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Page history last edited by Michael 9 years ago

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clan affiliations





dia, km









R, I




Minor Vaylen cultures caught up in strife.


one world in life zone, plus a few small rocky worlds, an extremely large rocky but cold and airless world (Duruusa) and an extensive planetoid belt at the edge of the system. The sun is a K3V, orange-ish in color.


1.0G surface gravity, breathable atmosphere (but with extensive dust storms), low hydrographic desert world. The largest areas of water are the polar ice caps.


airports only onworld. A fuel station is attached to the interdiction station, and will provide boron and hydrogen to authorized visitors (but at very high prices). The planet itself was depleted of economically-recoverable boron several thousand years ago.


clanYaadasahm maintains an interdiction force in the system, with at least two squadrons of fighters, an interdiction tender station, various non-starships, extensive satellite minefields and sensor drone networks, and a Raider-class vessel to carry despatches. All the nations on the surface maintain ground and aviation forces - some quite extensive. The interdiction force does not allow the planetary inhabitants to establish orbital objects, use contragrav systems, or to employ missiles which depart the atmosphere. The interdiction has been in place for more than two centuries


Index 0 balkanized world, controlled by multiple local nations and clans. Numerous languages are spoken, Fed and Chorseri are secondary languages only; multiple cultures exist. Imports and exports:  none (due to blockaded status). Human, ksatriyen, vaishyen and shudren castes are all present (although no makaren).


The planet has no natural petrochemical resources. Power systems are a mix of solar, deep geothermal, and hydrogen fusion. Vehicles use batteries (for short-range applications), alcohol-based fuels, or (rarely) plant-based biofuels.




A common concept on Aleif is the Chivalric Code. Not all cultures/nations adhere to it, and a few out-and-out reject it, but it's pretty common in the more powerful monarchies. The precepts are:


  • Protect the weak, innocent and downtrodden.

  • Serve, obey and protect your nation, rightful superiors and liege lord(s).

  • Never surrender while you have the means to resist.

  • Never allow a comrade to fall into enemy hands.

  • Remain faithful to your pledged word, and to your comrades

  • Accept responsibility for the acts of your subjects or subordinates.

  • A leader must lead from the front.

  • Always be the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil.




The largest of the balkanized nations on this world is the Roman Empire, or Roma Di-guo (as it is commonly called here) or Da Qin (another Mandarin name for the Roman Empire).



Population about 2 million persons. Capital and largest city of the Roman Empire, the city is divided into the Lower City, built entirely without any structures more than 10 meters above ground level; and the Inner City of skyscrapers arranged within a large, shallow lake (the Moat).  The city stands in the middle of a 50 kilometer-diameter flat-bottomed crater, possibly from some ancient meteor strike; the crater floor is the equivalent of 1000 meters above sea level (for purposes of figuring air pressure).


The Lower City (Shacheng) is about 20 kilometers across; there is no heavy industry present. Four airports are built along the outer edges of the Lower City. Transport within the Lower City is by ground vehicles, including rickshaws and pedicabs; it's a dusty, noisy hive of markets, small businesses, schools, cult centers, entertainment districts, etc. There are some neighborhoods which concentrate particular races, cults, or professions. There's a quite busy telecommunications network in the Lower City, and a lot of media are available. Most signage uses Chinese text; the currencies are gold, silver and copper coins.


The Moat (Hoocheng​ee) is 5 kilometers wide (north to south) and 13 kilometers long (east to west); it's actually pretty shallow, never more than 10 meters deep. A cleared area, about 200 meters wide, surrounds the Moat; no unofficial structures are allowed in this area. There are four small marinas or landing-docks on the edges of the Moat, corresponding to the four airports outside the Lower City, and connected to the airports by broad avenues. Travel between the Inner City and the rest of the world seems to be by helicopters (to the airports) or tunnels under the Moat; only a few ornate vessels are ever seen travelling on the water.


The Inner City (Neicheng) is a collection of almost 300 skyscrapers, set in the Moat; many have no connection above the water surface. There are about 200 buildings of 80 stories or so; 40 buildings of about 150 stories; 9 buildings of 400 stories; and the Palace, standing 5 kilometers tall.


400 stories, or about 3 kilometers above "sea level", is about the limit for healthy exposure to the outside air without protection and oxygen systems.


