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Finding Serenity


Finding Serenity is an original-character roleplay set in Joss Whedon's Firefly 'Verse. Events take place after the events of the Serenity movie.

The year is 2519.

Earth-That-Was is long gone. Humans found a new group of solar systems with dozens of planets and hundreds of moons. The "Core" planets are civilised, high-tech and under Alliance control. The "Border" worlds are diverse and distinct. The "Rim" is the wild west of the 'verse and the "Black" is where our ships travel, hoping to avoid the perils of space: Alliance, pirates, and the monsters known as Reavers.

So here we are, on the "raggedy edge". This is where our characters live. There are those who stick by the Alliance Government, those who want to rise up against it, and those that just don't care either way as long as they can make a living. With every turn, every choice put forward and every decision made we are FINDING SERENITY


Author Topic: Planets & Moons  (Read 75 times)

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Planets & Moons
« on: March 17, 2018, 09:45:33 PM »
Central Planets

The central planets are a wonderland of peace and technology. All citizens have enough to eat. They work in glistening skyscrapers and live in highrise apartment buildings. The grass is green and the skies are clear and no one wants for anything. That’s if you believe the Alliance propaganda. To be fair, the propaganda is mostly true. Even the poor who live on the Core worlds rarely want for shelter or food. Still, contrary to what the Alliance might want everyone to think, not everyone on the Core worlds is well-to-do. Those who aren’t wealthy don’t find life much better than those living out on the Rim. They may be better schooled, and their work might not involve dirt collecting beneath their fingernails, but there are plenty of folk who don’t much like their lot in life. Trapped in repetitive, unimaginative jobs, viewing nothing but the four low walls of a cube all day, they have the watchful eye of the Alliance on them at every turn. There is so much surveillance on a Core world “to prevent crime and ensure the safety of citizens” that almost everything a person does is recorded on a monitor somewhere. The authorities will tell you that crime is almost non-existent on the Central Planets, since their scanners are almost everywhere. Still, folk being folk, there are some who manage to find a way to poke the Alliance in its electronic eye now and then. Most folk on the Core worlds are content. They lead comfortable lives, with time and leisure to spend with their families. Their children all have access to the best quality education and health care. They have found the peaceful, prosperous existence that mankind has been seeking since he left the Garden of Eden. If they have to trade away some of their freedom to get this, they would tell you it was worth it. These are the same folk who can’t understand why other folk on the outer worlds fought so hard against it.

Ariel

Like the rest of the Core worlds, Ariel is a paradise of technology. Tall buildings constructed of gleaming glass and steel reach into the sky. Holographic billboards advertise all manner of wonders. The night is filled with light. The day with the hustle and bustle of business. Ariel is known among the central planets for its excellent medical facilities. The technology in Ariel’s hospitals is the very latest, featuring such fancifications as holographic scanners and lots of machines that you gotta shout “clear!” to use. The restaurants on Ariel are so good that folk travel here from other worlds just to have dinner. All the famous chefs come from Ariel or go to Ariel to open their own restaurants. It is said that even the hot dog vendors on Ariel are gourmet. As with most planets in the Core, Ariel is a restricted landing zone. Only those with legitimate business (such as bringing in a Companion for a yearly check-up) are allowed to land. (Though, in most cases, if you look like you belong on a Core world, no one asks many questions.)


Bernadette

After the initial colonization of Londinum and Sihnon, Bernadette was the first planet to be terraformed and settled by humanity. The only remaining ship that brought the folk who made the Exodus stands in the capital city of New Paris as a monument to their courage. The ark is a monstrous starship, at least five times the size of an Alliance cruiser. The sheer sight of the ark inspires all manner of awe and jaw-dropping. The inside of the ark is a museum containing information about the journey, and also information on the cultures and history of Earth-That-Was. The great ark is named Prometheus, after the legendary god who gave man fire. Bernadette is a traditional launching point for those leaving to settle on other worlds. Settlers arrive here from other planets on the Core and make preparations to set off for a new life on the Rim. Many businesses cater to these settlers, selling tools and supplies. Best watch your step here. There is an underground slave-trade on Bernadette. Settlers are captured and hauled off to work on terraforming stations. The slavers are smart enough to leave locals alone. They figure outsiders won’t be missed. Bernadette is also home to many churches and religious groups. Buddhists and Christians rub shoulders with Islamic clerics and Hindu fakirs. In addition, the planet is home to a number of fringe cults and fanatical devotees. Bernadette is a restricted landing zone. However, if you claim to be a settler or you have a group of kiddies on board for a field trip to see the ark, you’re usually welcome.


