The Trojan Dominion of Cortez

Asteroid nation of the Trojans of Dumassas


The inhabitants of the Trojan Dominion of Cortez see themselves as a sovereign nation in their own right, and have a highly proficient technical ability, as well as a capable space marine force of various shuttles. While possessing no JumpShips or DropShips, their small craft pilots are considered the elite of the system’s black water navies, and their light raider pilots are easily the best in the system. Increasing rumors hint at several Trojan clans having access to a handful of ancient fighter craft, typically S-2 Star Daggers.

Orbital Radius : 388,640,000 kms (2.63 AU)
Diameter : 224 kms
Period of Revolution : 2091.5 days (5.73 years Standard)
Gravity : Negligible (Surface) / 0.2 Gs (Interior Habitat)
Escape Velocity : 480 kph
Population : 2100
Port : One Class-C (Unrefined fuels and reasonable repair facility available)
Ruler : The Council of Cortez


The Trojan Dominions : The Trojan Dominions are way off the beaten paths of the solar system, but are actually closer to Terramatrix than the Jovian worlds of Protolus and Hextalus. The Trojans, like Lagrange points, are places where the gravitational pulls of the sun and the jovian planets cancel each other out. There are some planetoids here, with the same range of sizes as typical among asteroid collections. The L5 location, however, has twice the number of the L4 location. There are technically four Trojans, one following behind the wake of both Jovians, and one proceeding each of them, known as the “Leading Trojans” and the “Trailing Trojans”.

A Jovian trojan is really quite large. From end to end, each Trojan is over 150 million kms long, greater than the distance from Dumassas Prime to Terramatrix itself, although it is only a few million kilometers wide. This is where the Dominions are established. The greatest oddity of the Trojans, is that they oscillate. That is to say, they float back and forth along a 60 million km-long stretch of their Jovian’s orbits. Imagine the Dominions are attached to their parent by a rubber band. Sometimes they are closer, and other times they are farther away. They are a very strange place to live.

The Trojans are very loose clusters, with a density of asteroids more than a mile in diameter about a million miles apart. The Trojans aren’t quite this empty though, with a chunk of rock a hundred meters across every 100,000 miles, and a boulder every 10,000 miles apart. Asteroids can be even closer, with many asteroids orbiting each other, each roughly one-tenth the size of its primary. There are also numbers of asteroids some 2-3 AU away from the actual Trojan point, that are not even along the same orbital plane. Almost all of the Trojan asteroids are composed of frozen volatiles with a high proportion of carbon polymers and organic-rich silicates.

The Cortez Dominion is located in the primary Leading Trojan, dominated by the asteroid habitat of Cortez. Within this domain are several “homestead” habitats that operate largely in a self-sufficient manner, but all are dependent upon Cortez for resources, governance and trade. A worker’s asteroid, Cortez itself is a mining colony where its inhabitants work hard for a living, prosper, and disdain outside involvements. For the most part, it’s half-century of history seems a remarkable tale of success in coping with adversity.


Cortez Habitat

Cortez is the largest asteroid located in the Trojans, and is remarkable in its having been “drilled-through”, or mined enough to be entered in one end and emerge through to the other side by following its mine tunnels. Access to the interior of the asteroid habitat, is through numerous locations, for its metals have drawn miners to spend many decades boring its long, slender ore veins to follow its veins of ore.

Only rarely do these operations come into conflict, in part because of the narrow, twisting nature of the mines rarely cause them to intersect. A strong tradition against claim-jumping insures that the first group to start work on a vein is entitled to see it through to its completion. On occasions when two groups get into conflict, they are encouraged to resolve it between themselves. A council of mining clans adjudicates on any differences that cannot be so resolved, but the Council charges 50% of all subsequent profits from the claim among both concerns as the price of its judgement – strong motivation for the miners to settle the matter by themselves.

