Asta

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Asta
Hex 0911
First Planet Idarast
Black Hole no
Illustration of Asta, including the planets and notable stations in the system

The Asta system, situated in hex 0911, is the home system of the Assembled Commonwealth.

Asta is a G-type main-sequence star. The system has four planets: Idarast (a ringed terrestrial planet), Sonarast (a gas giant), Korast, and Tyrast (both dwarf planets). The system also has two heavily populated Asteroid belts known as the Baldr Belt and the Vale Belt.

Notable Planets[edit]

Idarast[edit]

The closest planet to the sun in the Asta system, as well as the homeworld of the Assembled Commonwealth. While Idarast proved to be a challenging place to live right from its initial colonisation, living conditions on the planet wouldn’t become truly dire until 76 years ago, when a turbulent series of events saw the near destruction of its biosphere. Vast previously fertile areas of the planet were reduced to little more than arid deserts due to the sudden increase in radiation caused by what is now referred as the Idari Crisis; this event, however, did not spell the end of life on Idarast, and the city-states of the Assembled Commonwealth still thrive, protected from the harsher environment they now face. In recent years evidence has shown that certain species of plant life has begun to adapt to the new circumstances, and is slowly spreading across the planet.

Idarast's ring is believed to be mostly made up of remains from a moon that once orbited the planet, destroyed long before any present day populous arrived. Within the ring are pockets of refuse left over from Project Atlas, the remnants of the disastrous enterprise that led to the Idari Crisis. It's believed that pieces from these pockets entering the atmosphere are responsible for annual spikes in Newrad levels.

On average it takes 365 standard days (24 hours) for Idarast to fully orbit Asta, with Idarast’s daily rotation period being around 40 hours.

Other points of interest[edit]

Sonarast[edit]

Is the largest planet in the Asta system, with a diameter of 124,489 km. Sonarast is mostly made up of hydrogen and helium but has substantial deposits of an essential element for FTL fuel within the atmosphere. Most significantly Sonarast is the location of the Troy Project.

The planet takes its name from one of Idarasts most famous leaders, Valentyna Sonartes. Sonartes was the governor of Montar, the first human colony on Idarast during the arrival of the refugees from the House of Ida. She was responsible for the relief programme that helped establish the colony of Beorgan and saved the refugees. This act of kindness and unity is seen as one of the driving factors for the good relations between the burgeoning city-states, and the eventual formation of the Assembled Commonwealth.

Troy Project[edit]

During the Beacon Wars the newly established Assembled Commonwealth became concerned that the worsening diplomatic situation in the wider sector would lead to shortages of fuel supplies. It was decided that the resources of the Commonwealth would be invested in a refinery for faster than light fuel within Asta. The essential element had been detected on Sonarast several decades earlier but never developed because of the vast resources needed to do so.

The initial construction was finished in 132(PA) (200), with the first successful batch of fuel produced in 119(PA) (187). The process is extremely dangerous, needing precise and consistent handling, and any deviation could lead to disastrous consequences. The Troy Project ensures the process is followed to the letter by using a robotic workforce, specially designed to work safely and securely for lengths of time no human could manage.

Dwarf planets[edit]

The two Dwarf planets Korast and Tyrast are the farthest known objects within the Asta System, both sitting outside of the Vale Belt. Neither planet is habitable, and extensive infrastructure is required to house anyone on the surface. Despite the cost required, they provide a valuable strategic position, orbiting close to the FTL Gate.

Korast[edit]

Korast is the largest of the two dwarf planets, its surface is mainly made up of rock and ice. It has very little in mineral value and remains occupied only due to its position in the system rather than any value in the planet itself. Several facilities are present on the planet, the largest being Eger fuel storage, the facility that provides the fuel for the Eger 3 refueling station found on the edge of the Vale Belt. The fuel is highly volatile in such large quantities and is located far from any other facility on the planet, as well as heavily guarded by Commonwealth naval forces.

Several abandoned mining operations on the planet show the fruitless efforts to discover any sort of minerals of value on the planet. Half a dozen companies went bankrupt in the rush to be the first to exploit Korast’s potential riches.