Londinum

Of all the planets, Londinum is the most like Earth-That-Was and was therefore one of the first two planets to be settled, since it needed little work to make it ready for human habitation. Most of the original colonists from the European and American continents came to Londinum, where they honored their roots by combining old tradition with new technology. All the buildings are constructed of the most modern material, but they look as if they were built of stone and are of archaic design. The general look of the cities is what book-smart folk call the “imperial gothic” style of London from Earth-ThatWas. May not look so shiny to those from the Rim, but it still makes the place popular with looky-loos and picture-snappers. The Parliament building and government complex that surrounds it are the most impressive sights on the planet. As big as a small city, the Parliament building contains the great debating chamber (“The House”), while the surrounding building complex provides offices for all the ministers and civil servants. It also features a huge clock tower that has become the planet’s symbol. Seems like almost everyone on Londinum works for the government or for businesses who deal with the government. Government is not the only business of Londinum, however. The planet is also home to some of the greatest collections of western art in the system. The Londinum Museum, which contains the Museum of History and the Museum of Art, is a splendid building that holds all manner of treasures. Most come from the early days of colonization, but the most valuable pieces are the ancient artifacts from Earth-That-Was. As the center of Alliance control, Londinum has a strong military presence. The Alliance flagship, Victoria, patrols its space. The planet is home to the elite SAS (Special Alliance Support) troops. The Ministry of Intelligence also has its headquarters here. Londinum is heavily restricted with “no fly” zones above and around government buildings. Any ship venturing near these areas is shot down, no warning given. Tourists arrive on Londinum via authorized shuttles that travel to and from the other Core worlds. Tourists may visit only those areas that are approved. Anyone caught venturing outside the approved areas without proper ID is immediately arrested.


Osiris

Osiris is the heart of the Alliance’s judicial branch. Here the High Court hears important cases. Their decisions affect the interpretation of parliamentary law with repercussions throughout the system. The Court is housed in a large pyramidshaped building (honoring the Egyptian god of the dead for whom the world was named) in Capital City. The most important law firms are also based here, linked to their branch offices on other worlds by the Cortex. The University of Osiris boasts the most prestigious law school in the Core, as well as a fine medical school. The corporate offices of the Blue Sun Corporation are also on Osiris. Originally on Sihnon, they were recently moved into a massive structure that is attached to a combined manufacturing plant, distribution center, and spacedock. The Corporation complex is off-limits to everyone except employees. No one enters, even on business, without first undergoing a thorough background check. The very latest in security systems makes this complex nigh impossible to break into. Landing on Osiris is restricted, though not as heavily as some planets (just so long as you don’t go near Blue Sun). If you claim you need to see your lawyer, you’ll usually be permitted to set down. University students and their parents are always welcome.


Sihnon

The world of Sihnon is known for its beauty. Words alone won’t do the great city itself justice. At night, it is said to be an ocean of light. Sihnon is the heart of the Buddhist religion, a fact made obvious by the many monasteries and temples located here. Those seeking to learn more about Buddhism travel here to study. Sihnon is also the central hub for the guild system. The Companion’s Guild is based here, with multiple houses in the large cities, and a massive temple dedicated to the schooling of young girls and boys. All other guilds have headquarters on Sihnon or maintain a large presence here. Guild business takes place behind closed doors. Disputes are handled by registered arbitration houses. The city of Chang’Pei is given over completely to trade administration, making it the largest civil bureaucracy in the ‘Verse. The penalties for bribes, taking or giving, are harsh, but that doesn’t stop some folk. Officers of the Sihnon Trade Commission work undercover to root out the worst offenders. The officers know that they cannot stop the corruption completely, but they work tirelessly to see that it doesn’t get out of hand. These folk take their jobs seriously. They are well trained in combat and interrogation procedures, as well as espionage and accounting. The capital of Sihnon is Lu’Weng. Local legend maintains that Lu’Weng was once a fire-breathing dragon that fell from the sky and was bound to the planet with silken ribbons. The numbers of hot springs here seem to bear this theory out, and every home traditionally has a silken awning or a curtain across the door to keep the dragon bound. Lu’Weng (the city) is one of the largest producers of silk in the system. Raw silk is farmed all over the planet and then sent to Lu’Weng, where it is refined and bolted or made into beautiful clothing that never falls out of favor with the rich throughout the system. Landing on Sihnon is restricted, though there is so much traffic coming and going on this busy world that the government issues passes to those who come here on a frequent basis. Such passes aren’t hard to get, nor are they hard to forge.


