Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
System - Dumassas
Former Taurian Colony System
Dumassas – Periphery Colony World
One of the first major worlds settled during the expansion of the Taurian Concordat prior to the Reunification War, Dumassas was one of the oldest colony systems in the region. Today, isolated from its parent nation, the planet has developed into a hotbed of dissent and rebellious, independent people. The recent repair of the system’s HPG has brought it, however, once more into the attention of the Inner Sphere.
Political Ruler : Disputed – N/A
Star Type : G2VI (Temperate) – (183 Hours)
Position in System : 3
Time to Jump Point : 9.11 days
Number of Satellites : 1
Surface Gravity : 0.83
Atmo Pressure : Standard (Breathable)
Avr Mean Temp : +15.6 C (Cold-Temperate)
Surface Water : 30%
Recharge Station : None
HPG Class Type : B – Precentor Thomas Kaspian
Highest Native Life : Mammal analogs, Insects.
Socio-Industrial Level : X
Population : (3025) 20,360,000.
The Dumassas system consists of three standard inner system planets, and two medium-sized gas giants orbiting in the system’s outer region. Dumassas Prime is a dim yellow sub-giant, that still provides a diffuse warmth to the planets of the system. The star’s life zone remains barely half the distance of Sol’s (Optimal Zone : 0.52 AU), and provides a small margin of life for its one planet within that range, Terramatrix.
Dumassas Prime – G2VI, Mass : 0.56 Sol, Luminosity : 0.26 Sol, Radius : 0.86 Sol.
Dumassas Prime is a fairly typical Yellow Sub-Giant, that generates no unusual solar effects in its system. Some locals refer to it as the “Old Yellow Mother”. With space travel available between systems, all the inner system worlds of Dumassas are effectively second-class locations in comparison to Terramatrix itself, and with garden planets a single jump away, it remains easier and cheaper to exploit the other systems nearby.
I – Binder – Orbital Radius : 0.1 AU, Orbital Period : 0.39 years, Mass : 0.8 (5000 kms), Gravity : 0.66 Gs. Hot Rockball.
Binder was initially investigated as a potential mining colony, with the planning of construction of a consolidated base in the craters at the North pole. The planned idea was to send expeditions onto the bright face of Binder as it slowly turned away from its star, exploiting pools of liquid self-smelting metals, while expeditions into the dark face would also recover pockets of frozen water and gas for life support and chemical synthesis.
The problem lay in the fact that such a colony would require a base tunneled several hundred meters into the rocky surface, despite the sheltered craters at the poles, primarily for protection against radiation and the occasional solar flare. The costs could not, however be written off, and no company seemed interested in footing the bill for a colony that would require roughly 10,000 population to become self-sufficient. It is rumored plans for the colony remain somewhere in the government archives of the old Star League embassy offices in Von Doom, but no one would be interested in the data beyond its historical value.
II – Lywellen – Orbital Radius : 0.4 AU, Orbital Period : 0.74 years, Mass : 0.7 ((11,000 kms), Gravity : 1.31 Gs. Hothouse.
Lywellen has never seen anything more than passing interest or visitors, beyond an occasional private study by passing scientific foundations investigating the planet’s runaway greenhouse effect. While there were once plans to potentially use mining robots and drones to exploit the planet’s resources, only the discovery of germanium or similar unique minerals would make such an effort worth the expense. So far, no one has ever hinted at the presence of such a valuable resource, so the planet remains unexploited.
III – Terramatrix – Orbital Radius : 0.72 AU, Orbital Period : 0.65 years, Mass : 1.6 (6328 kms), Gravity 0.83 Gs. Cool Terrestrial.
Terramatrix is detailed below, but remains the jewel of the solar system, despite occasional claims to the contrary, and is still the only viable location for inhabitants of the system.
A chaotic jumble of cultures and ideologies developed by competing interests over the last few centuries, Terramatrix is still bound together by a certain common set of values, identified through its initial colonization from the Taurian Concordat. Most nations on Terramatrix claim to be Republics with independent states united under common defensive agreements by a democratically elected President. Most maintain free-market economies, and the average worker is a self-sufficient farmer, or in the better states, an industrial mechanic, making enough to raise a small family. With the exception of one of the nation-states, Spanish is the language of choice by its inhabitants.
