|Atmosphere||Airless or thin|
|Biosphere||Engineered (fmr. No Native)|
|Planet Tag 1||Shackled World|
|Planet Tag 2||Immortals|
The planet Saarinen is a barren world occupied by the dormant colony ships of the Saar, a species of sapient insectoids who arrived during the first major wave of colonists.
The worlds’ thin atmosphere and poor soils have no native life and are ill-suited for most introduced species. Attempts at seeding life, most noticeably by the Saar, have as yet been fruitless. Without a stable source of food, the world is under-developed yet fiercely guarded by the automated systems of the Saar colony ships.
- the Alien colonists of the planet Saarinen.
A grub-like insectoid resembling caterpillars (as perceived by humans), Saar are roughly a meter long, walk on stubby legs, and are ravenous eaters. They are typically a bold yellow color with black and white markings unique to individuals. They communicate to each other via pheromones and the touch of their antennae.
The Saar are born as small nymphs with simple wings, feeding on high-energy nectar and fruits. In this form they are sentient but not sapient, they lack means to communicate any complex ideas. Once they are ready for maturity they gorge themselves on fruits and weave a natural pupa by wrapping themselves in a protective nest. In this form a natural enzyme breaks down their exoskeletons and they coalesce into the form of a young adult larva over several days. The adult form is sapient and retains some information from its juvenile form.
As adults, they may regularly re-enter their pupal form to repair their bodies, slow the effects of aging, protect themselves from harsh environmental conditions, or enter hibernation. Modern adult pupae are mechanical cocoons or pods that are reusable and more efficient. Within Saar culture, the need for extended hibernation is considered a natural process and an inevitably of adverse times. The Saar’s homeworlds’ extreme and erratic seasonal shifts is believed to have led to this adaptation.
Due to the small size of the active Saar population, there is no recorded evidence of Saar nymphs. Most living Saar have undergone dozens of rejuvenation stages in the absence of enough food fit for nymphs.
Human observers have often projected the idea that a Saar, be they particularly great or lucky, could maybe be reborn as a beautiful butterfly, but such notions are comically terrestrial to the Saar. The name Saar for the species is derived from the human naming of their colonized planet. A limited system of braille is used by the Saar to communicate with other species.
Pre-Glitch - discovered as lifeless and barren.
Colony ships of the Saar arrived through the local gate and landed on the planet to claim it. These chrysalis-shaped ships deposited payloads of biological material to seed the world for future habitation. Microbial species to fertilize and engineer the local soils would pave the way for complex plant life that would provide the vital sustenance for the Saar. This terraforming campaign was overseen by small teams of scientists, the operating crews of the colony ships, and assistant computer intelligences while the majority of the colonists remained in hibernation pods onboard in a state of reduced consciousness until they could walk the surface.
A multitude of mishaps and malfunctions hindered the development of a hospitable world and several ships were lost to solar flares and decay. The bio-blooms failed to jump start the alien planet as intended and the Saar’s fleets of colony ships were trapped on the planet having spent their resources on the ultimately failed terraforming attempt. Thus, the Saar committed themselves to extended dormancy in their park ships to be watched over by maintenance teams and the onboard virtual intelligences. This prolonged hibernation has been referred to as a form of pseudo immortality, their lives slowed to a crawl in their cocoons while intermittently stimulated by virtual reality systems to ensure the stability and continuance of their existence. All the while, the processes of the colony ship computers and modest defenses kept the Saar safe from outside influence.
Small communities of Saar, descended from the original engineers and crews, have developed a semi-religious devotion to the protection of their entombed brethren. Working with the surviving machine intelligences, they maintain these vessels with their limited resources. They are extremely guarded about outsiders and do not take charity lightly, suspecting the doom of their species if they make one mistake. The majority of the Saar’s technological base is committed to the continuance of their hibernation with no luxury for other pursuits.
Rediscovery by the Whai
The first world revealed in the modern age of exploration, Saarinen was classified as Planet A. The discoverers, the Tahora Whai, soon established a minor presence in the system. Deep Space Station Voo 6, reactivated and revitalized, provided a springboard for further exploration out west and the eventual Kikorangi o te Tahora Whai.
Observations of the planet from orbit continued for nearly two years. The Whai were unsure if the world could support life or if it even had any value to them. Additionally, the Saar were elusive and the active population miniscule; no one was quite sure they even existed, let alone were millions strong.
Observing the attempts by the Saar colonies to seed the planet with life the Whai it took upon themselves to aid in the local’s efforts. With recently developed systems established on Telas and proven on Dynae, Whai engineers and botanists employed a variety of tools to create a new robust ecosystem. Soil preparation and microbial foundations would be the hardest hurdle to tackle. Decades, if not centuries, of failures by the automated colony systems showed that traditional methods were not viable in the nutrient poor sand and clay. Whai terraforming efforts were slow-going, with multiple setbacks and regrettable dead ends. However, the efforts of the pirates, even if not always effective, were appreciated by the waking Saar.
Eventually, the coalition implemented a new method to jumpstart the soil's fertility and spread foundational crops. Species were introduced to the new environment to complement each other and add to the rich tapestry. As a part of the Saar's immediate goals, populations of edible flora were encouraged to spread across the lands.
A few hundred Saar joined the ranks of the Whai and provided their expertise to the Erinaa. These newly integrated Whai formed a formation of soldiers to defend the world from the Whai’s opponents, protect local megafauna, and stop any attempts to sabotage the terraforming mission. The sanctuary guardians of Saarinen are known as Majakanvartijat, are named after their lighthouse-like mechs developed by the military tactician RukoilijaSirkka, better known as “Ruko”.
