|Population||Tens of millions (95 Million)|
|Planet Tag 1||Pretech Cultists|
|Planet Tag 2||Radioactive World|
The first planet of the Asta system, Idarast is a ringed planet that serves as the homeworld of the Assembled Commonwealth. Idarast’s atmosphere is heavily affected by radiation and toxins which make it difficult for life to survive unprotected on the surface. Despite this, civilisation has thrived on the planet by utilising a variety of methods from domed cities to complex underground structures. The major population centres are divided into city states, mostly based on the initial colony sites founded several centuries ago, all now unified under the banner of the Assembled Commonwealth.
Idarast is the innermost planet of the Asta system and the only one that can harbour life. Large portions of the planet consist of desert and arid regions. Temperatures along the equator can regularly reach 70°C. This is due in large part to the thick atmosphere, and its proximity to Asta. Idarast has been populated for over five hundred years, though there is evidence of a civilisation that predates that.
The surface of Idarast is difficult to live on; the composition of the atmosphere required its early settlers to establish domes and protected compounds or underground complexes to protect from harmful toxins. This necessity was reinforced during the Atlas Event, when an industrial accident caused large chunks of an asteroid to strike the surface and introduce highly radioactive particles to the atmosphere. The resulting fallout and political scandals – now referred to as the Idari Crisis – threatened to topple the Aetharchy and greatly harm the unity of the Assembled Commonwealth; an outcome only avoided by the creation of the Assembly and the curtailing of the Aetharchy’s power. The surface is still highly affected by this influx of radiation with large portions of the planet’s native species having been wiped out. Only those species that were able to adapt quickly have survived. These species are mostly found near the polar regions where large areas of grasses and scrubland have begun to thrive.
Nearly ninety-five million people are reported to live on Idarast, the vast majority within the areas known as city-states. Most of these city-states can trace their origins back to the dozens of colony ships that founded settlements on Idarast over a period of forty years. The population of Idarast is a vast mix of cultures and backgrounds stemming from the descendants of the original settlers to immigrants from across Beacon Space.
One of Idarast's most obvious features is the large ring that orbits the planet. Idarast’s ring is made up of mostly water ice and rock particles, but the events of the Idari Crisis and the Atlas Project have added large chunks of rock and radioactive minerals to the ring. This has led to the common occurrence of meteor showers. While mostly unconcerning, some meteors contain highly radioactive material and have led to large spike in newrad readings wherever they fall.
Idarast’s orbit lasts around 365 standard days, however each day cycle for Idarast is nearly forty hours long. Each year has 220 days split into twelve months of 18 or 19 days, with a leap day added every 7 years. The people of Idarast have long adapted their schedule to this longer day, utilising a biphasic sleep schedule and a long siesta in the middle of the day. Early settlers used genetic engineering to help adapt to the schedule, while new arrivals often have to take supplements and medications to aid their sleep.
There are more than a dozen City-States on Idarast, the largest of which is Beorgan. The city-states are the only large scale habitats on Idarast, and the vast majority of the population lives inside or very near a City-State. Many of the City-States incorporate a mix of domed structures and underground complexes, though each City-State is unique in its style, culture and in some cases law. Over the years many of these aspects have been “cross-pollinated” and spread throughout the other City-States forming a unique, Idari culture.
Beorgan was once the most important City-State on Idarast, home to the royal family and considered the capital of the Assembled Commonwealth. The City-Site is a mix of domed areas and underground complexes built near the Bergh mountain. The City-state is made up of four districts. The Cinnabar district houses many government buildings, including the old Admiralty building, and an extensive financial quarter. A large avenue rises from the Cinnabar district to the entrance of the Verdant palace. The avenue is covered along the way by an intricate glass structure that allows people to walk freely along the avenue without need of radiation suits. These glass structures house a multitude of plant life from all across the sector and are accessible to the general populace. The entrance of the palace is carved into the face of the mountain, dark granite columns flank an intricate doorway carved with the House of Ida’s coat of arms. The majority of the palace is built under the mountain, grand ballrooms and reception rooms center around the throne room.
Known as the Astral Seat, the throne room is dominated by a red stone dias, encircled by twelve columns made of the same red stone that rise to the domed ceiling of the room. Upon the dias sits a simple square throne, carved out of silver marble inlaid with gold decoration, next to the throne stands a wrought silver pedestal holding the Aetharch’s Crest, the crown of the Aetharchy carried by the refugees of Ida and delivered to Aetharch Uriele, the first Aetharch of Idarast. Behind the throne stands a large banner flying the flag of the Assembled Commonwealth. a dozen other banners surround it, flying the individual flags of the city-states and territories of the Commonwealth. The edges of the domed ceiling are covered in large frescoes depicting the history of Idarast, the arrival of humans on Idarast, the generosity of the first colonists to the refugees of house Ida, the eventual restoration of the Aetharchy, and the creation of the Assembled Commonwealth. Towards the centre of the ceiling Idarast’s night sky is depicted using gems and precious metals to represent the various stars and constellations. The central point of the ceiling is covered by a gold seal, carved with the House of Ida’s coat of arms. The palace is the main residence of the Aetharch and their family, with private rooms built further into the mountain.