Most nations have little in the way of a law level, though open presentation of heavy weapons on most worlds will lead to harassment by local authorities, or a knife in the ribs down a back alley, if alone. If you represent one of the controlling interests in a given area, however, few will question the right.
IIIa – Purpura – Orbital Radius : 384,400 kms, Orbital Period : 81.5 days, Mass : (3475 kms), Gravity 0.17 Gs. Vacuum.
The origins of Purpura’s name is a little shady, but is believed to have been named by the initial exploring team’s children’s pet. The moon is Terramatrix’s only substantial orbital, though some asteroids have been found in distant orbit of the world as well. Purpura’s only notable feature, is the abandoned Sarang Helium-3 Processing Plant.
IV – Protolus – Orbital Radius : 1.32 AU, Orbital Period : 2.86 years, Mass : 2.74 (50,000 kms). Jovian.
Protolus was never investigated in any meaningful way, though the initial Star League survey did identify major moons and any dangers presented in the gravity well of this jovian world.
IVb – The Trojan Dominions
The Trojans of Terramatrix are relatively untapped as a resource, though interest in investing in their exploitation is very low, when more easily accessible resources exist on Terramatrix itself. Nevertheless, there were rare resources waiting to be found, and this eventually led to the settlement of The Trojan Dominion of Cortez, in 2975 by the Sebastian clan. Their workers can be found throughout the local Trojan, and have developed a unique, rather isolationist culture of their own.
The citizens of the “Dominion of Cortez” are a small mining colony (around 2150 population) that remains a closely knit, self-sufficient collection of “belter” clans, that quietly exports their gold and other minerals under the aegis of the “Copper Reef” corporate brand. The community is centered on the Cortez asteroid habitat, and maintains an active and dynamic culture unique to the system, developed through its forced isolation. A large habitat structure, Cortez houses a people that have adapted to a lifetime of working in very-low gravity and micro-gravity environments. The older generations been rendered incapable of visiting any normal gravity environment without access to a wheelchair (much like many JumpShip pilots and crews). Its local culture has been in decline over the last few years, as its citizens move into the system looking for opportunities for education and to breathe fresh air and see an ocean under a warm, windy sky.
V – Hextalus – Orbital Radius : 2.36 AU, Orbital Period : 5.73 years, Mass : 2.45 (60,000 kms). Jovian.
Hextalus was initially considered a potential colony site, due to its thin rings of ice and light metals. There was, however, little interest in establishing a mining colony on one of its moons to exploit sub-surface hydrocarbons, however since there were cheaper means on Terramatrix, the idea was soon abandoned.
Located on the fringe of Dumassas Prime’s life zone, the single planet capable of supporting life is known as “Terramatrix”. An average world, it possesses ample quantities of industrial and light metals, extremely plentiful heavy metals and a large organics base in its soil. There are, however, few radioactives, and almost no gems/crystals or rare minerals. It’s atmosphere is somewhat polluted, though a rebreather is not required, having 71% nitrogen, 19% oxygen, 8% hydrocarbons and the remainder is a mix of lesser gases. The lack of water on the world makes the air quite dry, and constant hydration is key to survival.
The world’s surface is a mass of rough terrain and hills, with little surface water (30%) and few rivers. Its mineral-laden seas are numerous, and most water is tainted with arsenic, making water purification a key factor in colonization, particularly given its dry atmosphere. The average world temperature is low, with ranges from just above freezing (+4.4 C) to highs of +26.6 C at the 30 degree latitude mark. The poles are both wide-open barrens of ice and stone with almost no landmarks.