The Whai saw the Gateway system as a defensible location to establish a sanctuary for endangered void-fauna such as the novel “White Whale”. Saarinen and its moon, Tho, provide a stable nexus to study and preserve the rare fauna. Reinforcements from across the Rangi provided logistical and military aid for the new infrastructure. And a mercenary fleet from the Starlit Court was even contracted to protect the Whale and the Whai interests. Numerous training exercises and drills projected the Whai’s readiness to defend the Whale and the worlds under their custodianship.
The Saar, recognizing the boons the Whale would hopefully provide their colonies, collaborated on the Whai in both stellar and terrestrial theaters. Protection of both the skies and the seeds would be lead by the aforementioned Majakanvartijat mech guardians.
With the aid of the Whai and the treasures of the Rangi, life was eventually seeded and sustainably established in the 31st month of the new era. With the bounties of the colony seed banks established alongside bio-cloning facilities, the Saar emerged from their centuries of hibernation. Dormant colony ships sprung to life with thousands of Saar.
Surface settlements founded around their landing sites expanded rapidly. The industrious and militant Saar spread their agricultural enterprises into the horizon. Manufactured orchards and farmland were cultivated to fulfill the incredible appetites of the Saar who awoke from their long fast. The hunger pangs and hangover of a century of stasis sometimes lasts for months if not years.
While most of the seeded life is adapted to the biology and appetites of the Saar, Whai custodians introduced additional flora and fauna. This engineered biosphere is intended to allow more species to comfortably live and sustain themselves on-world. The influence of the Whai is seen across the planet’s communities.
Adoption of the Link
Development of Saar-compatible cybernetic link took several years to achieve a reliable device. Although the Whai have extensive research in introducing their technology to various life forms, the Saar physiology was a unique challenge. Additionally, the small sample size of observed Saar prior to the opening of the colony ship cocoons limited prototyping efforts. Problems still plague the systems: Vāk cybernetics have yet to survive even brief hibernations of the Saar. Nevertheless, an implant was ultimately developed to incorporate the Saar into the song of the Whai.
Only a small fraction of the current Saar population have taken the leap. Most content themselves with simply working alongside the Whai as they share many common goals.
Settlements of Saarinen are focused around the ships that brought the colonists to the world. Many colony ships dismantled to provide resources for the fledgling townships. The communities of Saarinen embrace several aspects of the Whai which fostered the development of the world. Egalitarian resource sharing, consensus based decision making, and the absence of strict hierarchical leadership structures, are signs of potential Whia influence on the new colonies. Some critics and observers debate the origins of this communitarian structure as being either native to the Saar, directly shaped by interactions with the Whai, or a combination of both.
Despite the lack of true leaders, a trio of prominent Saar thinkers known as the Triumvirate or Troika provide guidance to their community. They represent three major aspects of their species and the goals of their colonies.
- Ruko is a master tactician and soldier who developed the lighthouse mecha used by the Majakanvartijat.
- Mehiläinen, known idiomatically as “The Queen Bee”, is a maternal figure to many Saar. She led the mission to beacon space all those years ago and oversaw the stasis pods of the colony ships on-world.
- Hämö, the last of the current troika, is the engineer and scientist who worked closely with the Tahora Whai to bring agriculture to the desolate world. Hämö is also one of the first Saar to receive a Vāk implant and join the Erinaa.
Void Sanctuary of Akhult
A state-of-the-art haven for rare and endangered voidfauna of beacon space. It is named after its first resident Akhlut, also known as the White Whale. The facilities were constructed by the Saarinen colonial government, AHABS, ORCA, the Tahora Whai, and the Starlit Court. Both wizards and mercenaries from the court provided their services in defense of the great creature.
Dush 2 - Research Base
- Secret employees of a foreign power with hideously immoral research
A barren rocky moon orbiting the planet.
Operated by the station keeper Fresnel, this recently developed moon base functions as a space-traffic control center for Gateway overseeing the comings and goings of the system.
SWN World Tags
This world is being systematically contained by an outside power. Some ancient autonomous defense grid, robot law enforcement, alien artifact, or other force is preventing the locals from developing certain technology, or using certain devices, or perhaps from developing interstellar flight. This limit may or may not apply to offworlders; in the former case, the PCs may have to figure out a way to beat the shackles simply to escape the world.
- Passionless jailer-AI
- Paranoid military grid AI
- Robot overlord
- Enigmatic alien master
- Struggling local researcher
- Off-worlder trapped here
- Scientist with a plan to break the chains
- The shackles come off for certain brief windows of time
- The locals think the shackles are imposed by God
- An outside power greatly profits from the shackles
- The rulers are exempt from the shackles
- Keycode to bypass the shackle
- Tech shielded from the shackle
- Exportable version of the shackle that can affect other worlds
- Grim high-tech control center
- Factory full of workaround tech
- Temple to the power or entity that imposed the shackle
Natives of this world are effectively immortal. They may have been gengineered for tremendous lifespans, or have found some local anagathic, or be cyborg life forms, or be so totally convinced of reincarnation that death is a cultural irrelevance. Any immortality technique is likely applicable only to them, or else it’s apt to be a massive draw to outside imperialists.
- Outsider determined to steal immortality
- Smug local convinced of their immortal wisdom to rule all
- Off-worlder seeking the world’s ruin before it becomes a threat to all
- Curious longevity researcher
- Thrill-seeking local
- Immortality requires doing something that outsiders can’t or won’t willingly do
- The immortality ends if they leave the world
- Death is the punishment for even minor crimes
- Immortals must die or go off-world after a certain span
- Immortality has brutal side-effects
- Immortality drug
- Masterwork of an ageless artisan
- Toxin that only affects immortals
- Community with no visible children
- Unchanging structure of obvious ancient age
- Cultural performance relying on a century of in-jokes