The Euphrates System is one of the three core systems, the centre of human civilization and culture. A multi-planetary system consisting of nine planets, four of which are gas giants, Euphrates is both a political and economic hub, housing the administrative headquarters of the Imperial Coalition and the headquarters of most commercial corporations. Inter-planetary traffic is frequent among the merchant and aristocratic classes, and there is a host of space stations and orbital facilities to deal with the ever-growing needs of the ever-growing population.
Euphrates is also strategically important, as it houses the nexus of the Subspace Network, a linked series of wormholes that allow for efficient (if often costly) travel between different planetary systems. 'All roads lead to Euphrates' is not just a saying...it's a fact. The Imperial Transport Commission has a monopoly on all Subspace travel, and its headquarters on Titania are usually working through a backlog of applicants for Interstellar Travel Licences.
The government of the Imperial Coalition is located on Ajax, the third planetary body from the systems star. Travel to and from Ajax is strictly controlled, and all traffic must pass through Transfer Point Alpha, an orbital security station. The Imperial Palace, the estates of the Great Houses, and the majority of the nobility all make their home here, among lush gardens, parks and resorts. Prices are at a premium, and only the elite of the elite make their home here, or can even afford to visit.
The Third Fleet is currently stationed in the Euphrates System, running various patrol and policing missions. Under the command of Admiral Kane, it's primary mission is to repel any possible incursion attempt by forces loyal to the Colonial Alliance, which could attempt to use the Subspace Network to launch an attack at the heart of Coalition territory.
Name: Euphrates System
Designation: Core System
Faction: Imperial Coalition
No. of Planets: 9 (Rosaline, Servilius, Ajax, Titania, Hippoloyta, Saturnius, Juno, Polixenes and Valeria)
Estimated Population: 50-60 billion
Points of Interest: Headquarters of the Imperium; Headquarters of Imperial Transport Commission; nexus of the Subspace Network).
Population: Approx. 2 Billion
Orbitals: 2 orbital habitats, 20 orbital defence platforms, 1 solar shade
Rosaline is the closest planet to the Euphrates System star, and was one of the first planets to receive terraforming following the development of the current techniques by Professor Roland Barr five centuries ago. Originally a barren, uninhabitable rock with blazing temperatures, the introduction of a solar shade, coupled with soil enhancements, atmosphere enrichers and weather controllers has transformed the planet into a modern high-tech paradise, fit for the Imperial elite.
Desiganted officially as 'The Premier Pleasure Planet', Rosaline is devoted to the pursuit of pleaser. It houses the largest luxury resort complex in known space, a colossal structure with vast, spacious rooms, servants at ones beck and call, and every entertainment known to man. Most citizens dream of retiring to the life only a few can lead on Rosaline. There are facilities for every sport, including an Olympic-sized stadium, due to host the next Galactic Olympiad, as well as bars, restaurants, gym facilities, outdoor excursions, salons, dance halls, music rooms, theatres, opera houses, marina's, swimming pools, parks, shopping malls, brothels, and a whole host of pleasure-oriented facilities.
The population is mostly made up of retired bankers or successful merchants, or members of the aristocratic elite. The reaminder of the population are servants, slaves or workers in the service industry, catering to the needs of the residents and tourists. Costs of goods and property are prohibitive to the extent that it is beyond the means of almost all citizens to purchase any type of property on the planet whatsoever.
Population: Approx. 9 billion
Orbitals: 3 orbital habitats, 35 orbital defence platforms
The second planet from the sun, Servilius is roughly the same size as Ajax and was the second planet to be terraformed using the new techniques to be pioneered almost five centuries ago. Servilius supplies most of the basic foodstuffs consumed on both Rosaline and Ajax, and is generally thought of as an agricultural planet. Most of the population are employed on the vast farmlands which cover most of the surface; Servilius was specifically designed for this purpose during terraforming, with the terrain being purposefully levelled and made nutrient rich. Vast, spiralling cities house most of the worker population, shuttling them out to the farm lands on shifts.
Both cereals and animals are grown/raised on planet, and then shipped off to Rosaline or Ajax. Transports are a regular sight, taking off and landing every few minutes, providing for excellent money-making opportunities for entrepreneurs. Several companies are engaged in the lucrative inter-planetary transport runs, and it is now common for dirty-tricks campaigns, among other, more criminal activities, to be undertaken in attempt to force rivals out of the market. There is a constant need for new pilots and maintenance personnel.
