Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
System - Star Forge
Star Forge – Former Davion Periphery Military Base
Star Forge is a common stop for traders following the so-called “Candle Route”, connecting the Federated Suns Outback with more distant Periphery locations of importance, such as System-State – “The Unity of Promise” and the independent worlds of System – Cassandra and System – Tarsus. Anciently it was known as the Baltar system, and was formerly a “Trailing” colony world of the Taurian Concordat, until the fall of the Star League, and was renamed Outpost while the Federated Suns occupied the system.
The system fell under the control of Excalibur Corporation in 3021, when the AFFS Navy sold the entire system off to that company for an undisclosed sum. The company quickly moved personnel into the system and began assimilating it into their infrastructure. The name Outpost remained until late-3030, when the system was renamed “Star Forge” with the establishment of the company of the same name, and a series of renovations being conducted over the last decade were completed. development of Carpathia as the basis of a large unpressurized yard for construction of their proposed Leviathan-Class JumpShip, under the Star Forge Yards company brand.
Today, the colony is a high-tech haven for AeroSpace vessel maintenance, with a capable population of civilian technicians and their dependents. The system is an important outpost of Excalibur Corporation’s mercantile efforts, and harbors most of its black water merchant fleet. Boasting a substantial starport, as well as its announced JumpShip production facility, the system is also an important crossroads of trade in this sector, and the facilities in this isolated system are now a jewel in the crown of Excalibur Corporation.
“Star Forge” System Flag
Political Ruler : Lord Administrator Raven Malak, Excalibur Corporation (Corporate Oligarchy)
Star Type : Binary : Major – Dareenal (K7V); Companion – Keneer (M5V) – (160 Hours)
Position in System : 1
Time to Jump Point : 5.12 days
Number of Satellites : None
Surface Gravity : 0.13
Atmo Pressure : None (None)
Avr Mean Temp : – (Vacuum)
Surface Water : Frozen Water-Ice.
Recharge Station : None
HPG Class Type : None
Highest Native Life : N/A
Socio-Industrial Level : Non-Industrial.
Population : 16,000 (3025).
Hydrocarbon seas of “Star Forge”
Though the system itself has little to offer a casual visitor, it is considered a major stopping-point along the “Candle Trade Route”, and popular as a stop for most commercial vessels. Star Forge has excellent port facilities (for a Periphery world), few restrictions on trade or conduct, and is considered an important crossroads where information, goods, and equipment of all kinds are available, particularly for AeroSpace parts. Its proximity to several important trade worlds only emphasizes this importance.
Star Forge is a typical-appearing binary system, and its companion star holds tight to the innermost orbital path. There are three jovian planets, one planetoid belt, and numerous small moons and wildly erratic planetoids scattered throughout the system. The system’s sole inhabited body, is the colony of Outpost.
Tidally locked to its parent planet Uthgard, Outpost is a tiny 1995 km-wide rockball with a high density of waste rock, meaning mining not a local concern. Mean surface gravity is a bare 0.13 Gs, and the scant atmosphere is a chlorine-flourine mixture, that requires both pressure suits and oxygen gear. What little water there is remains trapped in frozen water-ice crystals around the poles, and barely registers in the atmosphere. Local temperature extremes vary with the position of the companion stars, ranging from -180.7C to -80.7C, on a cycle that is 99 days apart.
Star Forge Yards, Carpathia
The sole “satellite” of Outpost, is “Carpathia”, a 70,000-ton rocky asteroid, once used by House Davion as a system monitor during the Reunification War, but was razed by the Taurian fleet in 2582. Its life support systems were trashed, meaning its atmosphere was deadly, and the place reeked of death and destruction to this day. Rumors persisted, however, of munitions buried deep in vaults near the core of the facility, and many explorers have tried to find the ruin’s secrets, despite being declared a “black site” by the Federated Suns throughout its occupancy.
Today, Carpathia has been rebuilt with its facilities providing a platform for storage, defense and operations to build its Leviathan-Class JumpShips. While still bearing the marks of its near destruction, the site glows in the night sky above Star Forge, a beacon to Excalibur’s dedication to profits.
“The Works”, manufacturing facility on “Star Forge”
The ground facilities are a complex series of heavy forges, known as “The Works”, a broad series of high-tech and semi-automated foundries that assemble the key structural components for DropShips and JumpShips, as well as various heavy parts like bolts. There are also facilities that can manufacture various basic components on request for visiting vessels, though none are capable of complex electronics manufacturing. Given proper plans, the forges and their engineers could likely also manufacture the basic components of a BattleMech’s internal structure.
The Class-C starport includes fairly basic refueling and maintenance services, but they are incomparable to most every other system in the constellation. Traffic remains light, however, so there is no great demand on Star Forge personnel, allowing them to concentrate on Excalibur vessels and assisting in the construction yards in orbit. The starport provides fair services for any merchants, including a brokerage, numerous entertainment options, and access to a common market that excels in acquiring machined parts for all AeroSpace designs, including civilian shuttles, AeroFighters, and DropShips.
