|Tech Level||TL 3|
|Population||Hundreds of Millions|
|Atmosphere||Corrosive and Invasive|
|Planet Tag 1||Cheap Life|
|Planet Tag 2||Outpost World|
|Mechanical Tag||Facility Assets built on this world Cost 1 less to the Governor|
The outpost world of Penningar (/pẹn:iŋ ɡɑɹ/) was in ages past a vast mining venture. When the world was cut off, alone in it's system, the people struggled for survival and broke into splintered groups dotting the subterranean hovels. Life was rough for those of Penningar, its a miracle that they lasted the centuries before navigation opened back up. The arrival of the Tahora Whai brought back hope, but more importantly the supplies associated with the shipping unions.
Penningar is a mostly barren rock coated in a dense acrid haze, a bi-product of centuries of industrial activity. Most of the surface is covered in seas of dusty gray and white sands interspersed with dark and towering craggy mountains. There is no surface vegetation nor surface water. At the poles, thin layers of ice stick to the rocky peaks. Under the surface though, rivers of flowing water feed subterranean settlements built to delve into the rich deposits of ores. Introduced lichen and fungi line the walls of old mines and provide basic sustenance.
Penningar was founded as a mining colony to extract the resources buried deep beneath the planet’s crust. Onsite foundries and manufactories churned out a great many goods and materials for the sector’s powers. Over time, the industrialization re-distributed tons of harsh chemicals into the atmosphere. The corporations and company towns that operated the mines and manufactories paid no heed as their workforce need not brave the elements and were safe in habitation blocks and arcologies. Eventually the once inert atmosphere became a toxic malaise that hung over the planet eating away at the rock and structures alike.
Despite the ruined atmosphere, Penningar provided greatly to the sector powers that controlled it and scarcely required more than a few shipments of food and supplies to return tonnes upon tonnes of intermediate and finished goods. A great many enterprises were fueled by the planet’s industry and were a handsome investment for those lucky enough. The mines and foundries of Penningar were seen as lucrative and rewarding prospects: chance to build a financial safety net with only a few seasons of work before setting forth with their next stage of life.
Survival and Quarrels
The extractive economy of Penningar did wonders for its controllers in times of connection, but in the fateful years of The Glitch, the planet was lost to the inky abyss. Upon that isolated rock, the residents, laborers who may have only expected a short stint in the mines were to be trapped and alone. Reliant on regular supply runs, the people
As hunger grew rampant, the first to die in food riots were the company men who had hoarded what they could. In their place, familial connections and union leaders rallied the community to rebuild. These leaders formed the first clans. The response was mirrored across the world but each township and city were too isolated from the others to work together. This insular response bred a distrust of others and self-reliance while tight living conditions and limited resources stirred resentments and suspicions.
Centuries of conflict would commence as the wheel of time churned on. Whether occupied in the mines or on the battlefield, life expectancies were short. With practically no medical supplies, save plants that could be grown in dim light, injuries and illness meant almost certain death. Combined with malnutrition and stress, few survived past a quarter century.
In brief, and all too precious, windows of time Penningar would know some semblance of peace. Often arranged as a tenuous alliance, cease-fire, or pact, the clans of Penningar would lay down their arms and rebuild.
In the tenth month of the modern age of exploration of the sector, an exploratory mission by the Tahora Whai found a pathway to 0310 Hex and the planet Penningar (initially classified as Planet AG.) Whai ships observed the world and helped establish regular trade from the major shipping unions of the sector and incorporated it into their constellation: Kikorangi o te Tahora Whai. Acknowledging that Penningar lacked the means to build starships and were too preoccupied with internal matters, the Whai left them to sort out their squabbles.
Material Conditions improved, but all was not fixed. Despite the aid of the sector’s trading unions, the bickering and grudges would not let up. More foodstuffs and access to repairs to aging systems also coincided with increased prevalence of weapons. Clan conflicts left to fester inflamed with a new-found fire.
Over the next two years, local powers ebbed and flowed in prominence. At the heart of the new source of trade, the space port of Tryggvi provided the powerful T.E.G. Triad with greater control over three main cities along the great road. In a short time, the Axemen of Galena, a minor clan, undermined the Triad’s headquarters and usurped them. In its place, the Clan Ax took control of Galena, La Familia Ferreira seized Tryggvi, and the Daughters of Stone consolidated power around the Temple of Stone in Embolite. With direct access to the incoming sector goods, La Familia Ferreira presented themselves as benevolent new leaders and distributed the supplies. However, long-standing grudges could not be appeased with Tri-lo-bites and Vice-Aid. A coalition of sorts formed to challenge the Ferreira’s stranglehold over trade and conflict returned to Tryggvi town.
Similar patterns emerged across the planet’s under-surface. Armed with more advanced weapons and better supplies, the fires of Penningar raged on.
In the third year of the modern age, the Tahora Whai returned once again to Penningar to find it much the same as they had last seen it. Despite the aid, conflict remained. The Whai recognized that Penningar was not too unlike the Warlord and era of their homeworld. Resolved to cease the needless conflict, they took matters into their own hands. After a comprehensive study of the political climate, they reached out with more direct aid.