Re: Planets & Moons

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Re: Planets & Moons
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2018, 09:52:08 PM »
Border Planets

The Border planets are near enough to the central planets that they have business dealings with those on the Core. However, the Border planets are far enough away from the Core that the eyes of the Alliance can’t always make out what’s going on. Thus, these planets are excellent locales for certain unscrupulous folk from the Core to conduct business dealings “in private.” They don’t have to move to these planets, thank God! (Though there are those eccentrics who travel here from the Core to “get away from it all”—the kind of people who build strong fortresses to keep out the riffraff and would never dream of socializing with the local yokels.) The irony is that these same folk are all in favor of the rules and regulations that govern business dealings throughout the system—just as long as those rules and regulations don’t affect them. To give the folk on these planets credit where credits are due, there are plenty on the Border worlds who are eager to do business with those on the Core. And there are always countless numbers without a silver in their pocket here looking for work. Landing on Beaumonde and Persephone is supposedly regulated, but the traffic is so heavy that the harried Alliance officials who try to police it have mostly thrown up their hands in frustration and sometimes don’t even bother to ask what your business is. (Perhaps they figure it’s best they don’t know!) Landing on Bellerophon is more difficult, since the world is basically off limits to all who don’t own one of its elegant estates. Still, there are ways... The Border planets are the best and worst of all possible worlds. Tall, elegant skyscrapers and magnificent mansions stare down their steel noses at cardboard hovels and crowded slums. You can buy anything on the Border planets, from someone to pick off your worst enemy to a pink ruffled dress that looks like a layer cake. (Just don’t buy the “Good Dogs” from the vendor in the Eavesdown Docks. Not if you care that the sausage inside the bun was once actually a good little dog.)


Beaumonde

The heavily industrialized planet of Beaumonde is the manufacturing hub of the system. Its cities are surrounded by factories that produce everything from computer parts to ceramic coffee mugs. Some of the factories are owned by Blue Sun, though there are rumors that a few of these are not really factories at all or, if they are, that they’re turning out something other than canned beans. Security is tight at all Blue Sun plants, so no one has ever been able to get inside one of these buildings to find out. Or least if they did, they never got back out to tell the tale. Due to the high industrial output, pollution is a problem. Beaumonde’s cities are covered in a perpetual haze. Weather control systems process the worst of the pollution, but the science-minded reckon the long-term effects may not be quite so simple to take care of. Every year more pollutants find their way into the water and the soil, causing all manner of difficulty for those who live off the land. Some people have moved their homes and businesses underground to escape the air pollution. Once you get away from the cities and out into the countryside, the air quality improves a mite. Farmers and ranchers manage to make a good living. There is also a thriving spaceport on Beaumonde, much like the more famous port on Persephone. New Dunsmuir is the capital of Beaumonde. The city is the only one on the planet that has no factories. Located on an ocean, New Dunsmuir is a popular tourist destination. Many wealthy factory owners make their homes here, as do those who work in the tourist industry. New Dunsmuir is a beautiful city with avenues of trees and carefully maintained flower gardens.


Bellerophon

Bellerophon is a world home to the private estates of the system’s wealthiest folk. Anything they want is shipped in from off-world, so they have no need for shops or local color. The estates themselves are each the size of a small town and float gracefully a mile above the clear waters of Bellerophon’s oceans. Each estate is a selfcontained world of its own. They all share a similar basic design and standardized amenities—such as a rubbish collection system. The wealthy pay well for their privacy and the skies above Bellerophon are patrolled by both the Feds and private security companies. Visiting the estates is by invitation only. Those who come to work on the estates have to provide a damn good reason why they’re here. (Fresh flowers anyone?) However, there is a lot of empty desert on this planet—a nice, quiet place to meet someone if you can sneak past the Feds.


