Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
System - Pirate's Haven Star Cluster
Landmark on the edge of the Reaver's Rift
The Pirates Haven Star Cluster stands as a huge beacon at the crossroads of Periphery Space, marking the point where the Davion, Taurian and Pirate Periphery borders meet. The cluster was long deemed uninhabitable by contemporary explorers and colonists. Surrounded by a corona of dense radioactive molecular dust, it was long assumed that its systems were saturated with deadly radiation. They seem correct.
Even today, few facts are known about the Pirates Haven Star Cluster, a tightly packed cluster of over fifty stars, the Pirates Haven is literally just that. Various reports have identified at least two dozen different pirate bands that have regularly used the Cluster within the past few decades, but the few military expeditions sent into the Cluster have turned up very little. The tightly packed stars, wreak havoc with sensors and communications, and the gravity shear in unprotected locations is immense enough to tear apart visiting JumpShips.
Some of the stars have wildly erratic orbits. Others are held in the awkward gravitational grips of multiple stars. The center of the cluster holds a massive blue protostar, torn apart and kept from fully forming by the same powerful gravitational forces that make JumpShip navigation a deadly game. More than a few expeditions have never returned from the Cluster, likely victims of jumps that took them too close to some celestial body. There are reports of even more pirate ships lost the same way.
This is a cluster of very young, hot stars that formed from the contraction of a dense cloud of gas. The radiation from the stars causes the remaining gas to glow. Gas heated by the stars also crashes into the surrounding material, compressing and heating it, and causing it to emit light. Stars seen through the nebula appear greatly reddened as their blue light is scattered away by the gas. The surrounding nebula is a huge starbirth region that promises new stars to be born, and remains a startling landmark in the night skies of surrounding systems.
It has been rumored, from captured pirate/mercs who claim to serve them, that an organization known as “The Haven Consortium” resides within the cluster, occupying multiple worlds and providing a baseline government for the pirate organization known as Starlords – “The Brethren of the Void”.
Barnard’s Loop, as seen from Earth.
Barnard’s Loop is an immense gas cloud, often referred to as an “emission nebula”, named after the long-deceased pioneering astro-photographer Edward Emerson Barnard. The Loop is centered on the Badlands Cluster, whose dense cluster of stars grant the distinct ionization of its shell. Also within the radius of the Loop, lies the dark Horsehead Nebulae.
The “Loop” stretches in a large arc for hundreds of light years and is full of stars, but the central cloud is relatively empty, save for a few unremarkable T Tauris, red and orange dwarves. The center of Barnard’s Loop is very pink and light red.
Early Era : The Badlands Cluster was originally settled by the Taurian Concordat just prior to the Reunification War (around 2570). It was known then as the Badlands Cluster, which originally had one settled planet named Badlands. Prior to the outbreak of the First Succession War a second world, Lorkdal, had been settled.
The Succession Wars : During the Succession Wars, settlements in the star cluster were “lost” with the cluster eventually being considered to no longer be a part of the Concordat. Navigational difficulties, loss of HPG contact and the hostility of the planet combined with a general loss of technology to support the difficult colonies, has led to their disappearance. However, Pirate bands have been operating from the cluster primarily due to the difficulty involved in pursuing forces following them into it. The Badlands Cluster has since become known as the Pirates Haven Star Cluster due to this fact, and the name has remained.
* “The Iron Dingoes” discovered in mid-3025, that a functioning, if piratical society existed in the Cluster, consisting of at least four systems, though only one was directly habitable, with the remainder providing support through mining operations and agricultural services. These systems include;
In addition, at least one system has been established and claimed as a part of the Cluster organization, though its outpost is presently abandoned.