Utilizing lenses from the Manitou Bleed Temple, the Whai began a campaign to educate the populace and deter continued fighting. Due to local industrialization and access to basic goods, the Whai could not feasibly disarm the populace. Instead the Whai re-constructed transportation links to facilitate internal trade and cooperation. A shuttle service and semi-temporary rail links would provide the foundation for the reconnections. By demonstrating the benefits of working together rather in spite of each other, the Whai hoped to shepherd a new system of governance.
With their fleets the Whai seized control of the spaceport and directly provided settlements with the goods they needed, limiting the control of local distributors. Small skirmishes with local gangs unfortunately were inevitable, but the Whai lenses made quick work to suppress them. Additionally a show of firepower from the gunships of the Black Ghorab devastated an abandoned mine. Isolated the settlements and their regional warlords had little option but to cooperate with the Whai and their neighboring towns.
The Whai also introduced a neutral forum for disagreements to be settled in front of a jury of peers. A council representing each of the major settlements was established with Whai supervision. Through the planetary council, each clan and company could resolve disputes and forge trade agreements without bloodshed. Under the new system, rival clans could check each other’s power but also cooperate on projects for the greater good of the planet.
Penningar was the first overt use of dedicated application of force by the Tahora Whai to influence a planet’s population. The dug in nature–not just literally but philosophically–of Penningar’s populace led the Whai to take more drastic actions. The experiment was ultimately a success though. By maintaining the independence of settlements yet showing the benefits to cooperation and equitable trade, the Whai brought a newfound era of peace with no one clan unduly leveraging their influence over another. The Whai notably did not construct any permanent stations nor invest themselves heavily in the day-to-day operations of the planet, however did promise to protect the world from threats beyond the star-system’s borders.
People and Places
Almost all settlements on Penningar are actually in Penningar. Dug into the silvery rock, the isolated townships are protected from the harsh atmosphere by kilometers of soil. Dotting the surface, periscopes and ventilation ducts belie the existence of a civilization below. These locations are safe from the immediate dangers above, but are challenged by other, unseen, threats. Tight living conditions and competition for limited resources bred resentment among its denizens. Each township is associated with a local warlord, clan, or gang. Many of these factions have been in some form of war with each other since the Glitch, if not prior. A network of tenuous alliances and pacts bring some civility in recent times.
Clans & Gangs
- Ax, aka Axemen of Galena
- Clan Ax are notorious for their use of mining in offensive use. Undermining, lead to the defeat of their great foe the T.E.G. Triad, former controllers of the cities Galena, Tryggvi, and Embolite along the great road. Destruction of the Triad’s armories and citadels freed these cities and opened the doors of Galena to the Axemen.
- Daughters of Stone
- Religion isn’t all that prevalent on Penningar, but the Daughters of Stone are a notable exception. They Daughters are a monastic order dedicated to the memory of lost miners and protection of the very stone around them. It is said that through their prayer, the Daughters of Stone keep the walls of the mines together and maintain the safety of those within them. Temples and shrines for the practice may be found across the planet, but they are most present around the township of Embolite. In Embolite, the order manifests as a group of warrior nuns who protect their town from the influence of interlopers. Lady Dia leads the Temple of Stone in Embolite
- La Familia Ferreira
- An extended family with great influence over the town and region of Tryggvi. Their control on the major spaceport has garnered them few favors and are perceived to have a stranglehold on the planet’s imports. Rivals from nearby regions are alleged to have formed a coalition against the Ferreiras.
- Clan Gravelbite
- The mining clan Gravelbite are known for their robust masonry and expert use in war-machines. Converted mining rigs and up-armored skid-steers make up the majority of their arsenal. Mabel Gravelbite is the lead engineer and head of the clan.
- The Greys
- Allegedly an offshoot of the Shadow Cloaks, the Greys seek to infiltrate and steal from their opponents. The haunted town of Røros functions as the headquarters to their thieves guild.
- Originally formed as a union of electricians and municipal service workers, the lamplighters evolved into an extortion racket and criminal enterprise. Gunni Glowburg and Candles MacAllister are the co-leaders running the day and night shifts respectively.
- Shadow Cloaks
- Sworn enemies of the lamplighters, the shadow cloaks expert night-fighters and control their enemies with fear.
- The family line of smiths are historically metal workers. Known for using large hammers in combat. The family is led by Steven Patrick Smith, "the Warhammer".
- Forged in the fires of Pennigar’s great foundries, the steelborn are an ancient clan. Steelborn may be recognized by their distinctive brands worn by members and inflicted on defeated enemies. Stein Steelborn is remarked as the most fierce firebrand of their lot.
- Clan MacSterling are great industrialists and engineers, or at least they would be if they had access to the requisite technology. It is said that the MacSterlings built the great steam shovels, foundries, and even space stations of the world. In modern day, they are a husk of their former selves. They maintain the defensive Prilltown with little influence on their neighbors comings and goings.
- Pearl Vass is the matriarch of the Vass corporation: a powerful local syndicate operating out of Seven Gems.