Boros

Ares, one of Boros’ moons, is home to Iskellkian’s primary military shipyards. It’s no wonder then, that the planet is crawling with all manner of government agents and bureaucrats and military folk. Ares is restricted to Alliance personnel and Iskellian technicians. However, anyone who travels near to Boros can lay eyes on the Alliance cruisers being built in orbit around Ares. There are usually five cruisers in production at any one time, since it takes roughly six years to complete one. A full battalion of Alliance troops is barracked here, as the moon is a target for terrorist attacks and corporate raiders seeking the newest technology. Few ever manage to penetrate this perimeter, as the Alliance is more vigilant here than anywhere outside the Core. The planet Boros is not as industrialized as Beaumonde. It has a lot of prairie land where you find sprawling ranches and farms. Boros’ cities have some factories that manufacture goods, though the products are meant mostly to be used on the planet. The major industry of Boros is scrap metal. Parts that didn’t meet the Alliance’s rigorous standards, castoffs, damaged parts, and plain old junk find their way from Ares to Boros. Smaller and less reputable tech-companies hoping to pick up the scraps of Alliance contracts keep outlets on Boros. Small wonder that folk see Boros as a good place to find parts for almost anything, often at a good price. Better still, the planet has few landing restrictions. Ares is, of course, off-limits unless you can prove that you have a damn good reason to be there. Assuming the patrolling Alliance doesn’t just shoot you first to be on the safe side.


Hera

Hera is a largely agricultural world, considered the breadbasket for the entire system. Food is grown, processed and packaged on Hera. The planet is also the home of the infamous Serenity Valley, where the bloodiest battle of the war was fought. Lying midway between the Core and the outer planets on a major shipping lane, Hera was of great strategic importance during the war, making it an important staging ground for both sides. Taking Hera was a key to winning the war, and Serenity Valley became the turning point for the conflict. The war devastated Serenity Valley. Seven years past, the valley is still blackened and charred by the fire storm that swept through it. The only landmark is a graveyard on the hills next to the valley. Over half a million men and women—Alliance and Independent alike—are buried here, each with his or her own small identical headstone. Some have names. Most don’t. The graveyard is located on the opposite side of the valley from the town of Serenity View. Families and friends of the fallen come to Hera to visit the graves, which bloom with flowers, photos and mementos. Even the unmarked graves have their share. Plenty of families never saw their children return, and many have picked an unnamed grave and honor it, hoping someone else is doing the same for their son or daughter. Serenity graveyard is one of the most hallowed and sacred pieces of ground in all the ‘Verse.


Newhall

Newhall is a newly-terraformed planet with large oceans. Stands to reason that water is the planet’s primary commodity. Newhall’s people live on small island chains or on floating stations on the oceans. Newhall’s water plants are always in need of workers, hence the Alliance’s generous incentives for settlers who move here. Terraforming new worlds requires a lot of fresh water, and Newhall has water to spare. Processing the water and preparing it for shipping isn’t an unproblematic job, though. The water needs to be collected, desalinated, purified, packaged, then loaded for transport. Those of Newhall don’t want to work the water plants can make a good living fishing. And there’s always the tourist centers, for those who like to swim and cavort—or who want to tend to those who do.


Paquin

Known far and wide as the “gypsy planet,” Paquin is home to more carnivals and sideshows, galleries and theatres than you could shake a cruisersized stick at. It also seems to be home to every conartist and swindler in the system. When it was being terraformed, Paquin was chosen to host a grand opera house. Paquin’s unique atmosphere produces sunrises and sunsets the likes of which would lift even the burden of death, with colors ranging from purple to blue to red to orange. This stunning display provides a wonderful natural backdrop for the opera house, which is located on the shore overlooking a vast ocean. As the new opera house brought theater lovers to the planet, more theatres were built to take advantage of the new trade. Paquin is the place to see all manner of entertainment from Noh theatre to experimental dance. Many new plays debut here, and those that become popular travel to the Core where they play for the elite. Artists and writers make Paquin their home to be “closer to the muse.” Paquin is the artistic center of the Border worlds and rivals Sihnon in terms of culture (though the people of Sihnon will get all manner of indignant denying this!). Like other worlds, Paquin has a dark side. Countless carnivals and sideshows dot the world, providing good honest entertainment for the prairie folk, featuring circus acts and magic shows, freaks and jugglers. But there are those carnies who exist purely to fleece their patrons of all their cash or use their bright lights as cover for even darker activities.


