Thursday, December 8, 2011

Star Wars: Planets of the Malicrux I

Here's a planet-by-planet description of the Malicrux Sector campaign I'm running at the moment. A couple of entries are written by some of the players, I think it helps the buy in to the setting if they can help create it (plus, XP!).
The planets were created using a nifty Photoshop plug-in called LunarCell by Flaming Pear. They got a bunch of clever little plug-ins on 30-day trail periods. Go check'em out.


ALMOST is a barren, inhospitable rock that serves as the current home for a droid-cult known as the Cogs. Led here two centuries ago by the Droid-visionary ∞-5 (aka InFinn, Finn or Five Fingers) after the revelations granted to the droid while planetside on Ephemera, a fleet of droid-operated starships lie dormant on the planet, waiting in the golden light of the trinary star system for the promised unveiling of a lost techworld deep within the Malicrux Nebula. Here the Cog faithful believe they will find kinship and equality among the automated beings that live there. Five Fingers is tolerant of other biological creatures, unless they stand in the way of the Cogs goals; he has displayed a ruthless efficiency in dispatching those who oppose them. Cog operatives are active across the Sector, actively procuring ownership of other droids and then freeing them, or on more obscure missions beyond biological comprehension. Traders are welcome on Almost, for the droid collective is highly skilled and willing to barter their services in return for droid parts and coin to fund their activities.

BARHOK is a blistering hot slave world where billions struggle beneath three blood red suns to carry out the will of their serpentine masters. The Cult of the Serpent Queens demands utmost loyalty and obedience to the six huge stardrakes that rule the world, and each seeks to better its sisters through grand displays of art, war, architecture, or whatever fashionable whim is current in their courts. Slaves are bound to the hive mind of their queens by the use of rune serpents, strange little flying drakes that glow a luminous gold and are soulbound to their slave. Neurotoxins from their fangs keep their prisoners obedient when necessary, though free thought and speech is sometimes permitted. Those that step out of line are simply bitten and robbed of will, those that develop immunity to the poisons are quickly executed. Under this hierarchical regime the slave armies have built many wonders in the name of their Queens, from great cities of spiraling towers to huge edifices that loom up out of the deserts. To what purpose these constructions are made has always remained obscured; if the Queens know why they continue with their millennia-long rivalry they have yet to reveal it to their minions, though some of their more visible works include the terraforming of nearby moons to supply the masses with enough nutrients to survive. Attempts to break this cycle of eternal slavery by the Jedi of the Old Republic failed – there were simply too many innocents in the slave armies that were arrayed against them, and the Queens were immune to their persuasive techniques. The Empire has yet to decide what must be done with them; at the moment the Cult is of limited use to the Emperor. As a precaution they have assigned an Imperial Governor to the world, though Holani Rodell is little more than a symbolic appointment and his reports indicate that the Cult poses little threat offworld. Were that to change in any way, the Empire’s response is bound to be swift.

CALLIGRATTICA is a dry, dusty world, perfect for the preservation of its vast collections of ancient tomes. Scholars first came here to study the astonishing Crawling Towers of Shugg – libraries hollowed out from the carapace of mountain-sized beetles that slowly traverse the planet – and eventually the researchers simply chose to stay. There are a number of different university-cities, one to each Shugg beetle, and they compete in a friendly manner on matters esoteric and arcane. But what they fear most is when two beetlecities draw too close to one another, and lock their horned shells together in brutal territorial combat, with the conquering beetle devouring the remains of the vanquished. Traditionally the losing university is taken in by the victor. The beetles are vaguely sentient, and can be steered and directed to some small degree. But what their great and ponderous minds dwell on as they travel the deserts is anyone’s guess. The Calligrattican Council is currently overseen by Governor Dean Lyrian Bokru, who despite pressure from offworld authorities, maintains an open door policy to all students that wish to study here. Students with Imperial upbringings do not take kindly to their non-human fellows, and xenophobic attacks have marred the last few semesters, drawing unwanted attention from the Empire.

CHARGRYN is infamous as the most savage penal world for several Sectors. Even before the formation of the Empire it was used as the dumping ground for the very worst of the galaxy's convicts; most prisoners would rather be killed on the spot then sent there. The high rotation of its magnetic core has turned the planet into a violent dynamo, constantly discharging energy in massive lightning storms. Special drop ships encased in arc cages are needed to deliver prisoners to the surface; all metal objects attract lethal electrical strikes from the ground and surrounding air, and convicts are constantly subjected to painful shocks. Few last long in such torturous conditions.

CHYCO is a tidelocked world, where one side of the planet always faces the sun leaving the sunward side a burnt out husk and plunging the other into eternal darkness and freezing cold. But in the twilight rim between the two halves the communist Imperial cult of the Chyco thrives. During the Clone Wars the ruling nobles of House Chyco sided with the Separatists, producing numerous war droids and vehicles in their underground factories; following their defeat Chyco was subjected to severe reparations and her people brought to ruin and misery – and yet the ruling oligarchy seemed unaffected by the burden continuing to live their lives in luxury. Out of this perceived dichotomy was born a plot to topple the nobility, and replace it with socialist rule that would see the burden evenly shared. When the revolution came to an end, what surprised everyone (including the usurpers) was the rise of a state-sanctioned cult that worshipped the Emperor as a divine representative. Now stories relating to his sacrifices during the Jedi Betrayal are treated as holy texts, and his edicts and decrees as religious doctrine. Chyco’s factories have been rebuilt, and now serve the Emperor providing him with the weapons to maintain his vigil of peace over the galaxy. While the noble house of Chyco was destroyed during the uprising, the formal title of Duke is granted to the ambassador of Chyco when in court on Sapphirica, where Duke-Elect Braega Chyco is a passionate supporter of Imperial policy.

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