Population: Approx. 3 billion
Orbitals: 8 orbital habitats, 1 transfer point station, 35 orbital defence platforms
Ajax is the capital of the Imperial Coalition, housing the Imperial Ministries and the Imperial Palace itself. It is here that the Emperor and his Council of Ministers conducts affairs of state and deal with the day to day management of the Coalition. Embassies and consulates from the various Coalition members are located in the Imperial Capital, Albion, along with the Palace and the Ministries. The estates of the Great Houses, whose members form the aristocracy and fill most of the positions in the Ministries. The estates are scattered around the planet, and usually employ hundreds if not thousands of servants and slaves.
The majority of the population are in some way connected either to the Imperial family or one of the Great families, either being of aristocratic birth or being employed in some way by the same. There is no production or manufacturing on Ajax - everything that is needed is brought in from off-world, making the Ajax transport routes the most lucrative in known space. The customers are wealthy, and want the best, which means premium goods and premium prices. Traffic must, however, pass through Transfer Point Alpha, a security check point in orbit, which scans all personnel and cargo travelling to and from the planet to ensure no dangerous persons or materials are unleashed on the paradise below.
Ajax has one natural satellite, Achilles, which has been partially terraformed. Work originally began to convert the moon inot a habitable environment for civilian usage, but was halted after several years work and the satellite transferred to military jurisdiction. A vast military complex has been carved out of the interior, housing the headquarters of both the Imperial Fleet and the Imperial Troop Corps. Access to the moon is restricted to authorised military vessels, and a series of surface-mounted missile installations make unauthorised approaches both rare and fatal.
Population: Approx. 6 billion
Orbitals: 4 orbital habitats, 25 orbital defence platforms, 1 fleet shipyard
Titania was the first planet to be subject to the terraforming techniques of Roland Barr, when the growing population of Ajax became too much of a burden on the planetary resources. The first colonists found life hard, but the planet has since blossomed into a thriving community of artisans and designers. The cities have been planned down to the last detail and were designed with aesthetics and efficiency in mind. They are among some of the most beautiful cities in the system. The Imperial Transport Commission, which has a monopoly in maintaining and operating the Subspace Network, maintains its headquarters in the city of Olympus, the administrative capital of the planet.
There are many fine academic and artistic institutions on the planet, attracting the best minds and talent from across the Coalition. Some of the finest pieces of art and literature have been created by former students of these academies. Also, some of the finest scientific minds in known space have attended the institutions set up on Titania. Many of the engineering and design graduates are recruited to work at the orbiting Oberon Shipyards, which serve as both a construction facility and fleet support base for the Euphrates System. New designs are constantly being tested and developed to improve the defensive and offensive capabilities of the Imperium in the civil War against the Alliance.
Population: Approx. 15 billion
Orbitals: 18 orbital habitats, 4 triborozon collection facilities
Hippoloyta is a gas giant, with 63 natural satellites of varying size in varying orbits. While the planets 'surface' is uninhabitable - being gaseous down to a rocky core - the moons have been subjected to terraforming, each being turned into a small habitable paradise, many of them housing workers of the orbiting Triborozon Collection Facilities, which collect triborozon gas from the atmosphere for processing into fuel to operate the engines of starships. The moons have no official name, being unimportant in the general day to day efforts of civilisation, and mostly see commuter traffic to and from the massive orbital facilities.
The four facilities are owned by various corporations, including the Imperial Transport Commission, which maintains its own supplies of triborozon for emergencies. These massive complexes are heavily fortified with security personnel and mounted missile batteries, as any attack would cause severe disruption to fuel supplies and cause major havoc to galactic trade. Each facility costs a fortune to construct, so it is within each corporations best interest to protect them, often contracting out to private mercenaries and security agency's.
Population: Approx. 10 Billion
Orbitals: 15 orbital habitats
Saturnius is another gas giant, though smaller in size than Hippoloyta. It has 34 natural satellites, all of which have been terraformed to make them capable of supporting life. Most fulfil some sort of agricultural role, producing cereals and meats for consumption elsewhere in the system, though usually in the outer system, given the transport time to the inner-system and the competition faced from producers on Servilius.