The Palace is slightly east of the center of the Moat; extending to the west is a large hangar or cathedral or something:  1600 meters long, 200 meters wide, and 400 meters high. All the buildings of the Inner City are of unpainted concrete, with bands of gold decoration. None of the decor or structures are representational; it's all kind of a giant Art Deco look. None of the balconies, landing pads, or other exposed areas have any sort of railings; and in fact the residents are a bit leery of going outside. About 250,000 people live in the Inner City; of those, about 5,000 comprise the aristocracy, and another 20,000 or so the scholarly caste. Amusingly enough, deep within the Palace is an arena, the Thunder Dome.


Coinage used in the Roman Empire is a variety of gold, silver, bronze and copper coins, produced with Index 0 technology (hence well-struck, very round, neat lettering, milled edges, etc.). Coins and paper currencies from other nations are discounted, or might not be accepted by merchants. The local (Roman Imperial) coins bear inscriptions in Roman letters and Chinese ideograms; some sample inscriptions include Huan Ken's name in Latin or Chinese text, and words such as Senatus Populus QR, Rex Tempestas, Pontifex Maximus, Autokrator, Dominus Apostolicus, Vicarius Filii Dei, Vicarius Christi, Mobilissimus Caesar, Imperator, Invictus, Vicarius Petri, PP, Pater Patriae, Wang ('king'),Tianzi ('son of heaven'), Zechu Bao-wang ('hegemon-king') ... besides crossed keys, crowns, crucifixes and battlements, a common decorative motif of the coins is a lightning bolt, or a thunder cloud with a lightning bolt.  


  • gold:  the ducat (37.5 grams) is worth 240 denier. There is also a half-ducat coin.

  • silver:  the grosso (~20 grams) is worth 12 denier. There is also a half-grosso coin.

  • billon, bronze or copper coins:  the denier is the basic coin for small transactions. They weigh about 5 grams, with about a gram of silver content. There are smaller coins, such as the obol (worth 1/2 a denier).


1 ducat 3 Σ ≈ $1200 in 2011

1 grosso 0.15 Σ ≈ $60

1 denier 0.0125 Σ ≈ $5

1 obol 0.00625 Σ ≈ $2.50


Here is a map of the vicinity of the Roman Empire:



Notes on the court of Huan Ken:


  • Thunder Knights:  the elite guards of the Emperor, some of them wear plate armor with big butterfly wings on the back. They are led by Duke Hawksmoor, the Thunder Champion. The wings are decorative only, but supposedly once (back in the Underworld?) gave the power of flight.

  • Thunder Valkyries:  pretty insane looking, in a Boris Vallejo-ish way. That must be ceremonial armor only?

  • Sir Gawain:  really? Probably not ... but nobody is gonna tell him otherwise. Caucasian in appearance, he speaks old-fashioned Mandarin Chinese, modern (20th Century) English, bad Latin, and bad Italian. Very courteous; fights best under the sun.




Kingdom of Uttar


About 10,000 km from Hanzhou is the land of Uttar.



Background:  the city of Drillshahad was established hundreds of years ago as a center for deep geothermal power generation. The current kingdom was established 220 years ago, after the Battle of Yungeray resulted in the breakup of the Chimidad Empire.


Geography:  located in the southern hemisphere, the kingdom has an area of about 8 million square kilometers (about the same as Australia). Adjacent countries include the Gundadesh Collective (to the north and west), the Undilag Wildlife Preserve (to the south), and the Kelfinate (to the east). The climate is dry and cool; much of the terrain has little or no flora or fauna. The Vadi Mountains stretch for about 1,000 kilometers across the northern part of the country. The highest peaks of these mountains are more than 13,000 meters above the "sea level" norm for the world, and are covered in snow above the 8,000 meter level.


Land use:  arable land makes up about 12% of the area, all under irrigation from wells deep under the Vadi Mountains. Natural resources include iron ore, tin, and salt.


People:  population is about 4,000,000; population density is 0.4 persons per square kilometer, less than even Mongolia. Major urban areas are Drillshahad (the capital, pop. 700,000), Kaet (pop. 180,000), Dufinidra (pop. 110,000), Kokla (pop. 88,000) and Sharsk (pop. 60,000). The agricultural areas around Kaet have a population density of about 2 persons per square kilometer. Major religions are Charismatic Hindu and Reform Sikhism. Languages include various Hindi dialects, and Mandarin Chinese. Over 500,000 persons are in peonage, with restricted civil rights.


Government:  the Kingdom of Uttar is a hereditary monarchy, divided into 8 states. The law codes differ by religious and ethnic orgin, and social class; there is a small but prominent aristocratic class which has some part in government. The current monarch is Padishah Agramante IX, crowned 10 years ago; he is the sixth ruler, descended in the lineage of Tarabul the Great (fl. about 500 years ago). The national symbol is sort of a flaming skull.