While it offers its services to any merchants who call on the port, it is mostly used by Excalibur Trading to upkeep its diverse fleet of DropShips and JumpShips. The system is considered the key to the operation of the “Candle Trade Route”, a line of trade systems stretching from the rim of the Outrim Void, through System – Tarsus, and eventually reaches the Davion Outback world of System – Armington. This trade route is vital to the economic well-being of all the worlds along its route, and several just off of it.
Ultimately, the world manufactures little else, and its population is dependent on constant trade to not only forge its products, but also feed its population, allow them to breathe, and provide them with basic consumer goods required by any largely civilian population.
Star Forge – Binary : Major – Dareenal (K7V), Mass : 0.538 Sol, Luminosity : 0.064 Sol, Radius : 0.559 Sol. Companion – Keneer (M5V), Mass : 0.331 Sol, Luminosity : 0.007 Sol, Radius : 0.358 Sol.
I – Uthgard – Orbital Radius : 0.1 AU, Orbital Period : 0.39 years, Mass : 119.3 (106,000 kms), Gravity : 0.66 Gs. Nine Satellites. One inhabited (Outpost 1c). Jovian.
Ic – Star Forge – Orbital Radius : 1.06 Million kms, Orbital Period : 11.06 days, Mass : 0.0019 (1995 kms), Gravity : 0.13 Gs. Rockball.
The local garrison consists of several security companies that follow the standard MACO of Excalibur Corporation. They monitor key locations throughout both the starport and the manufacturing facility, as well as in Carpathia. It is a well-known secret that Excalibur also keeps several WILD C.A.T.* teams in key locations, and that they take a dim view against corporate espionage.
Perhaps more importantly, EXcalibur has stationed a large force of AeroFighters in the system, with orders to eliminate anything that operates out of the ordinary. Primarily their own TAAF-54 Vasarahai, the wings are supported by at least one Danais-Class DropShip outfitted to provide auxiliary CV service, with fighter bays, fuel reserves, and pilot/technical barracks along with a substantial marine force for counter-boarding operations.
View of Uthgard from Star Forge orbit
Star Forge was initially established for a variety of reasons. While today, these reasons are largely forgotten or ignored, initially it was as a result of enforcing Federated Suns interests in the Hyades Rim, and the colony regions of the Taurian Concordat. Originally known as Baltar, the colony world exploited valuable hydrocarbons from its surface, which proved to be useful as coolant for the colony’s eventual forges.
With the threat of conflict looming in the form of the Reunification War, the base and planet were re-enforced to provide naval support for the growing conflict. When the war wound-down, the base remained important to Davion trade interests, supporting their acquisition of several worlds in the Hyades Rim, and their trade efforts to acquire new resources, and assist in rebuilding.
The location of the colony also served as the garrison for the 4th Dummassas Legionaires during the build-up years leading to the collapse of the Star League. Originally raised from the militia forces of Althea’s Choice, that militia force was present in 2768, when the Star League swept through the region on its way to System – Serenity during the initial conflict of the Amaris Civil War, but the unit abandoned its cantonments and returned to Althea’s Choice before the Federated Suns auxiliaries arrived, leaving the local garrison to deal with the insurgencies. The Federated Suns occupied the world, and kept the peace, though much of its value was lost when the White Fleet stripped the site of much of its equipment during the chaos of the 1st Succession War for the factories in the Federated Suns.
But the Federated Suns remained. Controversy surrounded the naval base on Outpost, however, as the Systems Constellation – “The Outrim Void” was never granted to Davion officially, and remained neutral in many political channels. Its position had allowed the Davion government to declare the site a “colony”, by settling retired naval personnel to the system, usually within a year of their retirement. The world government has an official treaty with House Davion, listing it as a “client state”, and despite certain protests by peace-lovers in certain influential worlds in their home state, no action has ever been officially taken. Nonetheless, there is some degree of pressure to shut the base down, mostly from within the core worlds near New Syrtis, who constantly petitioned for funds and troops to be directed to its borders, and not beyond them.
In 3021, the entire system was sold-off to Excalibur Corporation, and the AFFS fleet, and many of their dependents, left the Periphery for postings in the Inner Sphere. The facility, a capable repair and munitions depot for DropShips and JumpShips was largely stripped before they left, but was sufficiently rebuilt through the corporation’s investments to bring it back into limited operations as a supply and repair depot.
The industrial forges remained, allowing structural and armor components to be made for vessels, and various parts modules were installed from an unknown Periphery site, allowing the site to begin its operations as a repair depot for its parent company. In 3030, the system and its facilities fell under the control of Star Forge Yards once the company was established, and began the manufacture of its signature Leviathan-Class JumpShip, they renamed the system Star Forge". It continues these operations today, and is seen as the focus for trade in the constellation.