The second district is called the Marca district, it is where the majority of the city's housing is located. Large habitat blocks are built deep underground, sometimes up to four blocks deep. The homes in Beorgan are a mix of small affordable abodes and larger more expensive compounds, the district is split by the Dolom district with the more expensive compounds closer to the Dolom district and smaller abodes towards the edge of the city states limits. The Dolom district has many bars, restaurants and entertainment venues. The district runs the length of the city-state intersecting with every other district. The Pyrit district is the largest of the four and contains the city-states industrial heart, from hi-tech laboratories to foundries and smelteries. Small shipyards, dockyards and warehouses cover the surface, while the majority of the Pyrit district is underground. Beorgan, though still the home of the Aetharchy, is declining in importance, ever since the Idari crisis and the formation of the Assembly capital at Nyhavn, the city-state is no longer seen as the heart of the Commonwealth.
Before the crisis, Nyhavn was the newest City-State, formed by several guilds and independent merchants, and aimed to be a new trading city. Built mostly underground, eight districts are connected by tunnels to a central spaceport that rises above ground. The spaceport is the largest on Idarast, with facilities to house and distribute nearly 80% of the cargo Idarast receives in a year. The city was designed to become a logistical hub, with hyperloop links to Beorgan, Ankon, and Erida. After the events of the crisis, it was proposed that Nyhavn become the seat of the Assembly. With no ties to the old regime, Nyhavn was free of influence, and importantly the first choice of the increasingly influential Merchant Guilds.
Many of the guilds have a presence in Nyhavn, most noticeably within an area known as Guild Row, sitting at the heart of the city state. Beautifully crafted guildhouses make up the majority of buildings along Guild Row. These guildhouses serve as headquarters for the largest guilds in the Commonwealth. Much of the city-state's public institutions have been financed by the guilds. Grand museums and art galleries, theatres and performance spaces are all sponsored by these influential benefactors.
There are dozens of public parks within the city-state, with the city planners knowing that some relief from the underground tunnels were needed for people to thrive. These areas provide artificial sunlight and holographic skies, areas of greenery that allow people to experience open spaces. These parks are often used for festivals and large performances, alongside their everyday use for exercise and relaxation.
In the last fifty years much of the Commonwealth's governmental infrastructure has moved to Nyhavn with the formation of the Assembly. New chambers were built within the year, and a new Admiralty building soon followed, along with most of the other institutions tasked with the running of the Commonwealth. A small residence was built for the Aetharch, though it stands nowhere near as grand as the Verdant Palace.
Built on the Cartem Peninsula near the Lake Tael, Zena was the last colony to be established in the initial wave of colonisation, chosen for its easy access to an abundance of resources and the spectacular beauty of the surrounding countryside. Zena is built into a wide canyon, contained by a toughened glass ceiling which encases the entire city. Buildings are built into the canyon walls, leaving the river to flow through the centre of the city, bridges and walkways cross from one side to the other and follow the banks of the river.
The city was largely planned by Giuanna Brittain. Brittain was the youngest daughter of one of the wealthiest families on Albion. Brittain had held a long standing interest in architecture, and was starting to make a name for themselves, when the sudden death of her parents started a conflict within the family over inheritance. The conflict soon escalated, resulting in the murder of her eldest brother. Fearing for her own life she announced her decision to disinherit herself and secretly bought her way onto a colony ship bound for Beacon space.
Brittain’s knowledge in construction was vital to the success of the colonists, seeing the benefit of building within the protective walls of Zena’s now famous canyon. Brittain would later go on to build the famous Angelus luxury resort on the banks of Lake Tael. Brittains family remains influential in Zena to this day, but is largely apolitical, instead focusing on maintaining their business interests within Zena and across Idarast.
The city is well known for its vibrant art and cultural scene. The large Ignis Pavilion theatre sits at the centre of the city, cut into the rock wall, the resulting acoustics are legendary. Zena is an expensive city to live in, its most valuable homes being owned by wealthy merchants and celebrities. These homes are often found built into the upper levels of the city, each with access to a private spaceport outside of the canyons walls.
The Idari crisis heavily impacted Zena. Although it did not suffer damage from the asteroid, the instability of the crisis caused tourism to plunge and so caused much of the local economy to disappear overnight. The city-state has begun to recover in recent years, but the scars of this economic depression can still be seen all across the City through closed businesses in the tourism, commercial and industrial sectors.
Erida is known as the breadbasket of Idarast. The city is made up of huge agricultural domes and greenhouses that spread for over two thousand square kilometers. Vast underground hydroponic facilities and vertical farms augment the more traditional farming that is undertaken on the surface. The city, though vast, has only a relatively small population, with its inhabitants living fairly isolated from each other. Erida produces the majority of Idari grown food. Its products are found in every city-state on Idarast, but it can’t provide the entirety of Idarasts food needs.