Being so close to the FTL gate, Korast has developed an expansive series of rest and relaxation facilities designed to be the first or last chance of a break for any freighter crews entering or leaving the system. Over the years these facilities have evolved from basic amenities to hotels, bars, and casinos. These facilities technically sit outside of any Commonwealth jurisdiction, having no formal representation in the Assembly. The rest stops are seen by many as the epicentre of a wave of criminal activity within the Vale belt and the Asta system, and are the subject of many debates within the Assembly.

Korast is named after a leading figure in Idarasts early history, Sofie Korst, one of Idarasts most famous and celebrated writers. Korst was an influential figure in the city of Zena and had a large hand in the creation of the city's ethos, its dedication to art and culture and the founding of the Ignis Pavillion. Korst’s work is seen by many as the foundation of Idari culture, her work contains a mixture of influences from all the early city-states, creating something truly unique to Idarast.

Tyrast[edit]

Tyrast has been occupied by the Commonwealth Navy since its inception, inheriting this role from its predecessor, the Joint System Fleet. Facilities on the surface are very basic, mostly made up by training facilities for low-g combat as well as simple space habitation. Small listening posts watch gate traffic and search for anyone entering the system from outside the gate. High powered communication relays on the surface allow fast communication with Idarast, as well as allowing outer system naval forces to coordinate with the Uriele Anchorage.

Commonwealth naval activity near the Vale belt is centred around Tyrast, dozens of satellites and small stations provide defences for the planet and serve as resupply bases for naval forces in the area. A picket force remains in orbit at all times, providing a quick reaction force to respond to any danger in the Vale belt or that has bypassed the FTL gate defence network.

Tyrast is named after Colonel Niklas Tyr, a famous explorer and frontiersman. Tyr was one of the founding members of the Ankon Defence corps, the first formal military organisation on Idarast. Having led dozens of expeditions surveying the planet, his work was vital in taming the Idari wilderness. Tyr and the stories of his expeditions have become the stuff of legend on Idarast, and he has become a larger than life figure whose actions have inspired thousands to journey into the unknown in search of Adventure and discovery.

Asteroid belts[edit]

The Asteroid belts in Asta are known for their density and the richness of their mineral deposits, and have been the basis for a lot of Idari industry for centuries. It is theorised that the belts were once planets that’ve been destroyed by some unknown means, whether natural or not is unclear. Officially the belts are under Commonwealth control and protection, but due to the denseness of their asteroid fields pirates and criminal organisations have been able to establish numerous hidden bases, evading the Commonwealth Navy with seeming ease.

The Asteroid belts are inhabited by groups of individuals known as Belters. The majority live in and around the Baldr belt though some smaller groups can be found in the Vale belt. The first Belters were a mix of individuals from Idarast and outside of the system who wanted to live independent of the early city-states and formed small clans that lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle within the Asteroid belts. Belters have formed a distinct culture over the years, differing from Idari culture in significant ways. They are superstitious people, observing more closely the festivals and practices of the old gods, a religion formed from a mixture of faiths that was created by the original Belter clans. They are known as hard and fastidious workers, knowing that any small mistake in space could mean disaster. The Belter clans have been formally accepted as part of the Assembled Commonwealth only very recently, in large part due to their efforts to help during the Idari crisis; however, the Belter clans have been closely aligned with the Commonwealth long before formal acceptance. A large minority of the Commonwealth has always been made up of Belters, and the clans have held close ties with many of the Idari Guilds since their foundation. The Belter clans are an integral part of Asta and the Assembled Commonwealth.

The belts take their name from two old Idari deities called Baldr and Vale. Of the two siblings, Baldr represents the home, light, and the sun, while Vale represents the void, the unknown, and travel. Baldr and Vale are seen as the patron deities of Commonwealth spacers, with many carrying a two-sided coin bearing their symbols.

Baldr belt[edit]

The Baldr belt, located between Asta and Idarast, is the most populated out of the two belts. Hundreds of belter communities are housed within its asteroids, from single families mining as they go to grand stations where thousands live and work. The two most notable stations within the belt are the Kirs station and Avallion.