As is common on Aleif, imprisonment is not used as punishment for crime in Uttar. Fines, corporal punishment, and execution are the usual sentences.


Economy:  deep geothermal power stations in Uttar produce about 10% of the electrical power generated on Alief -- sale of this power is the kingdom's primary export. A wide area around Kaet is under heavy cultivation, using water pumped from under the Vadi Mountains; agricultural work is largely performed by peons. Uttar is an acknowledged leader in deep mining and drilling techniques; Drillshahad contains large factories dedicated to mining and drilling equipment. GDP is about 18 million Σ. Silver rupees are the usual currency; one rupee is worth about 0.2 Σ or (very roughly) $80 US as of 2011. There are 16 anna (copper coins, worth about $5) to the rupee; a lakh is a nominal 100,000 rupees, but there is no regular circulating coin or note for that amount.


Communications: there is a well-established telephone and cable-television system; broadcast communications are little-used except by the military. While the lower classes are not restricted in the use of communications networks, there is nothing like an "internet" here.


Transportation:  besides several sectors of the planetary monorail system (speed 500 kph), there is an extensive road network around Kaet. The only international airport is at Drillshahad. Heavy-lift helicopters are fairly common, fueled by bio-produced ethanol.


Military: the annual military budget is about 330,000 Σ (or rather, just over 16 lakh). Military service is obligatory for aristocrats and some urban ethnic groups; there is no conscription and no militia or reserve. Rural peons rarely enter the armed forces; the entrance requirements are somewhat descriminatory towards them. Head of the armed forces is Sir Rodomonte of Sarza, a decorated veteran of the Vishli War ten years ago. Branches of the military are the Host (4,500 personnel: 3 infantry battalions, 1 cavalry battalion with 20 armored cars and a lot of light unarmored vehicles, 1 combined arms battalion with 30 tanks and 50 armored cars), the Air Regiment (500 personnel: 6 Index 0 jet fighter/interceptor aircraft, 6 heavy transport helicopters, various smaller transport and training craft, and 2 anti-aircraft batteries), and the Royal Guard (1,000 personnel). The Royal Guard has special operations, ceremonial, personal protection, and law enforcement roles. Major bases are at Drillshahad and Dakulkili. Certain traditional paramilitary forces exist within the kingdom, answering to various religious or aristocratic groups; none of them number more than 100 personnel, and in theory all of them will obey the commands of the padishah.


The fortress of Mahel, in the mountains, is the property of Sir Medoro of Mahel, who isn't a citizen of Uttar -- the fortress and its immediate surroundings are extraterritorial. 


Transnational Issues:  the previous monarch, Triano V, was slain ten years ago during the Vishli War (which resolved issues with electrical rates and power transmission lines, largely in Uttar's favor). The Gundadesh Collective and several other nations still bear grudges from that conflict. While not illegal in Uttar, a quantity of various narcotics are produced mostly for foreign markets.                  



The Conclave of Chordi

Background:   for hundreds of years, smugglers and pirates have made the Chordi River Gorge their hideout. 


Geography:  The Chordi River, located mostly in the southern hemisphere, runs north through the Kelfinate and into the equatorial deserts. As it enters the desert, for a distance of 300 kilometers or so it cuts a deep channel in the rock. This channel gets gradually shallower at each end, and the river runs out into the desert -- disappearing into the sands a couple hundred kilometers north of the equator. The river varies in flow between southern hemisphere summer and winter. At the site of the Conclave, the gorge is 400 meters deep and about 1 kilometer wide. Settlements, farms, hydroelectric systems, water-storage systems, and other infrastructure extend about 10 kilometers north and south from the middle of the Conclave; a few structures (such as the airport) are on the flat, sandy plains on either side of the gorge. Thus the Conclave is only about 20 square kilometers in size, if described by land area. 


Most of the urban area is actually dug into tunnels on either side of the gorge, extending up about 100 meters from the bottom. From the river, the Conclave looks like a high-tech version of a Pueblo Indian cliff dwelling.


Adjacent countries include the Gundadesh Collective (to the west, across the desert, with no well-defined border), the Kelfinate (to the south about 500 kilometers, in a mountainous area), and the Unified Corporate Zone (to the east); north is the Great Belt Desert. The climate is dry and cool; outside of the gorge is arid desert to the east and west, but within the gorge conditions are more humid.