Persephone

Persephone is an interesting mix of people and cultures. The world’s environment is much like Earth-That-Was: desert, rainforest, plains, tundra, and such. While not as heavily populated as the worlds of the Core, Persephone still seems a very big place to those from the Rim. Persephone has a tradition-oriented aristocracy, a small but thriving middle class, a fair share of the poor and desperate, and a shadowy underworld. The Eavesdown Docks is the largest spaceport on Persephone. Even folk who think themselves hotshot pilots are confused now and again by its chaotic layout. (And woe to the new pilot trying to make his way to a dock for the first time!) Ships often touch down only a few yards from street vendors selling cheap goods to the crews and potential passengers. The docks are situated in the poor section of town (the nobles and other rich folk have their own private airfields), but it’s just a short drive or a long walk to the business district—in which just about anything in the ‘Verse can be bought for the right price. The docks are home to several criminal “lords,” who collect illegal salvage, move contraband offworld and have hundreds of other ways to make quick, if not Alliance-approved, easy cash. A good crew with a flyable ship could make good coin here, so long as their morals aren’t overly high and they don’t mind avoiding the Feds. Not far away is a famous racetrack that is home to a famous derby that brings in folk from throughout the system (not to mention the throngs of Cortex-viewers), offering a huge cash prizes to the winning horse. Like the horses, the aristocracy of Persephone all lay claim to a pedigree. Then again, anyone with the right stack of coin can purchase his own lordship, what with its fancy sash and all. Noble families live on large estates, attending to business, dancing at opulent balls, playing golf or tennis, and settling matters of honor in formal duels. Persephone is an impressive cross-section of humanity, which is just another way to say that it’s a world with an over abundance of opportunity and danger.


Santo

One of the great triumphs of terraforming is the planet Santo. The planet is picture-perfect, with clear blue seas, azure skies and ideal weather. Though it has a thriving agricultural base, Santo was once known for the tourists who thought it a paradise. The rich flocked to the planet as an exclusive vacation spot, and resort communities commanded every good view to be had. The war ended Santo’s glorious days as a destination for the rich and beautiful. Though the planet escaped destruction, no one from the Core worlds dared travel here while the fighting was about. Hotels and casinos were abandoned. Those that stayed open did so by finding other ways to attract customers. Brothels, strip clubs, and other ventures catering to less savory appetites opened up. Santos has become known as a “fun” place, no matter what pleasures you’re into. After the war, casino owners found that they could avoid Alliance restrictions by operating in this out of the way place. The world became a Mecca for high rollers (and those who were not so high). Santo’s resorts are now beginning to recover. No longer a playground exclusively for the rich, Santos attracts a more middle-class crowd. Its resorts are still beautiful, its small towns picturesque, its casinos open twenty-four seven. You’ll have a good time here, but you might not want to bring the kiddies.


Verbena

Verbana is a lush world of thick forests., making the land difficult to clear and farm, though several fruit-producers have done well with large orchards. The world was largely underdeveloped until the Alliance made it a centerpiece of its “rejuvenation after Unification” campaign. Government incentives funded new construction, including a factory to supply parts for military vehicles. The factory seemed a promising start for Verbena, but that ended when a former Independent soldier-turned-terrorist bombed the factory, killing hundreds of people and destroying the structure. The bombing sent the world into an economic depression and—far worse—created an atmosphere of paranoia, fear, and hatred for Browncoats and the Independence movement. There were riots, lootings, burnings, as both sides lost their heads. The Alliance has pledged to help the people of Verbena, but the appropriate legislation and resolutions are trapped in parliamentary committees. The world is low on the government’s list of priorities. Some folk have fled, hoping to find a better life elsewhere. Many more would like to leave, but don’t have the means, and so remain trapped. A small security force is more or less permanently stationed on Verbena. While ostensibly there to guard against more terrorist action, it is really there to watch a restless population.