This streak of individualism runs through the Trojan’s entire culture; there is no government per se, nor any significant outside interest from the system itself. Pirates are believed to stop there occasionally and are then sheltered and allowed to purchase provisions – as are any other visitors.

The dozen or so “Homestead Habitats” located in the Dominion are self-sufficient, privately-owned stations that are established on particularly rich asteroids containing deposits of gold, platinum or other easily-extracted, valuable minerals. Typically possessing a small reactor or solar panels, a handful of mining exoskeletons, a solar concentrator, a small refinery, a small hydroponics facility and a handful of machines for parts replacement. This is sufficient to allow the community a modest lifestyle, though there remains little margin of error if something goes wrong.

Most of these efforts are less than a decade old, and have a population from 20-30 people, and are typically crewed by a single family deploying with the typical Type-S “Seeker” Mining Shuttle of a Trojan work crew, which gives them a voice in local politics, and access to teh central market of the region.



Miners occupy roughly 60% of the local population, and dominate the local economy. Nickel is the major product mined here, though gold, silver, platinum, iron, and uranium have all been mined in smaller amounts. More than a hundred mining operations have been developed at various points along the surface, each following its own vein inwards until the crust of the asteroid is a beehive of twisting, plunging and converging mining tunnels. Many of these sites remain in operation today.

Most mining operations in the Trojan Dominion are rather subsistence in nature, more akin to gathering firewood rather than full-scale lumbering operations. The bulk of their production is slated for consumption by the Trojan Dominion as a whole, with only select metals or hydrocarbons being collected for export to Terramatrix and the common luxuries afforded to their planet-based cousins.

About 10% of the population are engaged in agriculture, primarily hydroponics though the habitat has begun developing small scale crop rotation using potatoes, tomatoes and a handful of fruit trees as their start. These farmers are typically the new, growing class of the colony, and is seeing many young families engaging in its opportunities since the purchase of a Seeker is beyond their means.

Another 30% are involved in support services, including operation of the central smelter, and its co-operative mining brokerage, “Copper Reef Mining Corporation”. Small-scale manufacture of shuttle spare parts or mining tools, is the domain of these folk, and they have also become inventive in selling raw liquors, hot meals and offering other services to visiting miners.

Most trade in the Trojans flows through Cortez, and shipments of goods always include personnel transfers, as the handful of dedicated free-haulers make as much money as they can by hauling everything and anything they can in one trip, making regular trips to isolated homesteads profitable. Vital parts shipments, drive sensors and weapons are imported, while refined metals and hydrocarbons are exported, along with a few organics.

Information is probably the rarest export from the Dominion, and there is a growing trade in biological compounds and pharmaceuticals from isolated workshacks that dabble in drugs and other high-value luxury goods. Though generally considered illicit in most Terramatrix nation-states, among spacers the trade goes unabated and is highly lucrative, if shunned by most. Refueling services are also quite lucrative in isolated habitats, and so local efforts in fuel-cracking are important to ensure self-sufficiency among these communities.

Since early-3033, various smaller, young Cortez clans have settled at Sarang Helium-3 Processing Plant, and under the auspices of The Fuel Rats banner, have established an increasingly important outpost of the people of Cortez. The site is an important trade site for many smaller clans seeking goods from Terramatrix, and while still off the major trade routes, has a regular contact with “The Factory” and therefore most goods from the planet itself.


Until recently the actual development of the habitat has been something of a mystery. Recently, however, as status of an observer nation in The Commonwealth of Nations has begun to build political capital, they have been a little more forth-coming with the society and the habitat’s development.

The focus of local Dominion culture, the habitat of Cortez is located largely beneath the surface of the planetoid. Four main shafts run vertically into the asteroid, with tunnels and chambers branching out from there. The habitat depends on two separate fusion power plants and multiple radio-thermal generators for energy. The interior is designed largely as a “beehive habitat”, with three primary “burrows” that each support a particular purpose.