Land use:  arable land makes up about 90% of the Conclave, but of course that's only 9 square kilometers. Natural resources are limited to water from the Chordi River.


People:  population is about 5,000, almost entirely in the central urban zone. Major religions are Dread Pirate, Charismatic Hindu and the Aversion of Zenu. Languages include various Hindi dialects, Fed Standard, and Mandarin Chinese. Ethnically, the locals are very mixed.


The locals are proud of their Code, and their reputation for fair dealing. Going back on your word is a pretty serious crime here. Stealing from other members of the Conclave, holding back or cheating at loot distribution, sexual molestation, maiming or killing another member of the Conclave "without good reason", and mutiny against the outfit leaders are all crimes.


High-waisted, very loose "parachute pants", worn with a sash and belt at the waist; grippy-sole soft boots; insulated tight-fitting "farmer john" outfits (usually worn unzipped in front); scarves and soft helmets (with headphones and microphones) give the locals a sort of pirates-meet-scuba-divers-meet-aviators look. Most locals will wear the various badges, patches, and other fripperies associated with their outfit on their clothing. Carrying pistols and swords is considered typical of adults in the Conclave.


Government:  the Conclave is a sort of pirate oligarchy; the more successful a pirate or smuggler is, the more votes they control in the Conclave Council. However, each "outfit" is a strict democracy -- one person, one vote -- run on a set of common principles (the Code), plus a few variations for each outfit.  The "national" symbol is a black rectangle with a white circle in the middle.

There are a hundred or more recognized outfits, some of which consist of only a handful of persons. Less than half of the outfits are "armed and dangerous" -- most run the schools, water works, elevators, fuel supplies, etc. Citizens of the Conclave are anyone who's a member of a recognized outfit. If you're desperate, there are some outfits doing the hard, unlovely work needed to keep the town fed, cleaned, repaired, etc.; they'll usually take on unskilled labor. Getting recognized -- by a vote of the Council.


Imprisonment is not used as punishment for crime here. Trials are conducted by large groups of citizens:  banishment or outlawry, fines, corporal punishment, and maiming are the usual sentences. Slavery is illegal in the Conclave, to the extent that holding prisoners for ransom (within the Conclave) is not allowed. Any prisoner brought to the Conclave becomes a free person (unless the Council banishes or outlaws them).


Economy:  hydroelectric power supplies the Conclave's electricity. Most food is imported, as the land under cultivation only supports about 10% of the food requirements. Smuggling, counterfeiting, and piracy make up most of the economy. GDP is about 10,000 Σ. There is no locally produced currency; an amazing variety of coinage from across the planet are used, which results in some complications in transactions. Counterfeiting is not a crime here, so almost nobody will accept any kind of "fiat money".


Communications: within the Conclave, there's an efficient telephone system, but no broadcast communications. Almost every outfit has their own set of radio frequencies for short-range use; most people carry or wear a short-range radio, tuned to their outfit's frequencies. A few frequencies are set aside for emergency use by the community. The Conclave maintains several long-range radio stations at the top of the gorge, for coordinating operations across the hemisphere; these stations can be used by individuals for a steep price.  There is nothing like an "internet" here.


Transportation:  within the Conclave, stairs and elevators for moving people; cranes and conveyors for goods. Two roads follow the river, unimaginatively name East Road and West Road. All travel away from the Conclave is by air, in aircraft or lighter-than-air vehicles. The primary airport is located on the plains above the west side, but small runways and elevator shaft-heads dot the desert for a couple of kilometers east and west.


There are no scheduled air transport services, but it's pretty easy to accompany an outfit on its way to some other part of the planet.


Military: the annual military budget which the Conclave Council controls is about 300 Σ . The Conclave's armed forces are purely defensive -- radar stations, anti-aircraft batteries, a few point-defense systems, two deep shelters (one on each side of the river). While the Council funds no ground troops, several hundred persons, with lots of small arms, can respond within an hour of a call by the Conclave Council.


The Council tries to dissuade the outfits from annoying the nearby nations (the Kingdom of Uttar, the Kelfinate, the United Corporate Zone, and the Gundadesh Collective).


Several dozen of the outfits have aircraft or equipment which might prove useful in offensive or defensive warfare -- but they're extremely varied, and not in the habit of cooperating. 


Transnational Issues:  piracy, smuggling, counterfeiting, the distribution of narcotics and other illicit goods are frowned upon by most nations. There have been some attempts at stamping out the Conclave over the years -- none successful so far.                 





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