Credit: Serenity RPG

Re: Planets & Moons

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Re: Planets & Moons
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2018, 10:01:07 PM »
Rim Planets

Out on the farthest edges of the system, life can be quite challenging. The Rim worlds are the latest results of terraforming technology, only recently settled, and raw and untamed. The comforts of civilization common to the Core Worlds just aren’t so here. Technology and power are far more expensive out on the outer worlds and moons, so folk have to make do without. People ride horseback, farm with archaic tools, and resort to entertainment that doesn’t require electricity or batteries to operate. While some folk dream of the luxuries available on the central planets, others enjoy the freedom of open air and hard toil. In their own way, they’re as stuck-up as the Core-Worlders, looking down their noses at soft folk who’ve never dug a ditch or mucked a horse stall. While the Alliance government has a presence on the Rim, its grip is more than a mite looser here than elsewhere. Folk can’t count on help coming right away (or at all), so they are accustomed to taking care of themselves and their own. Frontier-folk are usually armed, ready to draw at a moment’s notice. Children learn to aim by shooting cans off a fence post. The lack of government interference and monitoring has made the Rim a haven for outlaws, outcasts and shady business folk, as well as a middle class who started to feel like their own planets were getting too crowded for comfort. There is money to be made on the outer worlds, something plenty are just now figuring out. Each world has a Governor, each moon a magistrate. As long as the general peace is kept and the proper reports are filed, such powerful figures may pretty much do as they please, least as far as the Alliance is concerned. Some government officials are good. Some not. Same here as most everywhere else in the ‘Verse. A citizen of the central planets who wakes up on a Rim world might think he’s traveled backwards in time: people riding horses and shooting six guns. Yet, here and there, you can still find the technology of the 26th century, from Cortex access terminals to high-security bank vaults.


Athens

Located in the Burnham quadrant, Athens is a world known for rapidly changing weather and winds that blow constantly. Aside from that, the climate is relatively mild. Certain crops thrive here, and there’s plenty of beautiful marble to be quarried and shipped off-world. One of the few outer planets to fully support Unification, Athens was captured by the Independents. “Ownership” of the world changed hands several times during the course of the war. Finally, running low on manpower and weary of ground battles on this otherwise minor rock, the Alliance took to bombing the world’s major cities to drive out the Browncoats. ‘Cept for the piles of dead civilians and heaps more hurt and homeless that lost everything, the strategy worked. Recently, the Alliance opened up the bombedout cities for legal salvage operations. Licenses for these operations can be obtained from United Reclamation or (more slowly) from the Alliance. Then again, these cities are so chaotic that it’s not so hard for the unlicensed to sneak in and out. The world’s farmers were more fortunate than the city dwellers. Those dwelling in rural areas found it easier to scratch by during the war. It’s taken time, but they’re slowly reconnecting their ties to the rest of the ‘Verse. Athens has four moons, all terraformed and a lot nicer to live on than the planet they circle. Folk on the moons live by farming and ranching. Everyone keeps an eye out for Reavers, since undefended moons are easy prey for the nearby marauders.


Whitefall

Whitefall is the fourth moon of Athens, where the threat of Reaver raiding parties has made the settlers over-protective and perhaps a bit paranoid. There is also a rumor currently circulating that the Blue Sun corporation has a hidden factory or complex located in the mountains on one of the moons, though what they manufacture or why they would come here is anyone’s guess. A woman named Patience owns most of the moon, and has a reputation for not paying for things she doesn't need to pay for.


Beylix

While the planet has many large farming communities, Beylix has the distinction of being the system’s garbage dump (make that “reclamation and recycling center”). The scrap yards and refuse centers are managed by United Reclamation, which owns property all over Beylix. Soon after the company began to dump trash here, its agents reported that scavengers were coming to pick over the remains, since there was little to no security. It turned out that what was trash to people on the Core was treasure to the folk out on the Rim. United responded by licensing junk dealers. Some entrepreneurs began selling rebuilt ships— everything from old Starfinders to out-of-service Fireflies. Others devised creative uses for scrap, either jury-rigging old technology into something useful or turning it into art and selling it back to the Core where it decorates office lobbies. Beylix is a place to start a new life, as you can often find some old ship and the parts to get her flyin’. Beylix is also a good place to drop off smuggled goods. It’s not as if the Alliance or the corporations want to pay any attention to this gorram heap of feh wu.