The asteroid belt is home to Crater Worms, a filter-feeding nematode that is often cooked as a popular snack and street food called Craterworm Balls.

Kirs station[edit]

One of the largest stations in the belt, built within and around the asteroid Kirs 229-A. The station is made up of a large docking ring connected to an extensive tunnel network within the asteroid. Kirs has over the years become an extremely busy port, with traders from the Commonwealth nearby planets and all across the belt coming to ply their wares. The port is technically independent, and tariffs that would otherwise be required at a Commonwealth port don’t apply here; however, the port authority must pay an annual tribute to the Commonwealth in order to retain their independence.

For years the Commonwealth suspected the port of harbouring pirates and smugglers, but all investigations on Kirs authorities resulted in no evidence being found, and there have even been cases of Kirs officials handing over outlaws to the Commonwealth Navy.

Recently Kirs officials sealed off parts of the station as a response to a not better defined “accident”. Local authorities have refused any offers of help from the Commonwealth but have still yet to unseal the sections of the station. It's unclear what warranted the undertaking of such dramatic measures, but rumours are beginning to circulate regarding what has happened in the station, ranging from a toxic gas leak to an infestation of mind controlling parasites.

Avallion[edit]

Avallion is the largest station within the Baldr belt. When the Belter communities were officially recognised as a territory of the Commonwealth in 2 (Ae) (67) Avallion was the obvious choice for the territories’ administrative capital, as the station was (and remains) a home to all the Belter clans. Avallion takes its name from a set of old folktales, named after a mythical sanctuary that houses a disparate group of displaced peoples.

The station was established in 408(PA) (476) to serve as a meeting place for multiple Belter clans. For several decades Avallion was simply an empty section of space identified by a buoy, until in 373(PA) (441) a dozen vessels were tethered together and became the first unified Belter station. Over the years Avallion has been expanded upon and improved, with more ships and prebuilt sections being added to the structure and a handful of asteroids being stabilised and hollowed to become habitation centres and manufacturing zones.

The station is a great feat of engineering, a testament to Belter ingenuity, and careful balance is needed to ensure the habitat is maintained. It is said that the Commonwealth’s finest life support engineers all hail from Avallion.

Vale belt[edit]

The Vale belt is located between the orbits of Sonarast and the dwarf planets Korast and Tyrast. Its distance from Idarast and location on the trade shipping route to the ftl gate has made it an ideal location for pirates and criminal enterprises. A strong Commonwealth naval presence is maintained but is not enough to deter the practice.

Eger 3[edit]

Eger 3 is a large refuelling station located within the Vale Belt, the station has managed to maintain its independence from the Commonwealth despite many attempts on the contrary. Its strategic importance has become a source of frustration to many in the upper echelons of the Commonwealth, its owners bargaining power more than any Commonwealth government has been able to surpass.

Recently intelligence reports have reported an increase in criminal elements on the station with several vessels in long term port being identified as pirate vessels. Commonwealth Naval intelligence has determined that the station is now under control of these unsavoury elements and providing logistical support to criminal enterprises within the Vale belt.

Despite this flagrant illegal activity its feared that any overt action could severely damage the station and cause immense damage to the Commonwealth economy and even limit Commonwealth Navy operations.

Most ships leaving or arriving in the system make a stop at Eger 3, it has become such a frequent stop that the station boasts a huge entertainment district. It is said that you can find everything on Eger 3, from drink and drugs to banned Cortex VR programs, every pleasure and desire can be catered for on Eger 3 even if it's illegal in most systems.

Lohse 5[edit]

Lohse 5 is the most secretive facility in the Commonwealth, most citizens have only heard rumours about a Naval blacksite somewhere in Asta. Lohse 5 is under the command of the Special projects division of the Commonwealth Navy, it was built as a research base sometime after the Commonwealth was formed, it unified all the city states most dangerous research units.