Piazza Underport : Located directly beneath the asteroid’s spaceport, the Underport is the part of the habitat that most visitors interact with. A labyrinth of warehouses, refineries, repair shops, and storage tanks, it includes a nuclear pellet factory. The “control room” for the starport, its is primarily concerned with allocating docking space and operating surface and nearby satellite sensors. The offices of Copper Reef are located here, as are the few commercial establishments of the habitat, making it the busiest and noisiest portion of the community.

The Main Dig : The primary habitat, the Main Dig is a broad tunnel in the core of the planetoid, about 200-m wide, and about three kilometers long. The Main Dig is home to many families, and operates as the center of the community, with an extensively cultivated bio-sphere where they grow various root crops and wheat for the community. Many of the farmers have established small farms, where they live in small homes much like those found on Terramatrix, if you don’t mind the fact the ceiling rotates a bare 200m above one’s head. Many have started calling this region the “Greenlands”. This region still sees occasional expansion from time to time, as the need for new farm-space is required.

Rotten Burrows : Old tunnels and large chambers originally devoted to the original efforts at agriculture in the habitat. They were instrumental in making the colony initially self-sufficient, and includes several acres of hydroponics. The name comes from the smell of the area, with its mushroom farms, algae ponds and fish farms. The area has since been sealed off to ensure proper air quality in the rest of the habitat, and most workers move about the area with breath masks.


The colony is ruled by the united Council of Cortez, where each mining clan sends one representative to the council, who make collective decisions regarding mining and development of the colony. In truth, Anderson Sebastian-Dawes holds a controlling interest in the colony, due to his family’s legacy, its wealth, and its various commercial and industrial interests. While he would never do anything against the colony as a whole, his influence has great sway over the other voting members, including having several of his own family operating mining clans of their own. As a result, he never votes against the Council, but the potential exists that he could.


Asteroid Workshack


A strong tribal culture pervades belter society. Institutions such as adulthood rituals and other rites of passage are common among the clans of Cortez, often with the potential for death or injury if mistakes occur. The clans maintain an extensive oral history, and are fond of telling and retelling the stories and legends that make up their mythology of life in “The Dark”. Seen even in technical and managerial portions of their society, it leads to belter society being vibrant with an exotic urgency in everything they do.

Education among belters tends to be high – there is little enough to do in isolated workshacks and reading and talking is the simplest way to pass the time. There is rarely a formal scholastic education, and belter children are trained by their parents until they are old enough to traipse after their family clan’s workgroup. From roughly the age of six, they act as couriers, learn vacc-suit operations and pick-up the uses of various tools and ship’s systems. At around sixteen, the child undergoes their “testing” and joins their clan’s workgroup as a formal, albeit junior, member. Most belters can be counted on to have experience in space survival, micro-gravity maneuvers, OTV piloting, basic tech, electronics and a superior agility.

Most belters can speak numerous languages, but they have also long since developed their own dialects, usually a mix of English and whatever culture founded the colony (in Cortez, this means a mix of Spanish and English), that has proven both musical and efficient. Supplementing this is a physical language with its origins in American Sign Language, that is used to express emotion and key matters through broad sweeping gestures that anyone in their exo-suit can identify and understand. When belters speak to each other in their own dialect, it can prove very fast and utterly incomprehensible to anyone who was not raised to it.

Workshacks and homestead habitats are often crowded and don’t usually provide much in the way of privacy. Social conventions among belters help to simulate privacy, though to an outsider this can be disconcerting. There are no nudity taboos, but it is considered rude to stare while someone is undressed. Individuals have few personal belongings beyond their “kit” and “outfit”, which generally contains their private, personal tools and belongings.

Belters are often slow to anger, but nasty once riled. Violating a pressure seal is the surest way to get on their bad sides. They also tend to stick together regardless of clan origins, and belters stick with belters in everything. Anger one belter, and an entire workgroup will come down hard on you. Most belters are skilled in martial arts, and always carry at least one knife; they avoid ballistic guns, because guns threaten everyone and their recoil makes them practically useless in micro-gravity environments.