Ezra

A planet in the Georgia system, Ezra is currently in transition. Once Ezra was a relatively peaceful world known for farmers and ranchers. Then, near the end of the war, its governor died unexpectedly, throwing the planet in chaos. (Conspiracy theorists alternately blame either Alliance or Independent assassins, but in truth the man choked on a piece of chicken.) The lieutenant governor was ill-equipped for the job. To make matters worse, thousands of war refugees and former soldiers from both sides were pouring into Ezra. Jobs got real scarce, the ranks of unemployed swelled, and the economy went belly up. Criminals flocked to Ezra as word spread of overwhelmed law enforcement and the potential to hide under the larger problems. It was during this chaotic time that a crime lord, one Adelei Niska, moved his skyplex into Ezra’s orbit and set himself up as the local power. Using some legitimate businesses as a front, he manages to avoid prosecution through the use of bribes, assassination, and the threat of his torture chambers. The Alliance Parliament is currently considering what to do about the “Ezra situation.” A new governor is needed, but he or she would have to confront Niska, and thus far there have been no candidates willing to take on that task. Farming and ranching are still common pursuits. Ezra’s business enterprises have at least provided jobs for some folk. The law of the gun is absolute on Ezra: if you can’t defend yourself or what you’ve got, someone will take it from you. That rule applies to people as well as property, since many slavers come here to pick up a little extra cargo. Despite the risks, there is now work to be found on Ezra, though it may not be to everyone’s liking.


Greenleaf

The world has a large tropical belt, creating massive jungles and rainforests. Tropical plants provide a variety of life-saving drugs that cannot easily be synthesized in a laboratory. Major drug companies set up shop on Greenleaf, providing the bulk of work for the locals. Some of Greenleaf ’s residents, seeing the enormous profits that were being made, began to make “clippings” of pharmaceutical plants and grow them privately to sell on the black market. The problem became so great that the drug companies began engineering new plant strains with traceable genetic tags, so that confiscated merchandise could be traced back to the origin point. The technique has not yet led to any major arrests, mostly because there are dozens of small cartels, and they are difficult to track down in the jungle. The Alliance is aware of the drug-smuggling problem out of Greenleaf, and they are clamping down on enforcement. Landing is more restricted on Greenleaf than on other Rim worlds, though smugglers who know the jungle can always find ways to sneak through.


Haven

A small mining moon, Haven is home to an independent group of miners who laid claim to this rock and are not about to be shoved off it. The miners of Haven have not yet struck it rich, but they have seen enough signs to believe that they are close to a major haul (just what, they’re not saying!). Others in the ‘Verse apparently think that Haven has something worthwhile beneath the surface. The Corone Consortium recently sent in spies to try to dig up information. The spies were caught and, after revealing the name of their employer, they were sent back—a little the worse for wear—carrying a message for the Consortium to stay the hell out of Haven. Since then, the mining communities of Haven have pooled their resources to buy a large surfaceto-air cannon which they have mounted near the edge of the largest mining town to discourage visitors.


Higgins’ Moon

A man named Higgins was appointed magistrate of a small, unnamed moon. (There were rumors that he won his appointment in a card game.) At the time the moon was founded, it did not appear to have useful resources or much potential for agriculture. A few years later, it was discovered that some areas have a mineral-rich clay that can be harvested, chemically treated and kiln-fired into a ceramic that is ten times stronger than steel at half the weight. It formed a new industry: mud. The company town of Canton was founded near the largest mud pits. Over two thousand workers, known as “Mudders,” live in Canton and work for Magistrate Higgins. Many of these are slaves and indentured laborers (who probably will never be able to purchase their way out of debt). Higgins rules through intimidation and the use of force, and is hated by virtually everyone. The foreman and his prods enforce the company rules, either with longterm hard-labor, imprisonment, or hacking folk up and rolling them into the bog. The Mudders of Canton sing songs of a hero who has twice defied the magistrate and sailed away: Jayne Cobb. The Hero of Canton, they say, will one day return to Higgins Moon and free them from oppression. The more likely way for conditions to improve will be the magistrate’s son, Fess, who is quietly working to reverse some of his father’s harshest policies.


Jiangyin

Jiangyin is a small planet suitable for cattle ranching and foresting and little else. Jiangyin is dotted with small towns, where folk generally go about their business without much interference from the outside. Those who do come here from off-world usually have goods to sell to the ranchers and foresters. Since the planet really has nothing of value, it is ignored by the Alliance, which doesn’t even bother to patrol it. Jiangyin has no central government. Each town or village is left to govern itself. It is one of the most primitive and backward planets, its people in such desperate need that they are forced to steal what they can’t acquire by lawful means—such as doctors to treat their sick. The people of Jiangyin are a simple lot, especially those who live apart from what little civilization there is. These “hill folk” are superstitious and mostly uneducated, easy prey for unscrupulous leaders. A strong show of force is usually enough to intimidate them.