The facilities research projects are a heavily guarded secret, ranging from research into genetically modified viruses, prototype weapons and perhaps most controversially research into the bleed. Research into the bleed at Lohse 5 goes further than the standard level of research carried out in the Commonwealth’s universities and other research institutions. Specifically Lohse 5 is interested in the use of the Bleed in an offensive capacity and also how to counter the Bleed. The site has been authorised to take whatever means necessary to carry out its research

The majority of the research carried out at Lohse 5 never sees the light of day, and if it is released it is done so by hiding the results within more mainstream research projects.

System stations[edit]

Uriele Naval anchorage[edit]

The Uriele Naval Anchorage is the largest Commonwealth naval base in the Asta system, housing both Asta System Command headquarters as well as the headquarters of Red Fleet. The Anchorage is located in one of Idarast’s outer lagrange points, and is split over several different stations. The Anchorage is where most Commonwealth naval vessels are stationed when not on operations.

The complex centres around the Spire, a long cylindrical station with two habitation rings the spire is where both headquarters are located. The Spire is essentially the Command centre of the Asta system, it houses two strategic command centres and a large collection of sensor stations. The habitation rings not only house the staff and crew of the spire but also act as an R&R facility for Commonwealth naval vessels stationed at the anchorage.

The largest of the stations are the two maintenance yards, built to enable serious repair of any Commonwealth naval ships and even some basic refits, the yards provide extra capacity to maintain the Commonwealth fleet and ensure the naval facilities in the Lagrange yards focus on building new ships.

As well as these large stations the Anchorage complex consists of several smaller stations, these are a mix between sensor stations and listening complexes as well as defense stations. The sensor stations and listening complexes are little more than huge sensors and telescopes built to keep an eye on a section of the Asta system. The defense stations are built around a hangar housing two flights of strike fighters. The defense stations carry heavy gun emplacements and missile complements comparable to a heavy cruiser. These stations are only designed to complement the mobile fleet elements based at the Anchorage.

Lagrange Yards[edit]

The Lagrange yards are a series of shipyard complexes both civilian and military in orbit at one of Idarast’s inner lagrange points. The civilian complexes are all privately owned, the majority being guild owned. These civilian complexes focus on building commercial and civilian vessels, mostly freighters and liners, with smaller vessels produced on Idarast. However these civilian complexes are sometimes procured to produce naval vessels for the Commonwealth Navy. Occasionally, particularly for large military vessels, multiple complexes are used to produce sections of a vessel which is then fully assembled at one of the military yards.

A small number of military yards known as the Vulcan slipways are maintained by the Commonwealth Navy as part of the Lagrange yards. The Vulcan slipways are reserved for larger projects and are where some of the finest vessels in the Commonwealth Navy have been produced. It is also where the Commonwealth Naval research department is housed, and where many commonwealth prototypes are designed and built.

Civilian Yards:
Hori Voidyards
Novis Industrial Group
Juno Docks and Steelworks
Idari Heavy Industries (IHI)
Arc and Belt space yard ltd
Herving Heavy Voidworks

Ftl gate[edit]

Asta’s FTL Gates are the main reason for the Assembled Commonwealth's hugely successful trading and commerce sectors. The Gates provide extremely fast interstellar travel, and enable even vessels without FTL drives to travel vast distances.

Over the years the vast increase in traffic has led to large queues, and necessitated a complex series of traffic control stations. Gate control in Asta is entirely under the purview of the Assembled Commonwealth and is a joint operation between the Commonwealth Navy and the ACRC (Assembled Commonwealth Revenue and Customs).

A small tariff is placed on any ship using the gates to depart Asta, resulting in a significant sum collected by the Commonwealth. The tariff has been the cause of several minor diplomatic incidents over the years when even foreign dignitaries have been forced to pay the tariff.

The area around the gates boasts an extensive series of defence stations, the first built only months after the Battle of the Gates in 152 (PA) (220). Very few Commonwealth naval vessels are stationed at the Gates, instead Commonwealth doctrine states that if an enemy fleet bypasses the network the Commonwealth Navy will coalesce at Tyrast to repel the enemy. This allows the fleet to maintain a highly variable course, preventing any enemy to predict their exact positions when entering Asta.

Cultures[edit]

  • Meela is the collective name for several interconnected species of fungus common on the worlds and orbital bodies of the system.