Sunday, July 21, 2019

Great Screaming Hell

Space Engine

Maha Raurava

  • Parent Star: HIP 90881 - G3V (250 LY from Sol)
  • Gravity: 0.92 G
  • Atmosphere: Breathable at lower altitudes near ocean. High desert regions lack sufficient pressure, requiring the use of equipment.
  • Temperature: Hot, averaging between 25 and 35 C year round. Low seasonal variance.
  • Overall Climate: Dry desert and badlands. Single ocean surrounded by terraformed regions.
  • Biosphere: Seedship-modified, Earth-derived. Clustered around primary ocean and surrounding lowlands: high desert remains almost completely lifeless. Most is either non-nutritious or mildly poisonous to most nonmodified humans.
  • Moons: 1
  • Other Bodies in System: Besides asteroids and small rocky / ice worlds, two gas giants and a superterran are present. All have been surveyed by remote probe, no permanent settlements made.
  • Orbital Infrastructure: 3 cylinder O'Neill cluster Seraph and space elevator connected to Colony Central. Communication and weather monitoring satellite grid.

Initial Terraforming: Maha Raurava had liquid water, a decent magnetosphere, and some microbial life already when the seedship arrived. The resulting terraforming was, like in so many other cases, marginal - a few decades of rushed atmospheric alteration and introduction of tailored organisms. The particular seedship (believed to be the Celestial 10 Beads of  Electrum Suspended Above the Event Horizon) left behind life that, while using Terran building blocks, was developed whole-cloth - as alien as one can find while retaining the same biochemistry and still using DNA. (Use Barlowe's Expedition for quick visual inspiration, here). 

Human Settlement: Colonization rights for Maha Raurava were bought on the cheap by the Watanabi Group (henceforth referred to as "The Zaibatsu") for use as a debt forgiveness penal colony. Settlers seeking to escape their creditor companies and those forced to relocate immigrated in large numbers. This has lead to a higher-than-average diversity in the population for a marginal world.

Colony Collapse: Precisely why the Zaibatsu pulled out of Maha Raurava remains unknown, at least to the people on the ground. Rumors that the Group Chair's death kicked off an inheritance crisis are widespread, and seem the most sound option for why 80% of the company's personnel boarded the lone warp-capable vessel and took off to parts unknown, leaving a single family scion behind. The rest of the population is trapped.

The Current Situation: The Zaibatsu currently controls Seraph, the elevator, and a small amount of territory at its base in Colony Central. The rest of Maha Raurava has been carved up between dozens of factions vying for control. None of the original factions have remained intact, having dissolved and reformed over and over again.

The Easy-to-Digest Blurb: Borderlands in the Sengoku Period.

Fun Facts about Great Screaming Hell

  • There's a small population of uplifted whales in the ocean - most came here for political asylum.
  • Three Redoubter arcologies sit at the far north of inhabited territory.
  • Tecnavi shipmother Talabiri was stranded here during the Collapse. They spend most of their time in orbit around the moon.
  • A Zaibatsu climate-observation station in Northeast Quarter has been overtaken by rogue androids that have developed a religion glitch. They seek their true creators, believing inferior humans to be the offspring of some mad demiurge.
  • The area around Colony Central is home to a sizable Hasidic population who have taken to ranching, and some rumors of cows a bit smarter than they have any right to be.
  • One of the few lifeforms capable of surviving the high desert is something like a large turtle. More notable is that its eggs possess leathery shells so thick that they must be pierced by an outside force - those separated from their mother might remain in there for quite some time, and emerge near-berserk with hunger if they have not starved to death.
  • A Fixer by the name of Calamity Jean has emerged among the thelychroma population. She has managed to carve out a sizeable and stable territory through alliance, tactical brilliance, and complete ruthlessness.
  • The Dog Knights have been moving eastward from their normal territory west of Colony Central.
  • The United Planetary Front has managed to bisect Highway 1 between Colony Central and Colony East, bridging their territory on the south coast with their possessions in Northeast Quarter. This is bad news for everyone.
  • There's graffiti on the walls: "LANTERN BOY LIVES".
Further updates for adventures upon Great Screaming Hell may be found here: Episode 1, Episode 2


  1. Of all my settings this one in special, for it is the best case of organic worldbuilding I've had in a long, long time.

    1. I enjoyed our game last week, glad to be a part of this :).

  2. I eagerly look forward to continuing to explore this blasted hellscape!