Monday, July 28, 2014

Approaching Kunlun Station

Art by Juan Ochoa

Time to get back to Strangers and Friends. You can see the original posts in the series here. Our goal with this project is to do a series of posts - one per Monday - profiling each of the people pictured in Juan Ochoa's illustration. We're using Mindjammer for this project, since I want to get familiar with that implementation of Fate Core.

Kunlun Station is the informal capital of Shining Lake Sectora Rimward region of space just beyond the Empire (the default space opera setting here at FATE SF). Kunlun Station was built by the R.U.R. over one million years ago, as part of an effort to resettle refugees fleeing the Core. The Kunlun system has one known slipknot connection, which leads to the R.U.R. industrial system of Fountain, deep within the Coreward region of R.U.R. space.

Arriving at Kunlun Station.  Pass the lonely gas giant with its entourage of moons, and go inward toward the sun. The only other object in the system is Kunlun Station. The station was built around a disk-shaped plate approximately 10 km wide on its rim side, and 1,000 km in diameter across the Plate. Most space vessels enter the station through one of the numerous ports on the rim, and then make their way to one of the numerous docking facilities deep within the station.

But the Station is far more than a plateworld. Indeed, from space that is the feature that is the station's least noticeable feature! The Mountain Zones, two huge mountain ranges, "rise" from either surface of the Plate. Each soars as much as 100 km above the Plates, with the highest mountains clustering toward the Plate's hub. The mountains are shielded by dome-like pressure curtains, which retain atmosphere within the two snow-capped mountainous hemispheres. A stable 1G is maintained throughout the upper and lower Mountain Zones, although gravity can be quite variable in strength and polarity once one is inside the Station itself. The casual observer notices rivers and streams and green mountain valleys. The careful observer sees the birds, mastodons and other megafauna, and the various small habitations, shrines, and monasteries.

Deep radar scans demonstrate that Kunlun Station has a central vacuity that is least 50 km deep and 50 km across - a cube, where the ancient "coin" had a missing square. The original structure must have been very similar to a number of ancient and long abandoned "Chinese coin" plateworlds scattered throughout the Near Rim. R.U.R. authorities state that this area is "sacred", and that they have never granted visitors access to the vacuity. But everyone who has been on the station for a while has a story to tell of an acquaintance, patron, or rival who has been there. Their reports vary considerably.

What else is inside the Station? Let's come in for a landing! Come back next time and we'll get oriented.

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