Lilac

Lilac was named by someone gullible enough to believe what the terraformers promised—a planet of perpetual springtime. As it turned out, Lilac is more like a planet of ri shao gou shi bing. A small crop moon, Lilac is plagued with heat and a serious lack of water. Most of the farmers wage a continual battle against the elements, and what crops they do bring in are generally self-sustaining. There are some locations on Lilac where the rain falls on a regular basis and the sun nurtures the crops, not fries them. Farmers lucky enough to have land here do very well for themselves. To add insult to injury, Lilac is located on the edge of what has now become Reaver territory. The people of Lilac fear that it’s just a matter of time before they’re attacked. Several of the major land-holders have joined together to contract with a private security firm to protect their property and lives in case of Reaver attack. That private security firm has its payroll delivered to one of the local banks. Just in case you’re interested in making a withdrawal.


Miranda

The planet Miranda is not listed in the Cortex nor is it found any history database. Miranda is rumored to be a Blackrock, a planet where a terraforming “event” killed the settlers and left the planet forever uninhabitable. Some folk might still be curious enough to pay Miranda a visit, maybe see if there might something left to salvage, were it not for the fact that it lies in the heart of Reaver territory.


Regina

The mineral-rich planet of Regina is known for its massive mining operations. Over three-quarters of the population work in one part of mining industry or another. Most of the mines are run by the Corone Mining Consortium, although there are still a few local owners hanging on. Corone’s workers are underpaid and their working conditions can be extremely dangerous. The miners of Regina take a stoic pride in their work and the suffering they endure. As if things were not hard enough, the ore-processors and atmospheric conditions of Regina have created conditions for a disease called Bowden’s Malady, a degenerative affliction of the bone and muscles that leaves victims weak and in constant pain. While there is no cure, regular treatment with Pasceline-D halts the progression of the disease and makes life tolerable. The Alliance sponsors regular shipments of the expensive drug to Regina. The drug is drop-shipped to central location and delivered by train to the individual mining towns. The people of the world are dependent on this government handout, though shipments are not as frequent as they should be.


Shadow

Once it was said that the prairies of Shadow stretched out so far under such a clear sky that a man could see from here to God’s plan. These days, all that is left is charred and blackened rock. Shadow was known for its grain farms and cattle ranches. The planet was almost entirely rural, with small towns dotting the countryside. While it had a few impressive towns, there were no actual cities. Its people were hard workers and independent-minded. Shadow was one of the first worlds to stand against the aggression of the Alliance. Most of its young people volunteered to fight for Independence. The aggressive bombing of Shadow during the war was meant to teach the Browncoats a lesson about the might of the Alliance. Instead, the bombing only hardened the resolve of those who fought and increased the Browncoats’ hatred of their enemy. Those few from Shadow who survived this difficult time lost loved ones, their lives forever changed. Shadow today is a ghost planet. No one lives there. No one can.


Triumph

Triumph is a tiny moon in orbit around the Heinlein gas giant near edges of the system. With little to offer other than small areas suitable for farming, the moon became a refuge for folk who wanted nothing to do with modern life. The Triumph settlers live like the Amish of Earth-ThatWas, using little in the way of advanced technology (though they do have the ability to contact the outside world if they are in need of aid). The people follow their own customs. For example, in one town, the young girls are raised in a convent called the Maiden House. Trained to be subservient and to respond to a man’s needs, girls are married off in trade¬—a form of currency for settlers who have little else to offer. Thugs and bandits find the settlements easy pickings, since the people are pacifists. The thieves steal goods and rough up the locals. The people of Triumph sometimes arrange with bands of mercenaries to protect them.


St. Albans

One of the coldest planets in the ‘Verse, St Albans’ terrain is almost entirely mountainous. What really makes St Albans a whole lot of unpleasant is the gorram weather, for it snows almost continually. The entire planet is covered in drifts, even during what some laughingly call summer. The people here are a hardy folk. The principal work is mining the world’s rich mineral deposits. The Consortium’s not interested due to the harsh climate. The planet is divided into claims that the inhabitants prospect for whatever they can find. Theirs is a tough and lonely life, so the folk have developed a very strong community. If you offend one of them, you have offended all of them. The reverse is true, however: if you make one friend on St. Albans, the entire community will look out for you.

Credit: Serenity RPG

 

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