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 large numbers of 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 has tried to capture the title, but has failed in recent years. The growing industrial and economic might of Sangria and its allies, has led to an increase in trade with its small starport in Ciudad Garcia. While unable to provide the passenger and cargo services that Von Doom can supply, it does provide cheap hydrogen fuel and has almost exclusive access to the planet’s only highport, “The Factory”. This latter facility dominates local trade matters, and has slowly shifted trade away from any other ports on the planet, save these two facilities.
The handful of Drop- and JumpShips under the various nation-state’s control are barely operable, and there is a 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, and proper landing facilities are therefore quite limited.
Nation-States of Terramatrix
There are many nation-states on Terramatrix, dating to its fractious and often divided loyalties between different cultures and nations that initially settled the planet. While the nations have largely been divided for centuries with a few exceptions, such as during the Taurian Colony era, and the brief Empire of Terramatrix when Selich and his dynasty ruled the planet for a few decades, the nation-states have rarely worked together, even in the face of the overwhelming might of the Star League.
The rise of the Commonwealth of Nations has begun to change this aspect, mostly due to a series of damaging civil disorders and wars that have brought the world into a position of facing mutual disintegration. While still quite fractious and grasping over resources and territory, several of the nations have begun to work together, and seem likely to form a close approximation of a world government between them, though there are many of the scattered surviving nations that seem unwilling to put aside their long-standing grievances and search for supremacy.
The Free-City of Peregrine
The Free-City of Von Doom’s Downport
The Free-City of Von Lord
The Gatun Foundation
* The Independent Territory of Borealis
The Marcosan Mandate
The Oriental Republic of San Isabel
The Petrópolis Free State
The Protectorate of Greenholm
The Republic of Buntar
The Republic of Carbina
The Republic of Delancourt
The Republic of Sangria
The National Legionary Tragnar
Agriculture : Terramatrix produces and exports a wide range of agricultural products, though coffee, fruit, soya and beef are the principle foods for off-world traders. Approximately one-eighth (16%) of the world’s trade comes from processed foods, most of it aimed at feeding trade fleets, or into neighboring non-agricultural Periphery worlds, such as System – Armington and System – Csomad. While San Marcos and Tragnar once lead the planet in agricultural exports, today San ISabel and Sangria lead the nations of the planet in sheer export volume. The traditional small farms of these nations are slowly evolving into larger “plantations” with share-cropping increasingly common.
The 3024 Small War, and following 3025 Pandemic have led to the disintegration of several national governments, and the rise of a growing trade pact between these two increasingly important agricultural leaders. While the core territories of each nation are well-developed, the outlying districts tend to have patchwork infrastructure, and there are several large swaths of the world that are barely exploited or even settled beyond small isolated agricultural and trade compounds.
The greatest difficulty to improving agricultural output, however, is a lack of fresh water. Systemic poisoning of all standing water sources, including the oceans, lakes and rivers with arsenic demands close rationing of water resources, and a heavy dependence on water purification technology across the planet. While most local industry can support this, and there are more primitive abilities to refine water for drinking in isolated settlements, large-scale development of farming is limited. There are efforts to breed arsenic-resistant crops, but these efforts are small-scale and not likely to result in large-scale changes for decades.
Mining : Terramatrix exports roughly 45% of its copper, 20% of its steel and much of its other important manufacturing metals. While there were hard efforts to improve the technology used and increase these resources by off-world investment, the civil disorders in the western nations of Terramatrix destroyed much of these efforts. Aluminum has become an increasingly important export metal over the last decade, but increasing labor costs and technology demands have begun to slow the development of any new resources.
While most nations have either nationalized important resource industries, or their related energy and technology supplies to cut costs, the industrialized nations are increasingly looking for ways to fund costs associated with mining and refining efforts. The planet is, however, largely self-sufficient in its resource needs, and rarely seeks off-world minerals, unless they can be acquired cheaply; System – Gollere has recently begun shipping cheap iron, lead and precious metals into the markets of the world, which have been readily accepted by many domestic industries in Sangria and San Isabel and its colonies. Also, the Trojan Dominion provides many of the rare minerals needed for local system industry, that otherwise would be need shipment into the system, and have entered into a close trade partnership with both those nations.
Manufacturing : Since a boom in off-world investment starting in around 3010, there has been a significant growth in the domestic manufacturing sector. With ample local resources, many manufacturing plants building cheap vehicles and consumer goods have developed. Many of these are “maquiladoras”, where imported components are converted into finished goods, primarily in the automotive industry, and have proven key to industrial development of the planet as a whole.
The civil disruptions following the 3024 Small War have greatly reduced these assets, but there are sufficient remaining to keep the planet fairly self-sufficient in its consumer goods needs, though little enough is exported off-world. The lack of infrastructure in newer colony regions has long been a difficult issue, and remains a key factor in limiting further industrial development, as does the populations of the various nations, as they cannot support the wide-scale production needed for off-world export of industrial goods.