- Arrun Forge
- The great foundries of Penningar still smolder in the south. It is at this pole that the Steelborn were, ya know, born.
- La Horn
- La Horn is situated under the great mountain of the same name. In the shade of the mountain, the Shadow Cloaks spread their influence.
- On the great road, Northeast of Tryggvi, the city of Galena dots the landscape. Unlike most settlements, Galena is fairly close to the surface with many outbuildings and greenhouses poking through the rocky lands. Clan Ax came into control of the city after undermining the T.E.G. Triad.
- Embolite, and the Temple of Stone, are a modest township along the great road Southwest of Tryggvi.
- "The Pyramid" is a mining shaft below a rectangular pyramid cap. This cap houses a local greenhouse and arcology. Light filtered through this structure is reflected and bounced around the town and mine below through a series of mirrors and fiber optic cables. Maintenance of the facility is controlled by the Lamplighters.
- The small hillside town of Prill, aka Prilltown, is a poor yet defensive mine. With no main connections to nearby settlements. Only a few holdouts still descend into the mine after it all but dried up roughly a century ago. Recently, the MacSterling Clan has taken up residence and done their best to remodel and re-invigorate the township with life with limited resources.
- Seven Gems
- By the north pole, seven mountain peaks pierce the atmosphere. On each summit is a modest communication beacon, known as a Gem, which connects it to its neighbors. The seven gems have been fought over throughout the ages, but in recent years has been unified by Pearl Vass of the Vass Corporation.
- The twinned cities of Cragg and Delve are an unfortunately linked system. Proximity and reliance on the other has caused some of the deepest divides in all of Penningar. Rival families, the Smiths and Clan Gravelbite have shed more blood in conflict than the treacherous mines around them.
- It is said that the mines of Røros are haunted. Myth states that an expedition into the depths was set about by thieves seeking a safe place to hide their ill-gotten goods. The bandits, short on trust for each other, kept an eye out for blades at their back. Their caution against treachery left them unaware of the dangers beneath their feet. One-by-one, the thieves slipped, fell, and stumbled through the dark perishing to their untimely depths. Each time leaving behind a greater share of the treasure. Eventually there were only three thieves left, with more loot than they could carry on, and so they decided to leave it where they stood, each aware of its location. However, they still could not trust each other. When the first began to leave, the two behind conspired to eliminate him and share the treasure between two rather than three. The first in their party was navigating through the dark when he felt a sharp pang as the knife slipped into his back, at the same moment their map and torch slipped through the victim’s grasp and down into a chasm. Lost in the dark, the two killers went mad and their ghosts are said to haunt the mines to this day.
- The largest settlement on Penningar. It is home to the main connection to the surface, Tryggvi’s starport. La Familia Ferreira has the greatest local influence but has been knocked down a few pegs by the newly created clan council that ensures trade moves smoothly and without prejudice through the port. The planetary government, guided by the Tahora Whai, has provided a new theatre to address complaints and abated the near-constant squabbles and raids by the neighboring clans in Galena, Embolite, and La Horn.
Penningar has three natural satellites:
The only practically habitable moon, Brokkr is large enough to maintain a spherical shape and has a molten core. No permanent settlement is currently found on Brokkr’s slate-gray surface.
An immense flaky rock alleged to have been a captured asteroid that illuminates the sky in sparks when struck by space dust and debris.
A great amalgam of slag and ore long stripped of useful or easy to access minerals. Decaying remnants of an ancient salvage operation cling to it.
Human life is near-worthless on this world. Ubiquitous cloning, local conditions that ensure early death, a culture that reveres murder, or a social structure that utterly discounts the value of most human lives ensures that death is the likely outcome for any action that irritates someone consequential.
- Master assassin
- Bloody-handed judge
- Overseer of disposable clones
- Endearing local whose life the PCs accidentally bought
- Escapee from death seeking outside help
- Reformer trying to change local mores
- Radiation or local diseases ensure all locals die before twenty-five years of age
- Tech ensures that death is just an annoyance
- Locals are totally convinced of a blissful afterlife
- Device that revives or re-embodies the dead
- Maltech engine fueled by human life
- Priceless treasure held by a now-dead owner
- Thronging execution ground
- Extremely cursory cemetery
- Factory full of lethal dangers that could be corrected easily
The world is only a tiny outpost of human habitation planted by an offworld corporation or government. Perhaps the staff is there to serve as a refueling and repair stop for passing ships, or to oversee an automated mining and refinery complex. They might be there to study ancient ruins, or simply serve as a listening and monitoring post for traffic through the system. The outpost is likely well-equipped with defenses against casual piracy.
- Space-mad outpost staffer
- Outpost commander who wants it to stay undiscovered
- Undercover saboteur
- Lonely staffer
- Fixated researcher
- Overtaxed maintenance chief
- The alien ruin defense systems are waking up
- Atmospheric disturbances trap the group inside the outpost for a month
- Pirates raid the outpost
- The crew have become converts to a strange set of beliefs
- Alien relics
- Vital scientific data
- Secret corporate exploitation plans
- Grimy recreation room
- Refueling station
- The only building on the planet
- A “starport” of swept bare rock