A day on Terramatrix is long. An 81-hour standard day results in multiple shifts for workers (traditionally 3 short “day-shifts” per Terramatrix day, most taking one off per period), with few periods of quiet downtime in between. A year on Terramatrix is 237 Terran days long (with a “Leap” year every four), and has resulted in a dependency on slow growth agricultural crops, and careful husbandry of water resources. Fruit trees are precious, and rice is considered the staple crop for most people’s diet. There is, however, very little seasonal variation, and in sheltered river valleys, most farms are capable of producing crops year-round. These conditions reinforce the independent attitude of most of its colonists and citizens.
Guerilla forces are common throughout the planet, and armed platoons of infantry are the primary means of warfare, with few able to employ combat armored troops, let alone tanks or Mechs. Air power has become increasingly important, though an expensive, if popular addition to any armory. Large concentrations of military force allow nation-states to control industry, fishing stocks and agriculture, which in turn, allow the nation to prosper. Small family and clan compounds dot the planet, usually numbering 100 or so families per clan. From orbit, the broad, laser-straight rails connecting the major cities and outlying supply stations give the planet its visual texture.
Large swaths of rough hills terrain dominate the majority of the planet, with heavy interior jungles and forests in valleys that remain largely unexplored. Further scattered between the nations are small seas of alternately fresh or salt water, often providing great borders to forestall invasions. The salt water bodies also contain a large amount of arsenic, making purification a key factor in controlling local agriculture.
The largest city-state on the planet is Von Doom’s Downport, site of the primary starport of Terramatrix. The Tragnar Confederation, a once powerful nation that is fairly isolated and backed by off-world concerns enough to maintain its own independence, also has tried to capture the title, but has failed in recent years to achieve the technology to maintain a large starport. The handful of Drop- and JumpShips under the various nation-states control are barely operable, and there is a growing dependence upon inter-system small craft, such as the ubiquitous K-1 Class Dropshuttle, for transport and to augment its shipping infrastructure. The system’s primary industrial complexes are found around only a handful of prominent cities, though even these are increasingly difficult to maintain.
Nation-States of Terramatrix
The Federative Republic of San Marcos
The Free-City of Peregrine
The Free-City of Von Doom’s Downport
The Free-City of Von Lord
The Independent Territory of Borealis
The Oriental Republic of San Isabel
The Republic of Buntar
The Republic of Carbina
The Republic of Delancourt
The Republic of Sangria
The Tragnar Confederation
The Dumassas system was first explored by Taurian explorers in 2394, and its primary planet’s near-perfect atmosphere and biosphere led quickly to colonization and heavy investment in its infrastructure. It’s valuable resources of organics, light, heavy and industrial metals made it a prime location for building a semi-independent colony with industries and agriculture.
Employing ancient Aquilla-Class Transport JumpShip, the colony world of Terramatrix was settled by 1500 Taurian citizens in 2476, followed by numerous piecemeal groups of colonists, lured by the growing mining and farming opportunities of the planet. The first decade was hard, with half the original colonists wiped-out by pandemics, but the arrival of another Aquilla-Class colony ship arrived with 1000 more, and by 2750, the population had stabilized and was on the road to recovery.
The citizens of this planet remained fiercely independent, and even the colonists quickly split into groups, most of no more than a hundred people, forming their own “nations”. These nations continued a low-level of continual warfare, only ceasing during periods of charismatic warrior-kings who managed to unite some portion of the nations under themselves and integrating them into larger nations. None lasted long, and the fragmentation and feuding quickly resumed.
The Reunification War : Dumassas was the Taurian Concordat’s most distant frontier. Lightly populated with miners, ranchers and farmers, the world possessed no centralized government. Power on the world rested in the hands of a few, some backed by large Taurian corporations, while others were self-made – be that through legal means or otherwise. Pirates, brigands, rustlers and outlaws all called the world home, selling their services to the highest bidder while the honest and unaffiliated simply tried to live their lives. Even the world’s limited military garrison hired their services out to whomever paid them best.
The Reunification War finally came to Dumassas in 2587. Lt. General (Davion) Amanda Hasek accordingly came at Dummassas with an entirely different strategy. She used the initial thirty-day period to build a picture of the political landscape. When the deadline expired, she simply chose the largest and most corrupt of the powers and dropped the full weight of the Syrtis Fusiliers on it. Ten days into her campaign, one of the corporate powers surrendered to her; she dismantled the corporate structure, letting her own logistics command subsume the corporate structure. In this way, she rapidly assumed control of the world.
