturitionists, a species of giant arachnids that have established friendly relations with humans. The Parturitionists helped the first pioneers from Earth establish new human populations in this sector. Parturitionists and humans have co-colonized many worlds in the sector, and on some worlds have even established households together. 
  • Dragonbeams, a long-bodied, double-winged avian insectoid species. Dragonbeams avoid FTL travel, claiming it disrupts their consciousness. Instead, they visit other worlds by beamcasting their consciousnesses through hyperwaves. Their 'casts are then downloaded into prefabricated bioroids on destination worlds.
  • Broughtlow, an extremely warlike species of insectoid 'hoppers. Shortly after their relocation to Shining Lake Sector, it became clear that the Broughtlow were not only a warrior race, but also xenophobes bent on exterminating other species. The R.U.R. acted quickly, using genegeneered viruses and other methods  to diminish this species. The resulting alterations in the Broughtlow genome caused a rapid crash in their intellectual capacity. The Broughtlow are no longer capable of piloting or navigating spacecraft, or of building technology above a  T3* level. They are still apt mercenaries, however, and are capable of using modern arms and armor with the assistance of a maintenance crew.
Numerous other minor species exist in the sector as well, such as the Ruhai (the kneeling winged figure depicted in the image at the top of this post). 

As noted above, most inter-system conflicts in Shining Lake Sector are economic in nature. They are due to competition over the particularly lucrative trade with R.U.R. space. The sector is largely friendly to the Empire because the dominant economic force in the sector - the R.U.R. - are the Empire's closest allies. The Empire in turn protects its R.U.R. allies and trade in the sector.  The Empire garrisons Legio XIV Lanterns of the Star Silk Road.on Kunlun Station, and as well as at several other critical trade outposts and worlds in the sector. Finally, the pirate fleets of the Gold Comet Barbarians also look after the Empire's interests, reducing the need for the Empire to maintain large battle fleets in the sector.

Next time we'll look at Kunlun Station itself. It's the heart of Shining Lake Sector.

*Using the Mindjammer scale.

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