Most of the population are hard-working farmers and agriculturalists, though there are a few estates run by wealthier citizens. Given the lack of triborozon in the atmosphere of Saturnius itself, relatively little attention is paid to this area of the system, which has attracted several more unsavoury character types. It is usually one of the hotspots in the Eurphrates System for piracy or other criminal activity, along with Valeria, but the lack of any major patrol by Coalition forces means that there has yet to be any major check on the criminal activity.
One major point of interest is 'Barrock's Station', run by the infamous Mr. Barrock. He is what is termed a 'legitimate businessman', meaning that he has his fingers in a number of dirty pies. Imperial authorities have been unable to collect enough evidence to convinct him of any crime, as he is extremely good at covering his tracks. His station is often a first port of call for any criminal entering the system. Many illegal black-market goods can be located here, for varying prices, most of them high.
Population: Approx. 5 Billion
Orbitals: 6 orbital habitats
Like Hippoloyta and Saturnius, Juno is a gas giant, uninhabitable and deadly to human civilisation. It has 27 natural satellites, which have been terraformed to make them capable of human habitation, and which have mixed economies of both industrial manufacturing and agricultural development. Most food stocks come from the Saturnian moons, but there is a growing agricultural sector that some hope will allow Juno to compete with Saturnius on the open market. However, at the present time much of the population is employed in the manufacturing sector, churning out a variety of goods which are shipped across the system for industrial and domestic use, including starship components, weapons, basic household appliances etc.
There is a growing problem caused by the emissions from the factories on several of the moons, as lareg-scale manufacturing processes have resulted in a great deal of pollutants being released. These are counterracting the terraforming processes, and causing a reversion in some of the atmopsheric changes that is causing some of the inhabitants to worry. Several environmental groups are campainging for a change in manufacturing processes, but this is being hotly opposed by industrialists worried at the impact switching to more eco-friendly methods will have on their profit margins.
Population: Approx. 3 Billion
Orbitals: 5 orbital habitats
Polixenes is the fourth and last gas giant in the Euphrates System, uninhabitable itself, but with 13 natural satellites which have undergone terraforming and now support a growing human population. Like Juno, the majority of the population are engaged in manufacturing, but competition between the two sectors has been avoided by an association agreement which effectively means that Junon and Polixenian goods are treated as one. Transports regularly ship these goods across the system for profit.
Population: Approx: 1 Billion
Orbitals: 2 orbital habitats, 10 orbital defence platforms
Valeria is a tiny world, smaller than many of the Systems moons, and the planet farthest from the sun. It has several solar collectors in orbit to increase the light and heat from the star, which have been used alongside the terraforming techniques to melt the ice that had formed around the rocky core. It is now an inhabited world, though one prone to bouts of lawlessness which often prompt a heavy response from Imperial authorities in the inner-system. There is a great deal of criminal activity which is left largely alone by the authorities, as patrols to this sector are rare indeed.
Valeria's erratic orbit sometimes bring it closer to the sun than Polixenes, meaning that the criminal elements often get a chance to prey on the shipping from the Polixenian moons to the inner-system, which is usually when the Imperial Coalition steps up its patrols. For the most part, however, the populace is left to govern itself. There is subsistence farming and basic manufacturing, but nothing to export, and barely enough to survive on. Life on Valeria can, at times, be quite wretched, something at variance with the living one would expect to find in a Core System. The population is often resentful, and there are more than a few who support the cause of the Alliance, which maintained discrete operatives and bases on the planet during the civil war.
Like on the Junon moons, there is a growing problem with pollutants causing a reversion in the terraforming applications. Indeed, the situation on P-XII has become so dire that atmopsheric processors have had to be brought in to constantly purify the atmosphere. With the Third Fleet and Imperial troops occupied elsewhere, and patrols to the outer system infrequent, prostestors have become more and more brazen in their opposition to current industrial practices. Several recent demonstrations have turned violent, resulting in several deaths and damage estimated int he tens of thousands of credits. There is a general feeling of unease that protests will continue to become more and more violent until either the groups are disbanded, by force if necessary, or their concerns addressed.