Erida was one of the city-states hit hardest by the Atlas Event, and it's estimated that over 90% of the farms were damaged in some way. Thanks to the low population density, only a few thousand inhabitants were injured or killed, though Erida’s food production capability was nearly entirely wiped out. Efforts have since been made to protect against this vulnerability with many city-states increasing their own food production, the building of the farm stations, and the increasing amount of underground farms and food storage in Erida.
Montar was the first human colony on Idarast, on the surface the city looks unremarkable, a dozen or so domes spread far apart, seemingly unconnected, make up the only evidence of its existence. The majority of Montar is instead underground. The founders exploited the natural caverns in the area too quickly to form safe and secure shelter for the fledgling colony, a practice that has continued to this day.
Montar is known for its many universities, laboratories and research institutions. Many of Montar’s first inhabitants were researchers and scientists. They were responsible for the first survey of the planet, and even the system of Asta. This thirst for knowledge and exploration led to the inhabitants of Montar discovering the nearby precursor ruins, known as the Tombs of the Saints. Discoveries from these ruins are invariably brought to the institutions of Montar before any other. This close relationship with the precursor ruins has led to Montar having the largest Saintist community in all the city-states.
Ankon was one of the largest city-states on Idarast, second only to Beorgan. It was the home of the Commonwealth Navy, with the large naval bases of CNV Rally and the Naval academy sitting only a few kilometers outside the city limits. Huge terrestrial shipbuilding yards made up the majority of the city-state's industry, the slipways building small freighters and shuttles, as well as fighters and corvettes for the Commonwealth Navy.
Ankon was the worst hit city-state by the Atlas Event. Huge chunks of the asteroid hit the city centre, causing massive damage and wiping out the oldest parts of the city. Over two hundred thousand inhabitants were killed, with hundreds of thousands injured. The city was mostly abandoned for many years, its population evacuated while efforts to repair and rebuild were ongoing. The citizens of Ankon eventually returned though the city would be changed forever. A memorial has been erected in the centre of the city, and parts of ruined buildings remain, preserved in remembrance and surrounded by a garden of Idari plants.
The presence of the Commonwealth Navy has increased, CNV Rally doubling in size as changes to the navy increased recruitment. Shipbuilding remains Ankons principal industry though many yards have closed and moved to other cities or to the Lagrange Yards. Ankon is still recovering from the Idari Crisis but its citizens are at last hopeful that the worst is behind them.
The Tombs of the Saints
The Tombs of the Saints is the largest site of precursor activity discovered on Idarast. The site is spread over a valley (distance) Km from the city-state of Montar, first discovered in 383 (PA) (451). The site consists of an extensive tunnel network that has so far continued into the depths of Idarast. It's theorised that only 25% of the site has been fully excavated and recorded. Many of the tunnels found collapsed, making excavation labour intensive. Initial expeditions and excavations were underfunded, with the colonies focusing on becoming established. This was further hampered by the events of the Idari Crisis, which saw several pieces of the Atlas asteroid hit the site, setting work back by decades. Full scale work on the site only returned after the involvement of several Saintist groups, and has led to several startling discoveries, including precursor artifacts still in working order that surpass even today's technology.
Saintist organisations have reserved the right to protect their discoveries, causing many to be housed in Saintist monasteries throughout Idarast. However, they have an agreement with the Assembly to allow researchers access, and even allow the Assembly the use of several artifacts. These Artifacts have recently been installed within the Lagrange yards, boosting the yards efficacy and capacity by over 150%.
No sign of the precursors have been found other than their remaining facilities. Experts still have no idea about their biology or society. Sites have been discovered all over Idarast, but are all dwarfed by the Tombs of the Saints. The site has become a site of pilgrimage for many Saintist followers, with many staying for a time to work on the excavations.
Idarast's orbit has long been populated with thousands of stations, satellites, and platforms, making orbiting or landing on Idarast an intricate endeavor. Some of the largest stations are the three farm stations. These stations are capable of producing vast amounts of food using Hydroponics. The stations are a relatively new addition to Idarast's orbit, built several decades after the Idari Crisis in hopes of preventing some of the hardships faced during the aftermath of the Atlas Event. The most plentiful stations in orbit are essentially orbital warehouses. Interstellar freighters will often unload their cargo in these warehouses, allowing smaller shuttles to transfer any goods to the surface. Although most trade takes place on the surface in the city-states themselves, sometimes the goods may remain in these warehouses until sold and loaded onto another freighter to leave for another system.
Idarast's orbit is defended by a series of gun platforms that form a net around Idarast. These platforms are armed with several weapons systems, often larger than would be carried on an equivalently sized ship. Several also have the capacity to house a squadron of strike craft. These defences are designed to work in tandem with mobile naval forces and ground facilities, all coordinated with Idarast Local Command, located in the admiralty building, and at a system level with Asta System Command, based on Uriele Naval Anchorage.