The only true battles of this invasion occurred at Silver Gulch and in the foothills near Blue Rock Mountain. The former involved more than 1000 brigands and refugee outlaws, banded together under the command of a former Capellan officer that attempted to ambush Hasek’s troops. Instead, they were themselves surrounded after an alert FedSuns expatriate tipped Hasek off. At Blue Rock Mountain, a combination of garrison troops, pirates and former strongarms put up a determined resistance. Their forty-two BattleMechs and two battalions of assorted armored vehicles were not enough, nor was the brave suicidal stand made by the last 700 hold-outs.
The invasion of Dumassas, and its capital world, Terramatrix, was complete by May 11th, 2587.
The Dumassas Union : Under the rule of the Star League, the troubles continued. Although still nominally the capital of the now much-reduced “Dumassas Union”, it became a popular jumping-off point for continual colonization of the worlds rimward of the Davion border. Nevertheless, the planet continued its fractious state of affairs. If anything, the reign of the Star League had little impact on the day-to-day activities of the world, simply because its citizens really didn’t have any interest in off-world politics. When the Star League collapsed in 2751, the only effect it had was a sudden interest in war among the various city-states on Terramatrix.
Collapse of the Taurian Colonies : The only major nation to rise to power after this time, was that of Selich the Great, who held his nation together for decades, and under the rule of his son and grandson, held a planetary dynasty for nearly 75 years ( 2785-2860 ). A sudden raid of Mech-wielding bandits on the capital slew the royal guard and Selich III, and threw the world back into chaos and small-scale feudalism when they left the planet.
Terramatrix is once again balkanized, broken up into about a dozen or so loosely confederated nation-states. These countries have real control over their own destinies; each is ruled by corporate nobles, a ruling class of upper-echelon corporations that control the planet’s industries and agriculture. With each nation broken into smaller corporate controls, there is little that keeps the nation-states together beyond common trade agreements and whoever has the largest number of guns.
Since 3000, the nations of Terramatrix had been in the upswing of a technological and industrial revival. Starting around 3018, a spate of world-wide conflicts, civil disorder and now pandemic disease have begun dragging many of those nation-states back down to non-industrial levels. Among them, the nations of San Marcos, Tragnar, and especially Von Doom, are suffering a particularly harsh backlash with the loss of much of their military and civil leadership and infrastructure. The rise of civil disorder and regional warlords are marking a dark path for the future of the planet.
In early-3025, the nations of The Oriental Republic of San Isabel and The Republic of Sangria both began formal negotiations to unite their military and economic forces in the so-called Commonwealth of Nations, and were soon joined by ambassadors from The Republic of Buntar, who acted as observers. The hysteria of the heightened 3025 Outworld Flu pandemic during this time, only accelerated the discussions, to the point that both nations have begun working together in an effort to limit civil disorder and work closer together in medical research.
As 3025 drew to a close, Buntar openly began to occupy border regions long in dispute with San Marcos, and its military reeled back, unable to counter the threats. * “The Iron Dingoes” also began to put down threats to the civil structure of their allied nations, and peace, after the so-called 1000-Days War, seemed a possibility in the western nations of the world, while its eastern nations began a devastating new conflict. Amidst these activities, ComStar announced the opening of its HPG, after almost a decade of careful work to restore the facility to operation. Its allied forces in The Republic of Carbina, immediately deployed mercenary BattleMechs and locked its borders against the coming tide.
The creation of a united planetary government and military force, under the aegis of The Commonwealth of Nations is still in negotiation, but as the central states break into their component districts under independent warlords, the “western” nations have found unity of purpose and make this potential world government a real possibility. Talks were accelerating rapidly between the signatory nations in the first few months of 3025, and by the end of the year, The Commonwealth Star Guards were a reality, with the first battalions taking positions within the nations and fighting their first skirmishes in an effort to bring peace to the system as a whole, in The Battle of Ascension Island.