Financial : Functional central banks in the stable portions of the world have long existed on Terramatrix. The issue of national currencies and maintenance of monetary policies is common. Electronic transfer of funds remains a difficult proposition, with the need for hardlines to ensure constant communications; while satellite contact exists across the nation, black-outs of communications can be common, due to either power issues, or spotty connection issues between distant nations. Barter of goods is common in rural regions, and hard currency rules most markets, often in the form of trade certificates.
The recent rise of the Commonwealth’s trade negotiations has sparked a discussion of a central currency, with the nations discussing using the ComStar-Bill as the main medium of exchange. This has interested the nation of Carbina in joining observation of the negotiations, and in principle seems likely to move forward, which will stabilize the nations of the Commonwealth further.
Infrastructure : Infrastructure is another limiting factor in economic development in the nations of Terramatrix. Described by many Inner Sphere visitors as “inadequate”, the rough terrain of jungles and mountains has led the way in dragging economic development, primarily in getting resources to markets, and supporting the wide-spread nations of the planet. Air travel is a key factor in international trade, with Avianca taking control of most of the international trade of the planet, and Whippet Transport Lines occupying an increasing control over orbital trade through its dominance in operations at “The Factory”.
The national governments play the key role in this development and investment, and multi-year investments in large-scale projects have always been a difficult proposition, especially given recent civil disturbances and the evaporation of several nations in the wake of the 3024 Small War. On average, only 2-3% of most GNP is spent in infrastructure projects, where most nations need two or three times this to bring them closer to Inner Sphere standards. Private sector participation is key to reaching national needs, with many larger conglomerates seeing the value in investing in infrastructure required by their own needs.
Energy, telecom and supply chain development are the key areas of the transportation sector, and national governments have developed companies to support these areas with mixed success. National railroads, utility companies and even telecom developments have allowed these sectors to expand even when facing initial financial losses. In particular, large-scale infrastructure efforts, such as the Camino Muertos are representative of infrastructure needs of the planet that require careful negotiation with the private sector for funding, and yet are going to affect the long-term economic development of the region in countless ways. They will also improve the national abilities to reach international and interstellar markets, and are vital if the world is to take a central role in local trade in the constellation.
In Sangria, development of starport facilities and other connecting infrastructure has proven vital in the wake of both the 1000 Days War and the 3024 Small War. As industrial development expands in this nation, and the Commonwealth rises into a true economic juggernaut, infrastructure spending is becoming of vital importance to the nations of eastern Terramatrix, and companies like Grupo Odinsa are becoming important and vital parts of the world’s economic development.
Off-World Investment : Since 3010, there had been a developing interest in off-world investment in Terramtrix. The civil disturbances of 3024-5, and the start of the 4th Succession War has led to this investment largely vanishing.
The national security investments of Sangria, in rebuilding their military in the wake of the 1000 Days War, has led to it being largely considered the safest nation in the world, followed closely by San Isabel, and then Von Lord. In a sudden move, Aegira Technologies has moved the bulk of their manufacturing personnel and equipment to a private landhold north of Ciudad Garcia, in the small port town of Solano. This massive investment in the form of hard currency to purchase the holding from the government, as well as the spin-offs in construction, cement and steel are huge to the local economy. Also Consolidated Foods Limited (CFL) has begun developing its presence across the world, buying various failed food processing industries, and placing them under their own banner. Another Davion-backed company, Rio Tinto has become a growing power in Von Lord and seems intent on influencing the other mineral extraction companies on the planet.
Perhaps most significantly, * “The Iron Dingoes” have long been slowly developing their own infrastructure and industries with off-world money through their various salvage and military contracts, and investing them in the development of companies such as the Dingo Brand Corporation and * Husky Heavy Industries. There is talk that the Dingoes have only begun to build their landholds with foreign monies, and many expect the gradual expansion of their own small starport and its support network through Whippet Transport Lines will have larger ramifications in the coming years.
The Dumassas system was first charted 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 an ancient Aquilla-Class Transport JumpShip, the “Ottenia”, 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 2570, 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. As Buntar expanded, the remaining San Marcos warlords united under the same banner, creating [[: the-marcosan-mandate]] in 3028.
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.
The Problem With Petrópolis : The latter part of the 3020s were dominated by the border clashes between the remnants of The Federative Republic of San Marcos and its long-time rival, The Republic of Buntar. The troubles of the border city of Petrópolis led to its capture and then rebellion and development into The Petrópolis Free State, largely with the assistance of off-world mercenaries. By late-3031, local distrust of off-world forces, compounded by past interactions with mercenary BattleMech forces led to unrest between these mercenaries and their erstwhile employers, the Bloody Hand of Marcosa and its civilian government. By the end of the year, it exploded into full-scale war in the nation, while neighboring Buntar and The Marcosan Mandate looked on, ready to pounce on the survivor.