Military Forces

Cortez has a military uniquely in keeping with its rugged character. The force consists of a collection of militia miners who are mustered from each mining team, who are required to maintain their own private Type-S “Seeker” Mining Shuttle, no matter their size, both the pilot and the armed marine crew to pilot it. The armed Seeker is a common sight in the Trojans, and it is believed the colony can muster around thirty (30) of the vessels. Its crews show a remarkable tenacity and coordination on those few occasions when they are called upon to defend their holdings. Most pirates simply leave it alone, however, as it can be a safe port-of-call.

In addition, each clan has roughly a couple squads under arms, resulting in nearly 600-900 laser-armed exo-troopers as soldiers if they need to. Even though civilian militia, although not well-trained in combined operations, their sheer number and fanatical support for their colony makes them a force to be reckoned with during any potential invasion. They are all intimately familiar with the asteroid habitat, which can be exceedingly intimidating to any potential attacker.

It should also be noted, that pirates are rumored to stop in this isolated colony, and are loosely allied to the colony, making them an unknown entity in dealings with the colony. Believed associated with this, several clans are rumored to have possession of a handful of ancient S-2 Star Daggers, which they hold in ready reserve to defend their private kingdom from invasion.


Founded in 2975 by the Sebastian clan, their initial findings in the area led to their establishment of the colony. Within a generation, the site had developed rapidly, attracting every exo-miner in the system and quickly became the center of all their collective efforts.


By 2998, the asteroid was spun up to create a light (0.2 Gs) gravity, making the place more livable, and the central habitat was started. By 3014, the habitat was complete, though it remains mostly rock walls, loose soil and fresh-water pools harboring imported mosses and ivy; fast-growing plants that support the habitat’s oxygen-rich environment.

During the 3025 Outworld Flu, the community locked-down its borders and carefully traded its ore exclusively on “The Factory”. This state of affairs has continued, and the colony’s traders still refuse to land at Von Doom.

As 3028 began, the Dominion of Cortez formally began discussions with the Iron Dingoes Rockhopper Exploration company, offering exclusive heavy metals trade contracts for their increasingly industrialized landholds. As a side-effect of this consideration, the nation of Cortez formally entered into The Commonwealth of Nations as an Observer nation, and sent a delegate to the negotiations. As the nation rarely involves itself with outside politics, this action is seen as the first legitimate step of the organization as a potential world government. Von Doom and Von Lord, however, still refuse to involve themselves with the negotiations.

Joining in the 3035 discussions of the system’s primary nation-states regarding unilateral trade under the Terramatrix Trade Authority (TTA) banner, the Dominion initially remained fairly neutral. They continued attendance in the meetings, however, and largely observed the development from a distance.

In 3036, however, the nation formally requested entrance to The Commonwealth of Nations, as a full signatory member. Entering the organization soon after the appeal of both The Republic of Carbina and The Republic of Delancourt to the Commonwealth, if accepted, it would be the sixth nation-state to become a signatory member.


Cortez “Main Dig” Residential Tunnel

In 3039, with the world gearing for another global conflict, Cortez quietly signed itself over to the Commonwealth, along with Carbina and Delancourt. In an official release, they also provided numerous holo-stills taken by April O’Neil of the Cortez habitat, as well as their plans to construct a trade ring specifically tailored towards foreign merchants in the coming years. The inclusion of the people of Cortez welcoming nature was a breath of relief to members of the Commonwealth, particularly as they began to discuss forming a space marine detachment as their contingent assigned to the Commonwealth’s military arm.

In 3048, the full entry of nearly a hundred of the clans of The Trojan Dominion of Cortez into the TTA brought their shuttles into mainstream trade, and flooded the nations of Dumassas under a hail of relatively cheap otherwise rare resources, though they tend to use Sarang Helium-3 Processing Plant as their main trade port and avoid direct contact with the other nations of the system.

The Trojan Dominion of Cortez

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